Rakuten Group, Inc. recently announced that it has partnered with Toon Cracker Co., Ltd. and will enter the vertically scrolling full-colour digital comics for smartphones business.
With this agreement, Rakuten and Toon Cracker aim to collaborate on the planning and production of original vertically scrolling full-colour digital comics, domestic and worldwide distribution, and the procurement and localisation of comics produced outside of Japan. The content produced will be available for integration into the many services within the Rakuten Ecosystem, a portfolio of more than 70 organically integrated Rakuten Group services with more than 100 million members in Japan alone. Plans are also in place to promote the development and merchandising of original comics and subsequent related works in a range of overseas and domestic media.
Vertically scrolling digital comics deliver impactful visuals designed to make full use of smartphone screens and offer a multitude of engaging production possibilities, including vivid, full colour illustrations and dynamic sound effects. Unlike conventional comics designed to be printed on paper, which tend to use complex panel layouts for their illustrations, vertically scrolling digital comics are read from top to bottom, an intuitive format for smartphone users that is easily understood and embraced around the world.
Koji Ando, Rakuten Group Managing Executive Officer and Senior Vice President of Rakuten’s Communications and Energy Company, commented, “We are extremely excited at the possibilities our new partnership with Toon Cracker opens up. The vertically scrolling digital comics marketplace is expected to grow rapidly, and we aim to generate world-class content together. We hope to harness the Rakuten Ecosystem to broaden the reach of the works we produce with a long-term view toward developing our own media franchises.”
Toon Cracker chief executive Shigeaki Kuwada commented, “I am greatly honoured that Rakuten, with its incredible ecosystem and content, has selected us as its partner company on this project. The vertically scrolling digital comics market is constantly expanding and our content has the potential to reach not just Japan but the entire world. Through this partnership, I hope that we can generate fantastic content together and contribute to the development of the industry worldwide.”
Rakuten will continue working to deliver a wide variety of entertainment experiences originating from IP content, while providing services that empower and inspire users around the world.