Echoes, Bandai, Bandai Namco Filmworks announced on Tuesday that they have established a new joint business venture for a vertical-scrolling manga label and service named Bandana Comic. The site will launch sometime after summer, and the service will begin sometime at the end of 2023.
Bandai will establish a new vertical scrolling manga editorial department on April 1. The companies aim to create new IP that fuses manga and animation. They also plan to foster an environment where creators play an active role.
Echoes has operated a manga production studio through the user-submitted manga website Manga Hack. The company produces digital content such as vertical-scrolling manga and develops businesses and services for the entertainment industry.
Shogakukan, Bandai, and Bandai Spirits launched a reality show for manga creators titled Toon Gate on YouTube in June 2022. The prorgram features ten groups of challengers who compete to create a full-color vertical-scrolling manga, with winners receiving 3 million yen (about US$22,000) and the opportunity to publish a serialized manga on the LINE Manga app.
Shogakukan, Bandai, and Bandai Spirits chose LINE Manga because they believe that the webtoons within foster more connection to readers as opposed to trend of creating a manga that becomes an anime and sells toys. They also chose the vertical-scrolling manga as opposed to traditional manga because the former is usually done in a team while the latter is typically one person in charge of story and art.
Production I.G launched the Tate Anime (Vertical Anime) app in June 2017 and it ended service in May 2018. The app relaunched in June 2018 with the new Anime Beans name, and will end service on March 31 next month. The Tate Anime app offered short (about three-minute) anime that updated on weekdays, and each series had 10 episodes. The anime were presented vertically for smartphones.
Disclosure: Bandai Namco Filmworks Inc. (Sunrise) is a non-controlling, minority shareholder in Anime News Network Inc.