It’s not uncommon nowadays to find people with e-readers. Instead of having to lug around heavy books in your already crammed backpack or purse an e-reader allows you to store thousands upon thousands of books via a tablet-sized device. E-readers are convenient and even allow the manga to be read on them as well! This brings us to an interesting thought. Will Manga Ever Become Digital Only?
Cheaper and Portable
Let’s be open-minded folks. Yes, many of us love the feel of paper in our hands and love manga for its nice design and ability to show off on a bookshelf in an apartment or home. However, manga continues to be more and more expensive—some volumes can cost $20+ dollars—and dragging around multiple volumes of a series you love can be irksome. When you purchase manga digitally not only does it come cheaper—sometimes you can save several dollars per volume—but it can be transported with you on an e-reader and/or a phone. Kind of convenient right?
Save the Space
Many of us manga fans tend to be quite…broke more often than not. We spend our money on basic needs and of course, manga. That also means we tend not to have luxurious homes but small apartments…at least for now. As beautiful as owning a manga collection like Berserk’s recent omnibus editions or BLAME Master Editions, the room used can be a bit…claustrophobic. Digital downloads mean you save space in a tight one-bedroom apartment and that doesn’t sound bad…we need our open space for our video game/TV setups too!
Save the Industry? Maybe?
In Japan, manga is still doing quite well as evident from the multitude of places you can buy it in and see it in. In the west, manga is doing okay at best. To save you from price figures and graphs we can just say most stores tend to avoid selling manga unless they are like big named franchises like Barnes and Nobel. Mom and pop anime stores also sell manga—even some comic book shops do too—but manga isn’t yet as profitable here in America. Needless to say, having manga on a digital platform allows publishers to spend less and help the industry make more.
The Future…is Online
Humans continue to evolve past physical mediums more and more daily. Video games are often brought online, anime is watched via streaming services like Crunchyroll and physical books tend to be more often digitally downloaded. The future seems to be pushing out the physical realm and manga seems destined to join the online landscape. Will this happen without a doubt? Probably not but if physical books are eliminated in the distance future…manga will join sadly.
Manga is still loved by many of us in the physical world. Holding a nice one-volume book like the latest One Piece volume or Yakusoku no Neverland just feels right. While many of us have gotten used to using Viz’s online service to read Shonen Jump others refuse to let the physical paper medium die out entirely. What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you believe manga will go digital-only one day? Comment your thoughts below! For even more thought-provoking articles like this one keep stuck to our magnificent hive here at Honey’s Anime!