Comics / Comics News

Book Walker Signs Deal with for Popular Kodansha Manga Digital Distribution

By Hervé St-Louis
June 19, 2020 - 09:28

On June 19, 2020 Book Walker, the digital distribution arm of Japanese media group Kadokawa announced that they had the exclusive publishing rights to two popular Kodansha USA Publishing’s series Why the Hell Are You Here, Teacher?! and TenPuru. Volumes 1-3 of Why the Hell Are You Here teacher?! and volume 1-2 of TenPuru will be released on Book Walker on July 14, 2020 at
Why the Hell Are You Here teacher?! is a comedic series by cartoonist Soborou where teachers find themselves in erotic and inconvenient situations with their male students. This series has been adapted into a popular animé series also called Why the Hell Are You Here teacher?! that is also available and translated in English.

TenPuru by cartoonist Kimitake Yoshioka is another comedic series where a young man named Akemitsu Akegami joins a monastery to become a monk to curb his impure sexual thoughts, under the advice of his father. However, Akegami’s quest is made difficult as the monastery is filled with alluring women. TenPuru has also been adapted to a cartoon series while a live-action film is set to be released on August 2020 in Japan.

This announcement by Book Walker matters because Kodansha USA Publishing, the US subsidiary of major Japanese manga publisher Kodansha has been trying to make inroads in the North American market without going through local licensees such as Viz Media, TokyoPop, Yen Press, or Del Ray Manga. Working with a fellow Japanese firm, Kodansha can release its manga in English through digital platform and reduce the number of third parties involved.

As for Book Walker, it has to compete with North American digital publishing platforms for comics such as Amazon’s ComiXology, and Viz Media’s two manga-reading apps. Securing the English-language digital distribution rights for two popular Kodansha series enables it to become top of mind for American manga readers who may have been unfamiliar with the platform.

Finally, the ongoing fight against pirated manga creates a situation where scanlation, the illegal translation of manga series to local language before the official release of a series outside of its native market continues to harm the expansion of publishers outside of Japan. Yet, when official releases of Japanese manga into other languages are available, they can curb the spread of pirated mangas, with readers favouring the legitimate release of the series. The main challenge for Japanese and Korean publishers in curbing piracy, has been the speed of release of translations to other markets before pirated comics can take a hold.

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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