March 29, 2006

Manga-ization


HarperCollins is taking over distribution of Tokyopop manga titles, as well as licensing HarperCollins novels to be adapted into manga. Harlequin has been doing this for some time already, translating English language titles into Japanese, and now reversing the process and bringing those titles back to the U.S. in manga format.

This is an established part of the marketing cycle in Japan, and more common than the novelization of popular television series and movies in the U.S. For example, Fuyumi Ono's 12 Kingdoms novels were picked up by NHK as an animated series, and then released in manga format. Battle Royal started as a novel, was made into a live-action movie, and then released as a manga.

One interesting missing step, though (and for obvious reasons), is the radio drama (often released straight to CD) of popular manga, often created before doing the animated version and using the same voice actors.

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