Announcing Yen Plus

The San Diego Comic Con is here, and with it comes the big news: the new digital version of Yen Plus is here!!

We’re kicking off the August issue in a major way, making it available to everyone as a free trial. (Update! The free trial period has expired.)If you like what you see, you can begin subscribing for just $2.99 per month with the September issue.  September’s also going to be important because that’s when we start rolling out the Japanese side of our content.  We can’t spill the beans just yet on exactly what that will include — but we can say that a certain little green-haired girl will be gracing our pages for the first time!

If you’d like to get a quick look at all the fantastic content we’ve got lined up for you in our August inaugural issue, you can click here for the full title list.  Or you can just cut to the chase and click here to sign up for your free preview!

If you’ve got feedback, let us know in the comments below, and let the dawn of the Yen Plus digital era begin!

UPDATE! Kurt Hassler responds to some early thoughts in the comments here. Keep them coming!

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203 Comments

Lauren

I love this new Yen Plus. I love the new stuff you have added and how you are trying to keep this magazine alive. I’m going to support any decsions Yen Press makes because frankly when it comes down to it, 95% of the manga I buy is published by Yen Press. (Im buying at lest 9 different series from Yen Press) So I don’t really see the need for “back issues/archives” because in the end I’m just going to buy the mangas. Also hopefully we will see more Aron’s Absurb Armada, its a series worth following 😉

Hassler

@Jellorific — If we reprint, it will be with the same cover approach that we are using on the second volume and going forward. However, I could not tell you when that might happen. It depends entirely on how quickly our current inventory sells.

@Rose — We do have a bit of manhua on our list. Check out THE HISTORY OF THE WEST WING and AN IDEAL WORLD when you get a moment. With respect to a separate forum for license suggestions, we are currently looking at adding a Forum for Yen Plus subscribers in the future, and I’m sure we’ll be able to add an appropriate thread there.

@Hanyuu — Unfortunately, we no longer have access to the paper stock that was used in our earlier publications, so we’ve had to make the transition to our new paper stock which is some of the highest quality being used by manga publishers in this market.

@yanagi — I seriously doubt that Yen Plus will ever be downloadable. Our current model is specifically designed to let fans keep up with the latest chapters of those series running in the magazine at a minimal cost. Allowing readers to “own” that material would necessarily increase the cost of the magazine significantly which isn’t our goal. However, we are looking at other opportunities to allow our readers to digitally download Yen content, so stay tuned on that front.

@Bunni — You have not misunderstood how this works. It is true that you will not have archival access to issues of Yen Plus for the $2.99 subscription. We are able to keep the price low only because this model is the equivalent of “renting” instead of “buying.” We feel that this is a fantastic value particularly for the amount of content that you’re getting. If you look at some of the downloadable comics models that are already out there, you’ll tend to find that you’re paying anywhere between $.99 to $1.99 per chapter. Just using the current issue of Yen Plus as a comparison, you’re getting about nine times that amount of content for just a dollar or two more. It’s a great tradeoff, and it’s only possible because you’re renting the content as opposed to owning it. Now if you don’t feel that model is for you, that’s absolutely your call as a consumer. And as I mentioned to yanagi above, there may be other alternatives that you feel suit you better in the future.

@Lovie Jean — We absolutely want to keep making Japanese content available in Yen Plus and are working through our contracts in Japan to make that happen.

@LKK — The new issue of Yen Plus will go up on the first Tuesday of September.

@Lauren — Thanks for the kind words and support. We really appreciate it. And you can fully expect to see more of Aron’s Absurd Armada in next month’s issue!

SKJAM!

I have to admit that while the Korean and OEL titles were often of mild interest (I am *so* glad we got to see all of Pig Bride in print), it’s the Japanese titles I actually bought the magazine for. I do hope that Soul Eater and other lovable series will be available soon.

yanagi

thanks for answering my question. I appreciate it! It makes a lot of sense when you call it renting instead of buying.

Sarah

I will most likely be waiting for the books to go to print instead of paying for the monthly online service. There’s just something so wonderful about holding an actual book or magazine in your hands, 🙂

That said, the free preview was great (no issues on my end) and I’m thankful for the volumes of the magazine that were published as it definitely opened my mind to series I honestly wouldn’t have even glanced at otherwise.

