What a surprise! I never expected to hear news like this but it’s going to happen! 37 Japanese publishers are collaborating on opening a portal site for North American anime fans tentatively named J Manga Portal Site. The new portal will digitally distribute manga by each of the aforementioned 37 publishers some of which include heavy hitters like Shueisha, Kadokawa Shoten, and Shogakukan.
I expect this move as a way for Japanese publishers to not only cut out the middle man when publishing works in English but to also allow more series to cross the path of anime fans and to lure fans away from reading manga illegally through scanlation aggregator sites. A beta version is expected to be available within the year with the full site opening in March of next year. Plans include distributing free manga periodically and releasing news and information straight from the source.
Personally, I think they can make this portal the place to be if they play their cards right but it’ll definitely make things more exciting as it seems like the choices for fans are just becoming much, much better!