Vampire Hunter D Comics Releasing on Sony PSP

Vampire Hunter D for PSP

Popular Manga Comic Heads to the PSP

Digital comics may not enjoy the popularity of their print counterparts but the format is gaining ground. Since its birth in 1985 with the release of Shatter, the medium has been relatively slow to develop. The growth in design software and the Internet have fueled both the format and the increase in the fan base over the last few years.

In a recent news report it was revealed that IDW Publishing and Digital Manga have partnered to give the popular character Vampire Hunter D screen time on Sony’s PSP. This move is meant to be a launch for follow up digital manga releases. IDW’s Jeff Webber was quoted as saying, “We’re very excited to release the very first digital manga on the PSP and to kick off our partnership with Digital Manga.”

No doubt fans of the comic series and PSP owners are excited as well. Vampire Hunter D was first introduced in 1983 and the title was first translated to English in 2005. It has also enjoyed incarnations in two animated films and an animated series. Sony has also tackled the character before in an eponymous PlayStation game which is still one of the few such games to center on vampires. This game was released in December, 1999.

The title combines elements of Westerns and standard horror mythos and is set in a post-nuclear future. A vampire clan called the Nobility comes to power after this cataclysmic event and set about recreating the world to their liking. Enter Vampire Hunter D, who, not surprisingly is half human, half vampire. He is only one of a number of vampire hunters and half-breeds. Feared and disliked by both humans and vampires alike, he uses his physical prowess as well as his knowledge of magic for the hunt.

Sony launched its PSP digital comic’s service in 2009. With an Internet connection, users can browse the online PlayStation store and choose titles from different publishers. For those who haven’t found it yet, check the ‘extras’ section in your PSP menu.

Since its introduction the Vampire Hunter D title has built a steady following not only in Japan but also in the U.S. Now PSP fans can get caught up on the 20 novels published by author Hideyuki Kikuchi. Sony couldn’t have picked a better title to lead its manga charge. The first chapter has already hit #1 in the U.S. According to the publishers a new chapter will be rolled out every week for the next six weeks.

Fans can join in the hunt for only $1.99 at the PlayStation store.  So who stands to benefit the most from the move, Sony, the publishers, PSP and digital comic fans? Probably all of the above.

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