And since everyone seems to be sharing license requests, I’ll add in a few of my own.

Saki
Arakawa Under the Bridge
Durarara!!
Umineko
Natsu no Arashi
Sekirei
Seto no Hanayome
To Aru Majutsu no Index
Until Death Do Us Part
Working

LKK

Thank you for the update on when to expect the next issue. I’ll definitely stop by the first Tuesday of September to “rent” the new issue. 🙂

Jack Hall

Rent? I’ve made no secret of my open hatred for digital, but seriously, it just keeps getting worse–rent? So, I’m paying you actual money for something that promptly vanishes? Hey, guess what, I just made a call as a consumer.

Just for the record–there seems to be some love for the digital switch here in the forum. That’s fine. If you like it, hey, takes all kinds, right? But whenever the subject comes up in my anime club, the manga group that meets in the bookstore, or just hanging out with my friends, sentiments are running strongly against–as in, out of about two dozen people, only three are in favor of it and four more are on the fence. One wonders about the statistical accuracy of this thread.

Em

@Jack, it’s 3 dollars a month. For that price you get two months worth of issues. Each issue stays up for two months before it “promptly vanishes”.

Anyway, this is just an alternative for the people who want to read new chapters each month while still buying the books as they come out. If you don’t like it, then simply wait for the books to come out.

And I honestly wonder about the statistical accuracy of your club. The only people who would join an anime club are hard-core old fashioned otakus who hate any kind of change, so your club’s sentiments are clearly biased.

Jack Hall

@ Em

Hey, you have every right to love the digital switch–and I have every right to loath it. And you’re speaking to someone who collects books. From the perspective of a person with a complete, eight-volume set of encyclopedias from 1823, this little two-month archive scheme is very nearly insulting.

By the way–wow, you must be a great judge of character, to so completely analyze and understand the personalities of a dozen people just from a wild generalization and the fact they disagree with you. Anyone ever told you you’re a bit of a jerk?

Hassler

If we could all please refrain from name calling and a general lack of civility, it would be greatly appreciated. While this is the internet, it is also our “house” as it were.

Everyone is entitled to his or her opinions, and Jack, it may well be that this initiative isn’t for you. As I’ve said, that’s your decision, and it sounds like you’ve made it. Fair enough. With respect to your comments about the “rental model,” it’s really not a new concept. For all intents and purposes, that’s what you’re doing every time you walk into a movie theater or an amusement park and don’t leave with a print of the film or a roller coaster in your pocket. We’re simply giving people the option of sampling the wares, enjoying their entertainment in the moment, and decreasing the wait between installments of some of their favorite series at a very low cost. If you’d rather own, then the books are there. I’m a fan of print myself.

Gena

Unfortunately, an online version really isn’t for me. But that’s really only because I’m unable to purchase anything online. Oh well. Maybe another day.

On another note, your light novel titles interest me Is Yen Press interested in expanding their selection in the near future? A simple answer would suffice. 🙂

Hassler

@Gena

When you are able to purchase online, we’ll be here!

So far as light novels are concerned, we’re always looking at what’s out there, and there are one or two that are of interest to us. Beyond that, though, I’m afraid it becomes a licensing discussion which I can’t really elaborate on. Hope that helps.

Mushroom2Cow

Hm…I’m curious about online…not sure if I’ll get into it very much, but I’ll try it out for a bit. And a small request, perhaps license Liar Game?? I would the happiest Mushroom Cow in the World! ? ^__^

Jellorific

>one or two that are of interest

Oh come on. There’s loads more that are spectacular, and if treated properly, will sell heaps in America.

ed

I hope they start to sell the boogiepop light novels since seven seas droped them 😀
also @Hassler
How manny chapters is your magazine going to be from the Japanese/Korean version? and When do you plan on releasing Highschool Of The Dead? I keep chcking your site for updates but so far nothing 🙁

Lark

Can you make the viewing pages any bigger? In this format some lines were almost impossible to read! 🙁

Leisha

You know, since we’re on the subject of internet comics, I think that whenever you guys do the contest, you should try to team up with theotaku. They have a great system for posting comics online, and a lot more people would join it just to enter, not to mention all the hits they would get. And you guys wouldn’t have to worry about the clogged mailboxes, because everything would be online. It’s a win win situation, I think. Especially since people would comment, and you would get a sense of what would be really popular, and what would sell. But unfortunately, not everyone has a scanner.

