Kadokawa’s ‘Lucky Star,’ 11 others playing on smartphones

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

Kadokawa now offers 12 anime titles, including “Lucky Star,” for viewing on smartphones, with a total of more than 180 episodes, Kadokawa Contents Gate Co. said.

The anime show apps are available for Apple Inc.’s iPhones and iPads, as well as Android smartphones, via Kadokawa Contents Gate’s video-streaming website MovieGate.

The anime shows are provided by Kadokawa Group Publishing Co., which is, together with Kadokawa Contents Gate, under Kadokawa Group Holdings Inc.

To start, all 24 episodes from “Lucky Star,” a fan-favorite animated series, are included. The first and second seasons of “Strike Witches,” “Korewa Zombie Desuka?” (Is this a zombie?) and other popular titles are also available.

As the smartphone market grows, more content is being made available for iPhones, iPads and Android devices.

Mobile video-streaming service QTV Video has already started providing video clips for Android smartphones, while Movie Square, anime studio TMS Entertainment Ltd.’s video portal site, offers anime shows for iPhones and iPads. Marvelous Entertainment Inc. has teamed with online video service operator Crunchyroll Inc. to digitally distribute anime programs.

Kadokawa Contents Gate recently launched its Book Walker apps for Apple and Android devices to provide digital books and manga titles. The Kadokawa group companies will intensify their efforts in 2011 to implement new media strategies.

Kadokawa’s marketing strategy apparently aims to grab the top spot in the smartphone market before its rivals do. But Kadokawa’s weakness is that it can only make available content provided by its own group companies.

When it announced the Book Walker project in fall 2010, Kadokawa said it would try to distribute content from other companies. But it appears to have made little headway in that direction.

Certainly, the smartphone market is large enough to incorporate fans of Kadokawa content. But the more content a company offers and the more users it attracts, the more profit it can turn in the Internet and mobile commerce world.

It therefore seems Kadokawa will have to work together with other companies to expand its business.

Visit (http://pc.movie-gate.jp/iphone/index.html).

Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.