Kodansha is one of the best-known publishers in Japan. Always in competition with rivals Shueisha and Shogakukan, for decades it was the go-to for mangaka wanting to get their stories published. Although the numbers have fallen sharply these days, the company is always very active, including abroad.
For example, it was one of the first publishers to sell the rights of its manga to simulpub services abroad. In fact, the collaboration with Crunchyroll for the weekly chapters of series such as fairy tale, The attack of the giants, The seven deadly sins and not only. Recently, the company had also released its English language chapters on Comixology and the Azuki subscription Simulpub service. Unfortunately, there seems to have been a sudden change of course in the last month.
Azuki announced this in early June the suspension of the release of Grand Blue, which was then also discontinued on other services that offered chapters in English. Very similar treatment but more "vague" for other titles such as EDENS ZERO, Four Knights of Apocalypse and many others, always coming from Kodansha at the moment they are no longer translated in simulpub. So fans who had been able to rely on these platforms to legally read the titles for so many years had to turn to the piracy and amateur translation markets.
The interruption, which, as the Azuki portal emphasizes, was wanted by the publisher itself, could be get Kodansha to create their own official streaming service for the chapters in simulpub, similar to what Shueisha does with the excellent MangaPlus. So is a world-class rival born for the ONE PIECE portal and company?