Mikashi

*Enters the licensing bandwagon,…again*.
~ To Aru Majutsu no Index (manga, which is a squeenix title, and the novels, if possible, by ASCII Media Works).
~ Until Death Do Us Part (another squeenix title)
And I second Angel Beats.
And, Ilegenes, if possible (It’s serialized by Mag Garden)

Also, forgive me if I sound impatient, because that’s not what I’m going for, but, when is Uragiri wa boku no namae wo shitteiru coming out? Next year?

Ben

Just thought I’d submit my ideas for what should be “license-rescued” by Yen Press. The titles include:

Mamoru The Shadow Protector (a.k.a. Kage Kara Mamoru)

Ninin Ga Shinobuden (a.k.a. Ninja Nonsense)

Lunar Legend Tsukihime

The links below include the reasons why the two titles mentioned above should be rescued (scroll down to the section marked “RTO Reader’s Choice”)

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/right-turn-only/2010-02-02
http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/right-turn-only/2010-02-16

As for why Tsukihime should be license-rescued, one word: vampires.

As a long-shot, I’d also like to throw Those Who Hunt Elves into the mix:
http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/right-turn-only/2009-07-21
(Granted, no one’s going to license a series that’s 22 volumes long. It’s so obscure, it has never been fully scanlated.)

[Insert generic “Keep up the good work” RAH-RAH speech here.]

As for Yen Plus going digital: if it gets future volumes of, let’s say “Bamboo Blade” or “When They Cry/Higurashi” out faster, that’s the only thing I’d be in favor of.

Abby

@Mikashi The first omnibus volume of Uragiri will be out around June of next year.

@ed Look for Highschool of the Dead in January 2010.

We’ll have pages up for all of our new announcements as soon as Abby digs herself out of her desk.

Jessica

Will you update the New Releases page soon? I’m tired of checking Amazon to see what’s coming out in 2011. ;_;

GothicLolita

If you want requests, ok. I want you to licence Umineko no naku koro ni and Book Girl manga. When you will tell something about your new titles?

An

I’m just wondering about the light novels
Why do they have to come out once every 6 months?
does translating really take that long?

An

Forgot to add this
i love reading both Book Girl and Spice and Wolf
Owning both volumes of s&w and the first volume of Book girl but after an amount of time i lose interest in them.
i almost forgot about s&w all together
luckily i didn’t and bought the second volume
now i have to wait 6 months for book girl and still another 4 months for S&W
i like the way the haruhi novels too but like the other 2 it takes too long to release
I forgot to buy the 3rd volume and still haven’t picked it up yet

Meowth

soooo anyone think they might not be doing any more publishing, look its september already and they haven’t made nothing since july. just thought id throw that out there

Hassler

@Meowth — I can assure you that the next issue of Yen Plus is on schedule. If you refer to our login page, you’ll notice that the free trial of the current issue of the magazine runs until September 9th. On Friday the 10th, the September issue will go live for subscribers with some great new content added on the Japanese side of the magazine. We hope you’ll check it out!

hfsgurghifjfifjiehfjskdnjirhjfuhejahbjdhurhdujwgdkedhuedyhuwydhyhdghabsjehdugdajhsgjegdhhdgehgdd

Hassler, when will be the new post?
You forgot your password?

hfsgurghifjfifjiehfjskdnjirhjfuhejahbjdhurhdujwgdkedhuedyhuwydhyhdghabsjehdugdajhsgjegdhhdgehgdd

U-mi-ne-ko!

Alice B-Rabbit

i know it’s a preview but where is Pandora Hearts and Kuroshitsuji!?!? D= and i know you’re trying to be eco-friendly but i miss holding it in my hands and reading it in the middle of class -giggles- oh the fun~ xD and I’m not really the one to read Manga online =w= there is ONLY ONE series that i read online and that is because the English release is to slow for my liking but i do buy all the books as they come out here to Canada =w=

Alice B-Rabbit

@AGuyWhoLikesYenPress

*o* I AM A HUGE JUN FAN! and i would also love to read Rolan The forgotten king!! that fact Jun Mochizuki draws the art for novel make me want to read it but i don’t understand Japanese -emos- I would buy it in a heart-beat if it ever came out here >w<

Asheton

If we’re talking about getting things licensed, I’d love to read the Hakushaku to Y?sei light novels and manga. 🙂 And if there’s a manga for Book Girl, I’d love that as well. (I bought the first light book, and it’s amazing *A*). Also, perhaps you could license Liar Game? 🙂 If you did though, could you publish them faster than 2 times a year? Because the online scans are in the 100+ chapters, and I don’t want them to be taken down and then have to wait forever to get back to where I was in the story.

