Viz Announces SuBLime Yaoi Manga Line

The largest English-language manga publisher, Viz Media, has announced that they are launching a line (not an imprint, but a partnership) to cover the one genre of manga they haven’t yet tackled: yaoi (boys’ love).

SuBLime logo

In partnership with Libre Publishing, the biggest Japanese publisher of boys’ love titles, and the largest anime store chain in Japan, Animate, SuBLime Manga will being publishing English-language titles digitally in December, with print titles to follow in Spring 2012. The website is just a placeholder page at this time, but they are active on Twitter.

There are a number of forward-looking aspects to this announcement, whether it’s the digital-first approach or the lack of region-locking, as SuBLime’s releases will be available worldwide. (In contrast, many of the recent digital manga initiatives are limited to the U.S. or North America.) In addition to online access via the website, they’re also promising “download-to-own format”, where customers get the actual PDF, not just the ability to read a title through a connected viewer. It will also be DRM-free, a welcome choice. Based on this panel report, digital copies will be $5.99.

(The use of PDF may increase the risk of piracy, since files are easier to share, but it’s also a clever way to get around some device providers’ more restrictive rules about what content is allowed through their proprietary stores. By giving purchasers a file, it’s their choice where and how to load it onto whatever device they choose.)

The first books available digitally are Love Pistols Volume 1 by Tarako Kotobuki (previously published by Tokyopop in 2007) and Dannasama to Mitsugetsuchu Volume 1 by Haruka Minami. The first two print books are different: Naono Bohra’s Three Wolves Mountain and Hachimitsu Darling by Norikazu Akira. (I haven’t heard of any of them, book or author, but I’m not as dedicated a follower of the yaoi genre as some.) It looks like there will be at least one book a month released online, with a couple books in print (priced at $12.99) each season. Digital works will be considered for print if they achieve high sales online, while print titles will also be available digitally.

Similar Posts: SuBLime Manga, Viz’s Yaoi Line, Offers First Titles for Sale § Yaoi Manga Moveable Feast Now Ongoing! § SuBLime Manga Republishing Yaoi Titles From Defunct Publishers § Viz Digital Goes to Same-Day Releases § SuBLime Manga Titles on Sale for Valentine’s Day

4 Comments

  1. i see the online run apporach to be a similar approach to how DMG does it. i actually would have prefer for Viz to have done the omnibus approach and the continue off where TP stopped with Love Pistols. (sighs)

  2. They probably want to see if everyone who wants to read Love Pistols already has the book in print form. Given the high used prices listed at Amazon, there does seem to be a market for the title, but I suspect it’s unclear how large that is.

    When all of the previous BL publishers in English (except DMG) have gone out of business — BeBeautiful, Deux, BLU — I think it’s understandable someone starting a new one would proceed cautiously.

  3. [...] has also launched the SuBLime yaoi manga line, which features digital-only publication, an avenue to get fans a wider variety of books than what [...]

  4. [...] The first four books are now available from SuBLime Manga, Viz’s yaoi manga line announced in November. [...]

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