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Report Card: JManga.com Slashes Prices, But Does It Make the Grade?

By October 11, 2011

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JManga.comLast week, Japanese online manga website JManga.com announced that it was slashing prices on most of their titles as part of their one-month "JManga Lovers Sale" . From now though the end of October, JManga is offering many of their manga titles at up to 60% off regular prices. For example, titles that are normally 899 points (or $8.99 US) are now going for 499 points/$4.99.

This is a promising development, especially since one of the main complaints that fans have had about this website is that the prices are on the high side. As JManga reps have mentioned on their Twitter feed and Facebook page, this sale is largely in response to fan demand, and if fans respond positively (sales-wise), then there's a fair to good chance that this sale pricing might not be so temporary.

When JManga first debuted, I opted to hold off on passing judgement,  mostly because I wanted to spend some time using the site first, and to give them some time to work out the kinks.  Now it's almost 2 months later, so it seems like a fair time to give JManga.com it's first report card. In my review, I grade JManga on things like its content, the quality of its translations, their customer service, and yes, their pricing. See what I had to say in my JManga report card, and see which subjects this website excels at, and where it has "room for improvement. Also, see my 10 additional suggestions for JManga.com could help it be even more user-friendly.

What kind of suggestions you ask? Well, how about posting a bestseller list of what's popular on JManga? How about letting readers post reviews of what they've read and liked / didn't like on JManga? I've got more -- but take a look at my report card and list and let me know what you think? How would you improve JManga? Have you purchased/read manga from JManga? If you did, what works / doesn't work for you? If you haven't, why not? What would JManga need to do to get you to check 'em out? Add your thoughts below!

If you missed it the first time around, here's my report on the JManga panel and reception at San Diego Comic-Con 2011, and my interview with JManga reps and publishers from Futabasha, Shogakukan, Kadokawa Shoten and Kodansha about their plans for JManga.com. Also, check out my mini-reviews of 5 JManga titles.

Comments

October 12, 2011 at 9:32 am
(1) Kris says:

Arg, having trouble posting a comment here. :(

I was poking around there a couple weeks ago. My biggest annoyance was that anytime I found an interesting looking title, it turned out to be just a cover. No preview, no buy option. I was beginning to wonder if you had to sign up to see a “buy” button, because I couldn’t find anything that was actually for sale.

When I at last did, the price was listed in meaningless “points,” which I loathe. I imagine they’re doing this to negate having to deal with currency standards, but I hate having to calculate how much actual money the points come out to. Once I found out, I was completely turned off by how high the pricing was, and since the titles I was interested in weren’t available anyway, I left and basically forgot all about it.

October 19, 2011 at 4:00 am
(2) magnetic_rose says:

My biggest concern with JManga is not pricing, but access. JManga is currently only available for North America, even if a huge chunk of the pirated manga audience is outside of the United States. If the publishing firms are genuinely eager to lure readers away from illegal scans, and want to put them on a steady diet of paid downloads, perhaps they should start by allowing international readers to get through the door — and then discuss pricing from there.

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