by Marlan Moore | staff editor
Manga 2.5 walks the line between anime and manga by literally animating manga panel by panel.
Marvel and DC tried their hand at making “motion comics” like these years ago with some of their more popular titles. Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men and Warren Ellis’s “Extremis” story in Iron Man both got the motion comic treatment, as well as DC’s Watchmen.
That being said, Manga 2.5 is probably the perfect substitute for the niche within the niche that is the untranslated or underrated manga series that’ll either never get an anime or never even make its way out of Japan (and totally deserves the exposure).
The first titles to get the motion manga treatment are Karasuma Kyouko No Jikenbo, a “futuristic, supernatural police procedural,” and Mythical Detective Loki, an occult detective manga series. Both are exclusively available on iTunes and can be rented for $4.99 in SD and $5.99 in HD. To make the first volumes of these series a permanent part of your collection, it’ll cost $9.99 for SD and $12.99 for HD.
Check out our interview below for more info on Manga2.5 and their unique take on the manga market.
Inside AX: How did Manga2.5 get started?
Manga2.5: In Japan, thousands of great manga titles are published every year. However, only a select few are ever released outside of Japan. On top of that, manga is still a niche market outside of Japan. We wanted to share more of this amazing medium in a way that’d be easily accessible, thus broadening its fan base.
IAX: Where did the name “Manga2.5″ come from?
Manga2.5: It’s based upon where we believe Manga2.5 falls in the line between manga and anime.
Manga2.0= electronic panels (online comics)
Manga2.5= animated panels (motion comics)
IAX: Does Manga2.5 have a mission statement?
Manga2.5: We want to make manga more accessible by bringing it to life with motion and sound while staying true to what makes manga unique and amazing.
IAX: How would you describe Manga2.5 to someone who has never seen a motion comic before?
Manga2.5: Manga2.5 is manga brought to life with motion and sound. However, unlike anime, these elements are added directly to the panels of traditional manga. This means that Manga2.5 titles, by design, always stay true to the source material.
IAX: Mysterious Detective Loki and Karasuma Kyoko no Jikenbo are a couple of great series to start with. How do you decide which series to give the Manga2.5 treatment?
Manga2.5: We wanted series that are popular in Japan and in genres that are popular in Europe and North America: supernatural crime and mystery.
IAX: What series can we look forward to in the future?
Manga2.5: We’re still deciding. However, we are focusing on genres and topics that have proven popular in Europe and North America: action, romantic comedies, androids and vampires.
IAX: Do you have a contract with any specific publishers?
Manga2.5: We do, however we’re not at liberty to name said publishers.
IAX: When it comes to animating, what do you think is the most difficult part of the process?
Manga2.5: The hardest part is fitting the 16:9 aspect ratio onto a screen. This includes determining how the ‘camera’ scans across each panel and how to implement (ex. timing, length, etc.) the motion and sound we add to each panel.
IAX: How long does it take to bring each chapter to life?
Manga2.5: It takes a little less than a week per chapter and about a month and a half per work: 6 – 7 chapters. However, this can vary greatly depending on the title.
IAX: Will we be seeing Manga2.5 available outside of iTunes, such as for the Kindle, or on streaming services like Netflix?
Manga2.5: For now, we’re focusing exclusively on iTunes. However, we do plan to release Manga2.5 on other platforms, like the Kindle, in the future.
Manga 2.5 Website: http://manga25.com/
Manga 2.5 Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/manga25jp