The Japan Times has published an article that explains how Japanese companies are beginning to explore the benefits of licensing:

A growing number of Japanese businesses are eager to license their products, not just for royalties but because they see licensing as an effective marketing strategy, according to a licensing association official.

Source: The Beat

World's Leading Manga Entertainment Brand Inks Content Deal With World's Leading Lifestyle Portal for Exclusive Premieres

Los Angeles, CA (July 16, 2007) - MySpace and TOKYOPOP today announced a partnership to premiere four exclusive new shows based on TOKYOPOP's hit manga series "I Luv Halloween," "A Midnight Opera," "Bizenghast" and "Riding Shotgun." Featuring music from the latest underground acts and cutting edge digital animation from Asian CG powerhouse Menfond Electronic Art, pilot episodes will air the week of July 16, 2007, with subsequent episodes running weekly thereafter.

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Adult publisher Kitty Media is currently looking for an unpaid intern to help proofread uncensored yaoi and moe manga:

I'm Frank and I'm the Managing Editor here at Media Blasters and Kitty Media. I'm looking for someone with really good English language skills to help me with some proofreading. I'd like you to actually come in to the offices and work with me this way we can discuss the stuff you'll be working on.

Source: AoD

Pascal Bonnet to Head Up Licensing & Brand Management Isabelle Aghina to Oversee TV & DVD Sales and Distribution

Paris, France, July 8, 2007 – VIZ Media Europe (VME), the Paris-based subsidiary of VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is pleased to announce the appointment of Pascal Bonnet as Director of Licensing and Brand Management, and Isabelle Aghina as Director of TV & DVD Sales and Distribution.

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Japanese anime studio Production I.G. has issued a press release announcing that it will acquire manga publisher Mag Garden on December 1st, 2007 through a stock swap.

Production I.G., which currently owns close to 15% of Mag Garden shares, plans to acquire the remainder with one Mag Garden share being exchanged for 0.5 shares of Production I.G. As a result Mag Garden will be delisted from Tokyo Stocks Exchange's "Mothers" Market.

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Villagers (Tianjin) Manga Ltd., the first ever Chinese-foreign joint venture manga company, will be established on June 28th in Tianjin, China.

Villagers (Tianjin) Manga Ltd., a joint venture between China and Korea, aims to become one of the biggest original Chinese comics publisher, and help spread Chinese comics overseas.

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topOn June 21st, manga publisher Asahi Sonorama announced on its website that due to ongoing financial difficulties, the manga publisher will be dissolved at the end of September.

According to the president of Asahi Sonorama, the decision was made due to Asahi Sonorama's ongoing financial difficulties, as well as their aging workforce, and it was decided that a corporate restructuring would be difficult. Instead, Asahi Sonorama will be dissolved at the end of September, and Asahi Newspaper (Asahi Shimbun), which owns 100% of Asahi Sonorama's stock, will take over the Sonorama's business operations. Asahi Shimbun will also find new positions for Sonorama employees who wish to stay on.

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According to a report from the market research and consulting company Seed Planning, Japan's e-book market experienced tremendous growth in 2006 as a result of the popularity of mobile manga. The report estimates that the e-manga market will continue to grow throughout 2007, and will reach 71 billion yen by 2012.

According to the report, Japan's e-book market tripled in 2006, reaching 28 billion yen. E-manga occupied over 2/3 of the e-book market at 19 billion yen, 5 times as much as 2005's 4 billion yen.

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Shogakukan's gross sale last February reached 147 billion yen, beating Kodansha by 1.4 billion yen. As a result, Shogakukan has, for the first time ever, overtaken Kodansha as the number 1 publisher in Japan. According to Asahi Shimbun, Shogakukan's success can be attributed to advertising revenue from women's fasion magazines (such as CanCam) and copyright fee.

As for sales of magazines and books, Kodansha still beats Shogakukan by 10 billion yen. However, when counting earnings from other sales such as advertising fee, dividend from movies, and copyright fee, Shogakukan surpasses Kodansha by 11.3 billion yen.

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topMotonori Kishi, the president of Shobunkan, was dismissed by the Supreme Court First Petty Bench in his final appeal. As a result Motonori Kishi will keep his penalty of 1.50 million yen for distribution of obscene manga.

In 2002, Motonori Kishi and the adult mangaka Beauty Hair were arrested for distributing 20,000 copies of the overly obscene Misshitsu (Honey Room) to 16 stores. In January 2004, Motonori Kishi was found guilty and sentenced to one year in prison. However, the sentence was reduced to a 1.5 million yen fine in June 2005.

Source: Asahi Shimbun