Digital Manga, Inc. (DMI is one of the industry’s most unconventional and innovative companies, specializing in building corporate and cultural bridges from Japan to the Western Hemisphere – specifically through the licensing, importation, and preparation of anime (Japanese animation), manga (Japanese comic books) and related merchandise for the North American mainstream and subculture markets. In this capacity, DMI serves as a catalyst for the expansion of Japanese pop culture institutions into global arenas.
DMI has pioneered some innovative ventures since it’s inception; one of which is Pop Japan Travel. Founded in 2003, it was the original and premiere provider of pop culture themed tours of Japan. Countless group and custom tours with themes focused on Japanese anime, manga, video games, music, and fashion were run. We partnered with Japan’s most prestigious travel agencies, including IACE Travel, Kintentsu, and JTB, to make sure that the trips went as smoothly as possible. PJT was the only tour agency to provide exclusive experiences such as visits to anime and game studios, meetings with manga artists or designers, and classes at an actual manga school. Some of the sites that we visited on the tours were Gibli Museum, Tezuka Museum, Studio Periot, Toei Animation, Production IG, Mad House, and Tatsunoko Productions. On every group tour, a friendly, accommodating, knowledgeable, and bilingual guide made sure the experience in Japan is everything the travelers hoped for.
A riskier venture for DMI was the proposition and formation of the Digital Manga Guild. DMI broke away from the constraints of the traditional method of publishing. The standard method involved paying a licensing fee upfront, even before any sales were generated by the licensed title. DMI formed an alliance with several companies with the objective of breaking away from that system. The infrastructure that was established ensured that licensing fees would only be distributed to publishers once sales came in from the titles. DMI also set up an online system through which members of the public could apply to become part of the localization process for DMG titles. Applications were taken for translation, editing, and lettering and compensation was provided to the chosen applicants based on sales generated from the assignment. Through this initiative, many fans aspiring to enter into the publishing industry were able to acquire valuable experience.
Dreamshoppe was another DMI enterprise. We partnered with clothing companies in Japan to produce cosplay outfits which were then sold on our online shop. Creating the opportunity for fans to embody their favorite characters is something that we at DMI were happy to facilitate.
The DMP Books imprint was used for general-audience manga. The company prints various how-to books on drawing manga, as well as online tutorials and contests, under the “Manga Academy” imprint.
Juné is DMP’s yaoi-oriented line of manga, novels, and other related books. Until April 2006, all of DMP’s yaoi manga bore the DMP label, but starting with the release of The Art of Loving by Eiki Eiki, a new design was displayed on the dust cover of a white rose under the text Juné. The imprint was named after Jean Genet, particularly the Japanese pronunciation of “Genet” as “Jooneh”. The choice of name may also have been influenced by the early Japanese yaoi anthology magazine Juné (also named after Genet); the popularity of this magazine led to “june” being used as a synonym for yaoi in the 1980s. Some Juné titles originally published by Taiyoh Tosho or Oakla Publishing are co-branded with the Japanese publisher, whose logo appears on the spine.
Project-H is the hentai imprint of Digital Manga Inc. as of 2011 powered by 801 Media to publish solely explicit Seinen hentai manga which will carry a mature warning “For adults 18+ only”.