Also, is there anyway to publish the Kieli light novels faster? Just a little? My friends and I love them to bits. >3< I can't wait for the third one this month! 😀 I'll comment again later with some more titles I'd like to read. 🙂

Mimi

Dear Yen Press, please licence Umineko. Anime was great and I really loved to read manga version. But in fact, I hate reading scanlations. Please…

Jessica

Hey Yen, I have a little bit of advice if you ever choose to license Umineko!

You should definitely consider giving it a 2-in-1 omnibus treatment. The series will probably have over 40 volumes in total, so this cuts down on books, and it also allows you to use high-quality paper and a larger trim size.

High-quality paper is important, because starting in Episode 2: Turn of the Golden Witch, colored text is used frequently. The Japanese edition just uses black text even though the characters refer to it as red/blue/gold, but I think it would be a major improvement if you used actual red, blue, and gold whenever colored text is used.

Rose

Hello it is me again,

Thanks Hassler for answering my questions and for mentioning the manhua. I’ll check them out when I get a chance, though I’m doubtful that I’ll find them in a bookstore or even a comics/ manga specialty store near me (I always check to see what series they have by you guys).

I was wondering if you (Yen Press) or any of your competition has ever thought of doing a partial bilingual manga to help someone learn Japanese. I know I would pay to own it.

My thoughts;
Lots of people start to learn Japanese because of anime and/ or manga.
Having it fully bilingual destroys learning. (See my story about French below)
Pick a series that is appealing and lots of people will enjoy.
Have maybe the first chapter fully Bilingual with spaces between the Kana so that beginners can see individual words, the second chapter bilingual but without the spaces, the third chapter and on word only translate the word three to five times so that we actually have to work to learn the language.
Include furigana!!! At least at the beginning so for volume 1
At the end include a mini dictionary type thing
Maybe a CD so we can hear the text spoken in Japanese
Translation notes (like you do anyways)
Maybe you could add little cards for common words or phrases in the manga
I realize that something like this would probably cost the consumer three to six books worth of manga for just the one volume of manga, so 39-78$, not including tax, worth. But it would be worth it in my opinion. I already paid over 80$ for my Japanese-English, English-Japanese Kodansha’s Dictionary, 22$ for my Beginners Japanese Dictionary, the only romanji 🙂 is at the end where they have the Hiragana and Katakana charts, I loathe romanji. 30$ for my Dictionary of Basic Japanese Sentence patterns, 39$ Japanese for busy people the Kana version and I have many more lexicons.
Perhaps if this kind of idea is popular later a Korean, Mandarin, and Cantonese version could be added.

How do other people feel about this? Am I totally off, or are there others who would like this kind of idea?

In case nobodies noticed I’m Canadian and there for have to pay 1.2 to 1.3 times the price for any book or practically anything else for that matter of what I buy. You Americans are lucky in that sense.

I know from when I was starting to learn French, I read Tintin, Asterix, and Les Schtroumpfs (Smurfs) in their original language FRENCH but I never got the humour or the puns (which Asterix is full of) or any of the slang because it wasn’t my first language and you don’t learn slang in school. For me I love reading but… reading in French, a language that I’ve known and spoken for almost a decade to the point most people would call me fluent, is still a chore for me. I own three manga series in French and only one of them I do not own in English (because Viz butchered it, grumbles). I like them because they have few words than a novel, the art is a bonus, phrases and or words tend to be repeated and I can generally get more of the story than I do a novel. But seeing as I have read them in English already I do not get the full learning experience out of them. Also with my Bilingual Bible I get hardly any learning out of it as I can just so easily cheat and get the answer from the other side of the page instead of working to learn it and so I hardly retain any learning of it at all.

