Along the way, they co-published “Trigun” and ”Hellsing” with Dark Horse Comics, and funded a couple of Osamu Tezuka (The God of Manga) titles on Kickstarter. Recently, at Anime Expo in the Digital Manga Publishing panel, it was announced that DMP had formed a partnership with Tezuka Production to release all of Osamu Tezuka’s works digitally across the world.
CBNAH did an interview with Yoko Tanigaki, VP Sales & Distribution of DMP to talk about Anime Expo, internal reaction to the Tezuka deal, using Kickstarter and more.
CBNAH: First off, how was Anime Expo this year and the feedback you got from visitors of the industry panels to the Akadot Retail and eManga booth?
Yoko Tanigaki: AX2013 was great. It went very well. We received lots of positive feedbacks- People were excited to see that we offered game, ( https://www.emanga.com/search?categoryid=4 ) on emanga.com. Lots of people came to check it out at our booth. Akadot performed very well with our yaoi books too. Overall, it was a very good show; it was a lot of work but it all paid off in the end.
CBNAH: The big announcement from Anime Expo is that DMP will be working with Tezuka Production to release all of Osamu Tezuka's works digitally worldwide. What was the internal reaction from the company when the deal was signed by both parties? Any chance of this material appearing on Comixology?
YT: Yes. It was a big, big- HUUUGE announcement for us. I can’t believe we get to work with Tezuka pro’s entire library of manga. We are going worldwide with this. Tezuka’s been looking for a way to go international for a long time. And partnering up with Digital Manga was the solution. This is “it.” It took months and months of skype meetings to get this far. We are both extremely happy with the outcome and we are looking forward to working with them. Chance of this appearing on Comixology – yes. I think so.
CBNAH: DMP is one of the few establish companies (along with Top Cow Productions) to find great success in funding projects via Kickstarter. There's a lot of great benefits using Kickstarter, but what are certain challenges comes with using Kickstarter? Will we see non-Tezuka projects on Kickstarter in the far future?
Both Unico and Barbara were successful funded on kickstarter, and Barbara got an Eisner nomination for Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia award.
YT: One single, MOST difficult thing dealing with Kickstarter is- explaining WHAT KICKSTARTER is to the Japanese publisher. They’ve never heard of Kickstarter before… and we had to explain to them, what it is. “What is Kickstarter? How does it work? “ was the most difficult thing. We are essentially going to Tezuka Pro and say “We want to license this… but we aren’t sure if we want to license…” because we have to wait until the project’s been funded. As for non-Tezuka projects on Kickstarer in the future? Sure. We thought about it.
CBNAH: The manga adaptation of “Vampire Hunter D” will be ending next fall with volume 8 due to health concerns for Saiko Takaki. How's she doing?
YT: “Vampire Hunter D” series has been our flagship series for us and I’m (personally) sad to see it end. And it’s been a great run and we are very honored to have been able to work with Takaki sensei. She is doing just fine and everything is on schedule for our final volume in the fall of 2014.
CBNAH: We'll finally see the final volume of “Ai no Kusabi” be release later on this fall. The first volume came out way back in 2007, its been a long journey and how does it feel to see this title wrapping up? Your imprint lines June and 801 Media focuses on Yaoi titles and it's been huge success for the company. Are there any titles that have floated under the radar that readers should check out?
YT: I know lots of people were waiting on this series – and I’m glad to got them licensed. Titles that readers should check out ..? Oh my gosh – YESSS. How much time do you have..???
