This past summer, Square Enix announced plans to open an online manga store. Months have gone by and they are now open for business!
So far, four titles are available for purchase; Fullmetal Alchmist, Soul Eater, The Record of a Fallen Vampire, and Yumekui Kenbun (Nightmare Inspector); with a limited timed sale price of $5.99 USD per volume, digital or printed. A chapter preview is provided to visitors whether you’re a member or not which is a bonus all around.
You will have to be a member to buy volumes but membership is free and you get additional perks such as access to interviews, wallpapers, downloads, contests and more. Content is sparse at the moment but more volumes should be on sale next month on January 11, 2011 and bi-monthly thereafter, and I assume more goodies are forthcoming as well.
Square Enix opened this store not only to provide access to manga on a global scale but to also combat the ever increasing problem of illegal downloads and piracy. Personally, I don’t know if this will be much of a deterrent but I think it’s a right step into providing manga to the masses on a digital scale.