I have a love-hate relationship with manga magazines, so I end up purchasing them off and on throughout the year. If I lived in Japan, the answer to my main question above would be an easy, “yes”, since the magazines are so cheap for the number of monthly serialized manga chapters you get (usually around $4 – $5 for 600+ pages). Even though I end up buying the tankoubon for a lot of mangas, I still enjoy reading them first in the monthly magazines. However, because most manga magazines are the size of a Yellow Pages phone book for a large city, the cost for shipping them outside of Japan is pricey, adding about $8 – $10 per magazine.
It would be ideal if all manga magazines were available in digital versions, but unfortunately, there are still many popular shoujo and josei magazines that are only available in paper copies, mainly the Shogakukan ones like Petit Comic, Cheese!, BetsuComi, and Sho-Comi… come on Shogakukan, please jump on the digital magazine bandwagon! Hopefully they will eventually follow other companies, like Kodansha, which began offering digital versions of their magazines earlier this year.
Fortunately, the recent chapters of most of the current serialized shoujo and josei manga can be found at Mangalator, and the chapters are translated into a variety of languages by plenty of hard-working translators, including me. 😉
So, I’m back to my dilemma about buying manga magazines that are not available digitally… there are two that are in my CD Japan shopping cart, both featuring my favorite mangaka, Yamada Komomo, on the cover! I will probably end up buying just one (Petit Comic Zoukan issue), since a lot of the manga chapters from Petit Comic are eventually posted on Mangalator, yay!