My suggested titles are:
ABOUT LOVE (koi ni tsuite 恋について9781569702437)
Summary from the Akadot website: Asaka is a dedicated wedding planner who’ll do anything to guarantee his clients’ happiness. Sadly, his own love life has all but vanished thanks to his ridiculous work schedule! But when Asaka’s first patron resurfaces, the precious spark of true love may finally fly for him. Can he plan the perfect affair…or will it just have to happen by chance? http://www.akadot.com/about-love-yaoi-gn-p-35818.html
FLUTTER (furatta フラッター 9781569702741)
Summary from the Akadot website: Asada is hypnotized by a handsome co-worker he sees on the street nearly every day. So when the two men are paired up for a high-pressure project, he can’t believe his good luck! But what will happen when Asada’s defenses are shaken by their immediate, undeniable connection? Flutter beats with the racing pulses of brand-new lovers! When success at work leads to an after-hours confession, an exciting relationship sparks to life. But is the flash of intimacy the beginning of a fiery blaze…or just a passing flicker? http://www.akadot.com/flutter-yaoi-gn-p-40300.html
SAME DIFFERENCE (Docchi mo Docchiどっちもどっち 9781569702666)
Summary from the Akadot website: From their offices high in a corporate skyscraper, alpha males Ozaki and Tsuburaya make all the girls swoon. Ozaki's known for his irresistible pheromones, while Tsuburaya's a noble, worldly genius. But when these rivals end up in bed together, who will prove to be top dog? It's seme versus seme - and much more than pride's on the line! http://www.akadot.com/same-difference-yaoi-gn-p-40250.html
CBNAH: A few years ago, Project-H was created for publishing Hentai, Ecchi and Ero books. Since its launch, has Project-H seen the same amount of success as the Yaoi imprint lines? What Project-H titles people should check out?
YT: I’d say the success of Project-H was greater than our yaoi imprint. They are very well received and it’s doing so well for us. Fan support has been great and we couldn’t have asked for more.
If you want to check out some of Project-H books, try:
VELVET KISS ( berubetto kisu ベルベット・キス① 9781934129562)
Summary for volume one from the Project-H website: Shin’s spirits were soaring after winning the lottery and landing a contract with a famous firm in the same day—not bad for a normally luckless office worker. He quickly plummets back down to earth, however, upon discovering that he’s been saddled with an immense amount of debt. There is, however, one way he can keep his creditors at bay: become “friends” with an enigmatic and alluring girl named Kanoko. The task sounds simple enough at first, but leaves him eating his own words as Kanoko’s selfish demands start to take their toll on him both mentally and physically. Will Shin ever be able to pay his debt off, or will the lust, luxury, and mystery simply overwhelm him??
MY CUTE CROSSDRESSER (kurasumeito no josou wo tetsudattara kawaisugite furuega tomaranai ken クラスメイトの女装を手伝ったら可愛すぎて震えが止まらない件 ~松本ミトヒ。 オトコの娘作品集~ 9781934129586 )
Summary from the Project-H website: When sweet, determined Miharu goes undercover as a girl in order to track down a bunch of groping pervs, he catches the eye of his shocked classmate Keigo, too! But the biggest surprise of all? The two guys have the kind of chemistry that exists only in dreams. Will they suffer through the awkwardness and become the perfect team?
SEE ME AFTER CLASS (asamade jugyo Chu 1 朝まで授業Chu! 1 9781934129722)
Summary from the Project-H website: Yuuki's scored a full scholarship to a very prestigious school. The only catch? A ditzy teacher's error means he now has to crossdress to keep his real identity a secret! Will Yuuki pull it off... or will he be pulled to pieces by a cute, curious classmate?
You’ll love these.
CBNAH: DMP has been known to have great working relationships with Japanese publishing companies like Shinshokan and Tezuka Production. What's it like to work with these large companies on a daily basis and have the access to a large amount of titles to publish in print or in digital format?
YT: Yes. We’ve been blessed to be able to work with such a great publishers. My best part of the job – all I can read manga! It’s books after books… they tend to pile up very quickly and i don’t think I’ve seen my desk top in a while. Overwhelming- yes. But I love it. It’s never dull in this industry. There’s always something new and keeps me busy. Of course, it’s not always bunnies and rainbows.. there’s plenty of drama and difficult issues to deal with. We don’t always get what we want- some creators are for print only.. some are digital only… some don’t want to be published at all. Some don’t want to deal with us at all.
CBNAH: Thank you, for your time.
Check out Digital Manga Publishing and all of their different imprints and sites:
Digital Manga Corporate Site: http://www.digitalmanga.com/
June Manga: http://www.junemanga.com/
801 Media: http://www.801media.com/
DMP Platinum: http://www.dmpplatinum.com/
Akadot Retail: http://www.akadot.com/
Yaoi Club: http://www.yaoiclub.com/
Vampire Hunter D: http://www.vampire-d.com/
Project-H Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectHBooks