The legitimacy of these manga publishers may not be an issue in the North American market since we’re already familiar with them.
Or at the very least, you heard about them somewhere.
But in other countries? Well, that can be a bit tricky to navigate unless you stumble upon them at the bookstore or online.
Well, that was what happened to me recently when I discovered TR Media when I was looking for another place to buy Dr. STONE manga.
What piqued my curiosity about them is that the manga that they published happened to be the new and popular manga under Shueisha.
Yes, that also includes Dr. STONE.
And the price point for these manga series is enticing too since they’re way much cheaper than the one by Viz Media.
Some people who came across them earlier said that the manga published by TR Media is nothing but a bootleg version of the manga.
But is that even true?
It’s not that I’m defending TR Media or they paid me to say nice things about them.
It’s just that it’s too early to claim that they’re selling a bootleg manga when the only comparison that they made was only the physical aspect of the manga itself.
Maybe TR Media and other manga publishers in the same boat are legit after all?
The reason why I was doubting the whole legit manga publishers debacle has a lot to do with my experience coming across two different versions of 07 Ghost manga in Kinokuniya.
Both have the same look, even with the spine. The only thing different about them is the price, with the one by Viz Media costs a lot more.
After examining both books, I realized that the cheaper version of the same manga was published by a different company.
It’s too bad that I can’t remember the name of the company and where they’re based at. But suffice to say that I never heard of the publisher before.
The quality of the manga isn’t as good as the one published by Viz Media.
Thus, the manga being slightly cheaper than the one by Viz Media.
Despite the price difference, I still ended up buying the one by Viz Media because I wanted to surprise my niece.
She bought the manga from the other publisher the last time we went to Kinokuniya together. So, I thought that it would be great to surprise her with the manga by Viz Media instead.
Does it mean that TR Media is legit?
To be honest, I don’t know if they’re legit or not. The only way to find out whether they’re a legit company or not is to look for the license page at the back or in front of the book.
All legit manga publishers will have a license page somewhere inside the book since it’s a clear indication that they have the right to publish the manga in a specific language for that territory.
If TR Media is a legit company, then the manga they publish should have the license page in it.
Keep in mind that the physical aspect of the book doesn’t have to be different in another territory.
Take Bleach manga for example. The cover for the manga in Malay is the same as the cover for the manga in English.
Unless you bought the manga by TR Media yourself and couldn’t find the license page anywhere in the book, it’s too early to accuse that the manga they publish is the bootleg version of the same manga.
And then there’s another manga publisher on the horizon
Another manga publisher that I came across recently is Comics House Media.
What caught my attention about this publisher is that not only they have completed manga under Shueisha such as Dragon Ball and Naruto. But they also have a few new manga series published under them such as My Hero Academia, Boruto, and Dragon Ball Super.
Unlike the manga published by TR Media, the manga is only available in Malay, though.
A little bit of Google search doesn’t lead me to any info about them. The only info that I came across was the Comics House Facebook page which was a different company altogether.
I’m not sure if Comics House is now known as Comics House Media considering that Comics House went under a few years ago.
If it’s true that Comics House is back in business but under a new name, then it’s good news for the manga readers in Malaysia since we get to see more new manga being licensed in Malaysia.
The only way to find out whether they’re legit or not is to buy the manga and see for myself if the manga has a license page in it.
I have yet to buy the manga under Comics House Media as I write this. I’ll let you know what I discover once I get my hands on any of the manga they publish.
Don’t dismiss these publishers just yet
It’s easy to denounce that the manga published by any of these publishers bootleg just because it looks more or less identical to the one published by Viz Media.
The jury is still out whether the manga that these manga publishers published are legit or a bootleg.
Whatever it is, do your due diligence first before you start claiming that they’re a scam. The last thing you want is you’re destroying the livelihood of a company no thanks to your false belief.
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