BookWalker Global, the English language version of Kadokawa’s digital manga distribution service, announced on March 4 a new lineup of simultaneously published titles from Yen Press and Kodansha Comics. Their expansion into simultaneous publication, or simulpubs, sets them up as a rival to various other services out there but is great news for the manga consumer.
On the new simulpub storefront, you can check out what titles are on offer. These include several popular ongoing series such as Kakegurui, Goblin Slayer and Black Butler from Yen Press and Grand Blue Dreaming, Domestic Girlfriend and Edens ZERO from Kodansha Comics.
Chapters for all of these series will be available in English at the same time as their release in Japan, which is surely great news for fans. You have two options when it comes to getting your hands on the simulpubs, though: either by buying the chapters individually (for around $1) or by subscribing to the series. Subscribing to the series will mean that you automatically purchase the new chapter from your BookWalker balance when it releases. Furthermore, it will earn you 5x more of the BookWalker currency used around the site, so it seems like this is the best deal.
It’s perhaps worth noting that many of these titles are available on other distribution platforms such as Crunchyroll Manga and Comixology as simultaneous publications. But I’m sure I’m not the only person who will be grateful for the convenience of reading through BookWalker. I’ve been using the service exclusively for a couple of months now for digital manga, and I honestly can’t imagine using anything else.
Simultaneous publication of individual series is also something quite rare in BookWalker’s own country of Japan. On the Japanese storefront, you can purchase volumes of series, but in order to see individual chapters when they release, you’d have to buy the magazine they release in. There are advantages to both, but it’s interesting nevertheless.
Overall, I’m glad to see BookWalker expanding into the simulpub scene. While VIZ Media has made gigantic leaps forward for simulpubs in recent years, this has largely been for Shueisha-owned properties. Believe it or not, there’s a whole world of manga out there waiting to be discovered by western audiences beyond One Piece and My Hero Academia – and if BookWalker can help to expand horizons just a little bit, I’d be very happy.