Daily Yomiuri Online reports that a new web site calling itself "Digital Manga" will be offering a pay-per-download manga service. The company hopes that the use of cable modems and the increasing presence of manga on the worldwide market will make the project feasable.
The site is expected to trigger widespread digitalization of manga and will function as an online storehouse. The manga will be available in several languages, and thanks to new software developed by Digital Manga and JVC, will feature a preview option and bookmarking, as well as copy protection.
Also helping out in the project is Nihon Net Research Foundation and Tokyu Group, as well as Lupin creator Monkey Punch, who has used Macintosh computers in the creation of his manga for over a decade. The digital bookstore will open by the end of 1999 with about 100 titles, but hopes to offer as many as 3,000.
"I would like to disseminate manga throughout the world as a form of culture that Japan takes pride in, rather than leaving it the domain of enthusiastic fans," Sasahara said.
Digital Manga's Web address is:http://www.emanga.com/.