Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation! Today I am joined by Naotaka Kumagai, who is here to talk to us about an interesting Kickstarter project called Manga Reborn. Thank you for joining us today Naotaka.
A pleasure to be here.
As an anime and manga fan your project immediately caught my eye, would you care to tell us about it?
The goal of our Kickstarter project is to localize ten different manga series into English for the first time. All of these series are relatively unknown overseas, so the hurdle may be a high one, but we believe that all of them possess their own unique charms. We are also doing each series in its entirety, so for example, with Black Angels, that means a whopping twenty volumes! When the titles are localized, they will be available to view online and as digital downloads.
Basically you’re trying to be the Comixology of Manga in the US? Why make your own site and not just publish your translated manga through that existing service?
The original reason Manga Reborn was started as to give lesser-known manga artists in Japan a way to send their work out to a larger audience. Comixology is great for US comics, but does it have a presence in Japan? Not really. If you went to a starving artist in Japan and told them about Comixology, I don’t think they’d have the courage to make such a sudden leap. Manga Reborn, however, is stationed in Japan, and we have a team of dedicated people who are working together with Japanese publishers and artists to get more manga online for the first time ever. We also invite artists from around the world to join in on the community and work side-by-side with professional manga artists from Japan.
We also want to let the artists take charge at Manga Reborn. Artists can set their own prices for their comics, the manner in which it’s distributed, and basically how people view their manga. We want this to be a community where artists can congregate and push manga beyond what it currently is. This is currently happening with big name artists and their publishers, but what about the little guys? There is a lot of great undiscovered content in Japan, and we want to make it easier and more comfortable for Japanese artists to release their work to the world.