But of course, such an unprecedented collaboration isn't taking place over just any manga-- it's Cyborg 009, Shoutarou Ishinomori's original 1964 manga, which ran in various anthologies until its end in 1981.
It's a very unusual publishing deal all around-- it looks like the manga will be sold in individual monthly issues featuring chapters of the original manga and the companies will trade off the publishing aspect. Akita Shoten will do the first three issues, from April to June of this year. Kodansha will take on the July issue, but it'll jump back to Akita for August and to Kadokawa for September. Shogakukan will then publish the remaining five issues, ending the series in February 2010.
If you're counting, that's four Akita Shoten issues, five Shogakukan issues, and one each for Kodansha and Kadokawa...which makes it a very unbalanced collaboration. What cracks me up about it is this particular line from anime!anime!'s article:
“This entire experiment is not only unprecedented for the industry, but it should also serve to break down barriers between the four publishers, making this cross-production of Cyborg 009 even more appealing to fans.”
So...it's really all about them making friends? Aww, how cute.
(Translated by Anime Vice intern Eric Andre.)