Will the Apple iPad change the world? Will it change how we see and read anime and manga? For me, yes and no. Yes, tablets will finally come to age but not Apple’s. All that iPhone changed was ‘gestered’ navigation. Meanwhile … OLPC or One Laptop Per Child changed the industry by single handedly creating and defining ‘Netbooks’, small and affordable. Now they’re going to be coming out with a tablet, I can expect it will define the tablet computers with LCD that can be read in sunlight as well as indoors.
How the Apple iPad and tablets will change manga is 90 degrees. We’re so use to landscape computer screens that turning things 90 degrees can make a world of difference. I tried out viewing a scanlation (fansubbed manga) by turning the image and held a netbook 90 degrees and was able to read each page without scrolling. The only real problem is manga (the paper version) doesn’t have the 2 hour battery limit and can be read any where. Still the experiment proved that tablets will change print.
The advantage of electronic press of manga is sound, video. Where the two can meet is Augmented Reality where Virtual Reality meets print. Something we’re interested in developing here on Anime London. But Augmented Reality requires two things that the Apple iPad doesn’t have … a camera/webcam and ability to use Flash.
Will the manga publishers imbrace the Apple iPad? Only time will tell.