Osamu Tezuka’s manga available in English via iPad

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

The Tezuka Osamu Magazine Club, a digital manga archive covering all Osamu Tezuka’s works, is now available in English versions for viewing on Apple Inc.’s iPad, according to Tezuka Osamu Productions Co. and network technology and service company Soba Project Inc.

The Japanese versions of the library, which boasts about 400 digital volumes of comic books by Tezuka, were released for the tablet in January this year. The companies now hope fans in North America and Europe will be pleased.

Amid the rapid growing popularity of e-books around the world, the companies are taking a unique approach: fans can subscribe to unlimited access to the late manga giant’s works in English for a monthly charge of $9.99 (780 yen).

It is a significant departure from selling each copy of a digital book separately.

The monthly charge is slightly cheaper than in Japan, which is set at 1,050 yen. Sixty-two titles including “Astro Boy” and “Black Jack” are available in English to start, in comparison with about 400 in Japanese. As with Japan, some sample episodes are offered free of charge.

In addition, 39 episodes are available in “motion manga,” a style that incorporates voice acting and animation effects with superimposed English subtitles.

To gain access to the digital archive, users first need to download an iPad app through Apple’s App Store.

Soba Project said they plan to make the service available in more languages and on other mobile devices.

Visit (http://tezukaosamumagazineclub.com/) and (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tezuka-osamu-magazine-club/id434584307?mt=8).

Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.