Petenshi

Hi YenPress! I love you guys, while I’m not a big fan of serial magazines personally, I’ll always support your wonderful GN releases.

I have a few requests as far as licensing goes!

1. Umineko no Naku Koro ni
2. My Girl (Sahara Mizu)
(My Girl is a wonderful series, it’s sort of in the same vain as Bunny Drop, but it’s more mature, in my opinion. Please do check it out, it’s a spectacular work)
3. Onidere
4. Minami-ke

Hmmm…I can also think of “Honjitsu no Neko Jijou” by Sakura Iwamichi. It’s a 4koma about the author’s cats, very funny, if you guys like cat manga ;3

Hmmm, Abby, could you have meant January 2011? And YenPress, thank you guys so, so so much for picking up High School of the Dead. I’m so excited to finally be able to buy it (legitimately) in English!!! 😀

Mikashi

More requests~~.

I just thought of a license-rescue.
Two manwha.
The first: NOW, by Park Sung Woo. It was originally licensed by ComicsOne (now gone), then Infinity Studios (which I’m pretty sure is also gone), and unfortunately, I only have the first six volumes (Infinity Studios started to do e-books [which, really irritate me, but I digress.])

The Second: Zippy Ziggy, by Eun-Jung Kim and Seung-Man Hwang. Truth be told, I don’t have any volumes for this one (I only got interested in it on a whim and began to read the scanlations…>.>;.) But I’d be totally happy and buy them if you licensed it (I prefer books to scanlations, actually).

Squeenex Requests:

Zetsuen no Tempest, by Kyou Shirodaira and Ren Saizaki. It currently runs in Shonen Gangan and has four complied volumes, I think?
Also, Spiral: Alive, which is the prequel to Spiral: Suiri no Kizuna.

Akita Shoten, Mystery Bonita: KEY JACK, by Chika Shiomi, I’ve been interested to read this for a very very long time (never been able to, though, since there’s only a scan for a oneshot complied in it, but anyways), it’s about a man who can unlock any lock (like a safe, for example).

Petenshi

Oh! Speaking of branching out, I’d love to see an English release of “Octave” by Akiyama Haru. It’s wonderful, and I’d just love to see it here in English. (I believe it’s a Kodansha title?)

Rachael

Well I know that you had to stop the regular magazine because of money and everything else, but man this is such a let down compared to the old way. Also if we’re paying 2.99 a month, there should be a way for us to save or download it. Especially with out having a look back function longer than 2 months. Also the set up is really disappointing, one page at a time is so much easier and then it can be bigger on the screen.
If this way doesn’t work out either, please no matter what continue Maximum Ride. It’s my favorite non-Japanese manga ever.(Beating Aoi House and Dramacon)I wish it would come out in paperback form faster than it does.

Rose

Yes please do, liscence Spiral: Alive.
Can I mention that I cannot find several of your titles anywhere near me. i.e. Spiral: the Bonds of Reasoning, those manhua that you mentioned, Very Very Sweet, Sarasah (I want to find out what happened after the magazine dropped it), Nabari no Ou etc.

I forgot to mention Cultural Notes, as culture and language are tied together, and It would probably be popular with Japanese Language Schools and Japanese Classes. But I don’t know for sure. Besides, I’m just an amature with the Japanese Language you guys are the pros you know what helps people translate and learn the language.

I realize that your probably going NOO! more illegal manga online. But in case you’ve forgotten, the majority of those have been shut down and maybe some people just honestly want to learn the language and through manga might be an injoyable experience.

Stardust

I know this has been said a million times before, but I’m also going to jump onto the bandwagon: If possible, I’d LOVE it if you licensed Umineko no Naku Koro ni!

Stardust

Oh and also, someone above suggested Liar Game — I second that as well. Very cool series.

An4564`

i have suggestions
Manga:
Seto no Hanayome
elfen lied
Ga-rei Tsuina no Sho

Light Novel:
Ga-Rei

Asheton

Another series that I would LOVE to have is the manga and light novel versions of Torikagoshou no Kyou mo Nemutai Juunintachi. It’s written by the same author of Kieli, my favorite series, so I’d be overjoyed to have these as well.

Hope you were able to catch my previous suggestions, too. All of them are so amazing. *A*

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