Thursday, March 09, 2006

Why Kana could succeed in Dutch Manga

Balloon Books has the potential to bring manga to the Dutch homes. It can release a diversity of titles for both young and old, ranging from romance to thriller and from comedy to fantasy. The only obstacle in their path is that manga is generally unknown by the public, so the question is: will they be able to generate a wave of interest?

Balloon Books combines several publishers, of which Dargaud-Lombard is the most interesting for Manga. In France Dargaud-Lombard is known for its Kana label under which it has licensed and published its manga. Currently some 35 manga series are licensed and available in France.

This is also one of the main reasons why I think Kana might very well succeed in bringing Manga to the Dutch homes: they have experience in publishing manga. This experience ranges from introducing new titles, acquiring the right titles for the market, publishing a long series of pockets and making manga more known throughout a country.

Having a 'home market' in France can be compared to the situation that Japanese publishers have. Most of their titles have earned considerably well in Japan already and every sale outside Japan is welcomed, but not always required. For the Dutch market Kana can e.g. use the images from their French pockets and only has to focus on translating (directly from Japanese) and marketing it. This reduces the cost for producing the Dutch version of a series, since their investment in licensing a series has already been paid back by their French sales.

Of particular interest is that Balloon Books will start small. Not only in numbers or size, but in age as well. Their first series, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Shaman King, are targeted to the, often forgotten, younger audience. By making this younger audience used to manga, it is much more likely that they will continue reading manga over the years well into their adulthood. Though this takes time and planning, it is more rewarding than trying to force yourself upon the teens and (young) adults who are not yet known with the entertaining manga genre.
However, Kana does not limit itself to the youngsters, since it will also publish the well-known Naruto series. This ninja-themed action serie will be much more appreciated by teens and will surely be picked up by many.

Within a year I expect that more titles will be introduced to the Dutch market. Titles that run well in France are expected to do well in Holland as well. A title like Monster is almost certain to be published. As this is a very realistic manga and targeted for adults, I wonder what the media will do with this title. Very likely, the media will not understand that adults can read 'comics' as well. Other series I expect to be released are Arms, Basara and InuYasha.

I noticed that many people are actually waiting for the Kana series to be published instead of buying the English version of those series. This unexpected interest in Dutch manga is peculiar, since many people find it strange to view anime in Dutch. Apparently, reading Dutch is not a problem.


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At 19:42, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm from the netherlands and i've read a lot of manga and watched many different kinds of anime. I also know people, my age (16), who watch anime. The most people watch Naruto, but there are also a lot of people who watch Skip Beat!, Bleach, Shugo Chara! and Elfen Lied. About the manga, there are indeed fewer people who read it. My favorites are Anatolia Story (similar to Basara) and Skip Beat! and One Piece and Tokyo Crazy paradise.. (and of course also Naruto, my number 1, bleach, skip beat! and shugo chara)

So.. back to the point, there are more people, teenagers, common with anime than you think. They all read it online on sites like onemanga or mangafox, wich we are greatfull for!!
Manga on the other hand is less popular, because it's different than Dutch comics, we read like korean manga, from left to right, and the langues is never Dutch, so people often don't take the time to read it..

Well.. that was it.. ^.^

dutch girl, 16 years old

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