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Tag: Flash

How To Read JManga Titles On The iPad

Girlfriends on JMangaI’ve been reading manga on the JManga website on my laptop while patiently waiting for an iPad app for a few months now. The current JManga reader is Flash based which will not work on the iPad.

I don’t really like reading manga on my laptop, as a result I really haven’t been finishing many titles. Not only that, because there’s no way to save a bookmark in the current reader, I always lose my place if I have to stop reading before completing a chapter.

So I started wondering how I might get around the restrictions and read JManga titles on my iPad using the current reader. Remote desktop apps immediately came to mind. I’d heard that there were such apps for the iPad, so I decided to see what the available options were.

The iTunes App Store has a fair number of remote desktop apps listed, but I decided to go with the Splashtop Remote Desktop app  for iPad because of its high ratings and low cost ($4.99 as of this writing).

Installation was pretty easy on the iPad of course. Next I needed to download the free Splashtop Streamer for my Mac. I installed the streamer, started it, and then set an access code for the remote connection from the iPad.

The iPad app easily detected my Mac and I had no trouble connecting using the access code I’d just set. I was greeted with a cheat sheet of gestures to interact with the desktop. The desktop looked great on my iPad and I had no trouble at all accessing JManga in my desktop browser. I opened Girlfriends in the reader and then went to full screen mode just tapping the left or right to turn pages.

JManga Girlfriends on iPad

Girlfriends looks pretty good on my iPad!

Before I knew it, I’d finally finished volume 1! To escape full screen mode, I just tapped the keyboard icon on the lower righthand corner and then tapped the escape key. It all worked like a charm! Quite readable and very responsive page flips.

This method should work with other tablets as long as similar remote desktop apps are available. I still want that JManga iPad app, but this workaround will do for now.

JManga Launches With Digital Titles New To US

Anime News Network reported that the JManga web site had launched with a lineup of titles that included manga never seen in print in the United States. These new titles include Macross Frontier.

JManga ScreenshotIt was the Macross Frontier part that piqued my interest primarily. JManga is a web portal where manga can be purchased and read online in the most popular web browsers. Reading manga online is not new, but being able to do so legally is, for the most part. And any anime or manga fan can attest to the very loud absence of anything Macross Frontier (legally) on US shores. So as a Macross fan, I put aside my general dislike for web based manga reading and signed up for a JManga account to look around.

Well first, I should note, that at this time Macross Frontier is not yet available on JManga, but still there was quite a lot to see. And I wanted to see if the site would work on my iPad. All of the legal online manga reading sites make use of Adobe Flash based readers which don’t work on Apple iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad. I had hoped to find that JManga was iPad friendly. Unfortunately, the JManga reader is also Flash based and didn’t work on my iPad.

The Flash based manga reader wasn’t really a surprise. But I was surprised and a little disappointed at the price of manga on the site. On JManga, readers buy manga using points. These points are worth a penny a piece. Many titles on the site do not have prices listed as yet, but of those that did, I found the range from 895 to 899 points for a volume. Nine dollars is not a bad price for a printed manga volume, but charging that for digital seems excessive considering that Viz typically charges $5.99 for their iPad friendly digital manga. JManga does have a $10/month subscription plan that currently has a one time bonus of 500 points and then a 50 point/month bonus after that. This brings the cost down a bit, but not enough to escape the fact that they essentially charge print prices for digital.

Pricing aside, I’m happy to see that new titles are being made available to US readers in digital format and hope we’re seeing the beginning of a trend. The general decline of retail bookstores and loss of Borders and publisher Tokyopop in particular has made it more difficult for US manga readers to find new titles. JManga was established by the 39 Japanese publishers who make up the Digital Comic Association with the goal of making manga available worldwide in a fashion that benefits the publishers, artists, and readers alike. If manga is to have a future in the US, JManga is going to be part of it.

With 39 publishers to manage, issues like pricing and availability will take some time to work out. But yes, even at print price I’ll be there for Macross Frontier!

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