Crunchyroll launches digital manga service; Hetalia is back

The big news of the week is that Crunchyroll has launched a digital manga service that kicks off with 12 Kodansha series. New chapters will be available for free the same day they come out in Japan, and there’s an all-you-can-read service for $4.99 a month. The starting lineup includes Attack on Titan, Fairy Tail, and Ken Akamatsu’s UQ Holder, and Crunchyroll promises there is more on the way. Deb Aoki has all the details, the Japan Times talks to some of the Japanese players, Sean Gaffney takes a look at the manga themselves, and I commented on what they are doing right.

Chris Beveridge notes that volumes 4 and 5 of Hetalia are now available for pre-order at RightStuf. The first run of the book (including pre-orders) will have eight color pages. After that it will be print-on-demand. Both books have a Tokyopop logo on the cover and at the moment they are marked down from $15.99 to $10.99. No sign of a digital option, though.

The Manga Bookshelf team looks at this week’s new releases and discusses their Pick of the Week. Michelle Smith and Melinda Beasi have a dialogue about two Vertical titles, Tropic of the Sea and Fashion Unfriendly, in their Off the Shelf column.

Viz Manga is now available on iBooks.

Ash Brown is giving away a copy of vol. 1 of Sankarea. Ash also rounds up some manga podcasts, with updates on those that seem to be defunct.

News from Japan: I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow manga-ka Shunjo Aono has a new series in the works, titled Slapstick. Ichijinsa is launching a new boys love magazine, gateau.

Reviews: The Manga Bookshelf team keep it short in their latest Bookshelf Briefs column. Ash Brown takes us through another week of manga reading at Experiments in Manga.

Kristin on vols. 2 and 3 of Demon Love Spell (Comic Attack)
Ken H. on vols. 2 and 3 of Flowers of Evil (Comics Should Be Good)
Ken H. on Kitaro (Comics Should Be Good)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Love in Hell (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Bruce P. on R+ Princess (Okazu)
Sakura Eries on vol. 11 of Sakura Hime: The Legend of Princess Sakura (The Fandom Post)
Ken H. on vol. 3 of Sankarea (Comics Should Be Good)
Derek Bown on the October 7 issue of Shonen Jump (Manga Bookshelf)
Anna N. on vol. 1 of Sweet Rein (Manga Report)
L.B. Bryant on vol. 1 of Vinland Saga (ICv2}

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