Riyadh: In a move that bolsters its international presence, Manga Arabia, a subsidiary of the Saudi Research and Media Group (SRMG), has announced the launch of Manga International at a ceremony held in Tokyo, Japan.

The event drew prominent officials and media representatives from Saudi Arabia and Japan.

This expansion follows a series of successful partnerships and agreements with major Japanese manga publishers, like Kodansha, Shueisha, Kadokawa, Shogakukan, and Hakusensha.

Manga Arabia has a strong track record in the Arab world, having launched two manga magazines – one for children and young adults – in both print and digital formats. The company reaches over eight million users in 195 countries, with a print distribution network of 220 points in the Arab world selling over 400,000 copies monthly.

SRMG CEO Jumana Rashid Al-Rashed highlighted the significance of this international foray.

"We are strategically expanding through partnerships with leading manga companies and establishing a legal framework equipped with cutting-edge technologies," she said.

"This will not only generate financial returns, but also nurture an educational environment catering to the immense global demand for this content," she added, emphasizing how this geographic and cultural expansion will help combat content piracy and intellectual property theft.

Manga Arabia and Manga International CEO Dr. Issam Bukhari echoed these sentiments: "Through the art of manga and creative industries, we have achieved remarkable success in the Arab world, earning the trust of our Japanese and international partners. Now, under the umbrella of SRMG, Manga International seeks to leverage our pioneering experience and development in global markets."

Bukhari elaborated on plans to translate and produce a range of comic stories targeting international audiences. He also emphasized that the expansion signifies a qualitative leap for Saudi and Arab creativity on the world stage, aligning with Manga Arabia's vision of empowering imagination, nurturing and developing Arabic content, and delivering it to a global audience across all demographics and generations.

Building on this commitment, Manga Arabia has already translated several of its comic stories into English, Chinese, and Malay for international markets.

Collaborating with the Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission, it has also adapted a selection of Saudi novels into manga format, aiming to reach diverse audiences and present the Saudi literature and culture through the lens of manga.