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Post Reply Would you buy more manga if it was distributed like this?
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20 / M / Luna Nova
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Posted 6/16/17 , edited 6/30/17
I hope this kind of topic is ok here. I went here in MAL to try and get as many different answers as possible. There's so many good manga out there that I would love to collect personally, but so many of them are long-running manga that I worry manga will consume physical space too much for me. I've wanting to find a way to figure out this problem but also have manga in some physical form. So I have this concept I have been playing around called manga USB tablet, and I explain the entire concept here in one image. I've put a lot thought into this concept, so I hope you read it all the way through:



What do you think? I don't expect this to be the primary means to distributing manga, it's moreso of a novelty and alternative. I know this is not the typical kind of thing you'd buy easily, it's a product that takes a lot thought to put into in the same way you think about buying manga boxsets. Do you believe the concept appeals to you personally? Would it be better to replace USBs with card chips akin gaming portable cards? Should the concept be fleshed out more?

Regardless if the opinion is negative or positive, I do want to hear your thoughts. The point of making this thread is create discussion, and I love discussing various topics. I'm sorry if the way the concept was handled was pretty loose, it's just something I wanted to get out of my brain cause I thought it was a neat idea.

Alternatively there could be more options for USB sticks that might work out.

You could also have the option to rent these USB sticks for a small price like maybe $5-$15 per week/month. Once you pay the maximum price, you don't need to pay anymore and you can keep it. Or you can cancel it immediately once you have finished reading in under a month or week? You pay somewhat like those weekly manga magazines distributed in Japan, except you get the entire manga. Would such an additional service appeal to you then?

Alternatively instead of USB sticks, use a variation of the Amibo thing. Sell a high quality collectable toy/statue that gives access to digital manga volumes when scanned.

Or alternatively, these USBs are compatible with Android/Apple tablets. Just add an accessory to access USB stuff and it would be more cost saving. But that'd just be another option. Much like how Kindle has their own app on iPad/Android despite having their own tablet.

I just feel this idea can work somehow. The flexibility with these USB sticks is pretty big. Kind of in the same way the Nintendo Switch lets you have many accessory/controller options. What do you think?
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∞ / AI / Cyberspace
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Posted 6/16/17 , edited 6/30/17
No. I want physical copies, but they won't translate them and I'm too lazy to learn wonderful nihongo.
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28 / M / Louisville, KY
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Posted 6/16/17
This already exists, but you don't need a USB stick. You just download it from Amazon.
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☆Land of sweets☆
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Posted 6/16/17 , edited 6/18/17
economically, it would probably be a terrible idea. there's already low cost tablets such as the kindle, which allows people to read digital books, including manga. buying the tablet shown over a kindle is a hard sell, unless it can somehow offer much superior experience, and even then: you'd be missing on kindle lender's library and the robust library of digital books from Amazon.
manga publishers would need to be convinced that releasing their manga through that usb platform would be profitable, which is a tough sell, given the extremely niche target audience.

producing the manga-usb would also take a toll in the environment. you need to take natural resources to make each and every one of them.

you'd also need to somehow prevent people from just ripping the content from the usb and distribute it freely on the web, with pirates downloading and reading it on a "Digital Manga USB Reading Tablet" emulator on their smartphones. given how little success the video game and the music industry had with this, i'd be surprised if it takes more than a week for a hacker to unlock the usb and let pirates roam the open seas.

tl;dr
there's already kindle, it puts unnecessary toll on the environment, and pirates.

even if we take all these aside, i'd probably still not buy it. there's a unique feeling of having a physical book and being able to flip through the pages while lying on the bed which just can't be recreated in digital form. being able to see the first few colored pages is nice too!
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28 / M / St.Louis
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Posted 6/16/17
^^this
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23 / F
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Posted 6/18/17
Everything that namealreadytaken said.

Besides the economics, I just prefer dealing with physical books, especially for something like manga which is harder to deal with in digital format than text. In addition, I'm a poor college student. The USB cost alone, without considering a new tablet, would make this impossible for me. I get my manga at the library with a few exceptions. I might get a missing volume (like when the library has a random gap in its set) or a discount secondhand set if I can find a good price and I really like the series and can't find it at the library, but otherwise, manga just encompasses so many volumes, even for the shorter ones, that I can't even think about buying a series. The one benefit a usb format might have though is that presumably a secondhand market might open up that would make acquiring a series, particularly an older one, much cheaper, as they wouldn't have the unchanging or near unchanging price over time with no chance of resale issue that some electronic versions of hardcopies deal with, and additionally shipping would be easier/cheaper than a stack of physical books, which always racks up even if the secondhand books themselves w/o shipping become next to nothing on amazon.
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19 / F / MANKAIカンパニー
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Posted 6/20/17
Nope I want the actual book in my hand. I know they're usually significantly cheaper, but I've never really liked ebooks.
Plus I like watching my collection grow.
Also the USB would probably add unnecessary production costs. Alternatively you could download it over the internet (like most ebooks are downloaded).
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22 / M / United States
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Posted 6/20/17 , edited 6/28/17
I prefer physical copies myself.

However, I would assume that format is cheaper.
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29 / M / boise, idaho
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Posted 6/21/17
I am ok with digital but prefer and always will physical copies I won't buy digital unless it is substantially cheaper
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F / In my own fantasy
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Posted 6/28/17
I like watching my collection grow
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34 / M / outer wall, level...
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Posted 6/29/17
hardcopies, all the way.
besides, greater resale value.
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Posted 6/30/17
I'd buy it if it were stylish enough; but downloads rather than USB would be preferable, unless the USBs had massive collections on them.
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24 / M
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Posted 6/30/17
hard copys all the way here, unless i cant find it then digital.
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47 / M / Auburn, Washington
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Posted 7/1/17
I like digital copies, because then I have stuff people can't steal.

Bought Uzumaki and Gyo in print. They walked away. Bought them again. They walked away again. Put them on my Kindle, now they don't go anywhere. Also they ended up being cheaper.

Cloud storage FTW.
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35 / M
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Posted 7/5/17
Honestly, I can't see it competing with something like https://www.engadget.com/2016/11/12/amazon-kindle-paperwhite-manga-edition-review/.

Also, the thing that was mentioned earlier about the possibility of a secondary market for the usb-manga... that would keep publishers from adopting this idea even if it presented more than a niche market. Look at how against reselling the game industry has become; manga would be no different.

Tangentially, I'm now pondering what the Japanese would call these things, cause usb-manga doesn't really roll off the tongue.
Umanga? Manga-drive?
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