The digital manga site JManga had some good news, some bad news, and some more good news for readers this week.
The good news is that the site is dropping its regional restrictions and will be available worldwide. Until this week, readers who tried to access it from outside the U.S. and Canada got a blue screen and a message saying the site was unavailable; now everyone can access the site. The change came after JManga's business manager, Robert Newman, called out to readers to make their feelings known via Twitter and Facebook to the 39 publishers who make up JManga. Newman also said via Twitter that the site supports multiple languages, so they are looking at offering translations into languages other than English.
The bad news is that although the site is available everywhere, some of the manga is still region-restricted. While that may change, it appears that some of those publishers are not quite ready to go global.
The other good news is that JManga has beefed up their site with a boatload of new manga, and they are giving away bonus points to new subscribers through March 4. Over the past few weeks, they added a host of Harlequin manga, which are Japanese adaptations of American Harlequin novels. Some other intriguing titles that have just made it to the site:
Poor Poor Lips, by Hayako Goto
A yuri manga (a love story between two women), this is a romantic comedy about a poor girl who works in a store owned by a lesbian. Will sparks fly? It wouldn't be manga if they didn't.
Kodoku no Gourmet (The Solitary Gourmet), by Jiro Taniguchi
"Solitary Gourmet… That’s the solitary process of eating without interruption or worry that gives the most comfort to people equally." This manga by the creator of The Walking Man and A Zoo in Winter is about a single man who enjoys eating in different places, and as Jason Thompson explains, the stories are as much about the place as about the different dishes.
Shiawase Restaurant, by Yasuhiro Nakanishi
This looks like another romantic comedy set in a restaurant. Food and love, that's what makes the world go round, at least at JManga.
Tsumanuda Fight Town, by Michiro Ueyama
A street-fighting manga about an illustrator who moves to Tokyo to make his fortune and becomes involved in the martial arts with the help of a maid. This looks like it mashes up a couple of manga genres and definitely has potential.
And coming next week, according to ANN: The fantasy manga The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer, the manga version of Karl Marx's Das Kapital, and another boatload of Harlequin titles. Read on!