‘Rodoku Shojo’ jumps from app to manga at Comiket

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

First, it was an iPad/iPhone app. Now “Rodoku Shojo–Story Time Girl,” an audio book-reading app downloaded more than 200,000 times in the three months since its July 23 launch, is a manga comic.

The manga was sold at the Comic Market (Comiket) trade show and exhibition held Dec. 29-31 at Tokyo Big Sight in Koto Ward.

The app features a cute high school girl named Shiori Otoha (voiced by Nozomi Sasaki), who recites stories in Japanese selected by the user.

The manga version is called “Otoha Shiori no Bungo Biyori.” It was published as part of an anthology of illustrations by 21 popular artists called “Rodoku Shojo: Koshiki Gashu” and is based on the app. The manga illustrations are by manga artist Ebira.

“Rodoku Shojo: Koshiki Gashu” was published by animation house Lambda Film and is priced at 1,500 yen ($18), including tax.

The “Rodoku Shojo” app is sold by audiobook publisher Otobank Inc. Its popularity is likely due to 17-year-old Shiori’s sweet demeanor and gentle reading style. The app comes with the first part of Akutagawa Ryunosuke’s classic story, “Rashomon.” More books and other future content can be bought through Apple’s App Store.

Shiori Otoha was developed as an original character for the app. Lambda Film intends to use the book as a springboard to expand “Rodoku Shojo” content to other media, following in the virtual footsteps of “Hatsune Miku,” a female character created for the singing synthesizer application software, and similar characters.

The app’s more than 200,000 users will likely form the driving force behind Shiori Otoha’s expansion to other media.

See (http://rodokushojo.jp/).

Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.