Photo/IllutrationAn illustration exclusively drawn to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the debut of the manga group Clamp ((c) CLAMP・ShigatsuTsuitachi CO., LTD./ Kodansha)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Making a pre-emptive strike against pirated editions, the publisher of “Cardcaptor Sakura” officially released the latest episode on YouTube on Dec. 26, two days before it was published on a manga anthology.

According to Kodansha Ltd., all pages from the new episode of “Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card” are streamed on the video-sharing website in a slide show format. It is available in six languages including Japanese, English and Chinese.

The popular manga series, written and illustrated by a manga artist group called Clamp, is currently running in the Nakayoshi magazine for girls. The company decided to go for the experimental approach to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Clamp’s debut, as well as the fact that the title is also popular worldwide especially after an animated adaptation aired outside Japan.

The publisher opted to publish the latest episode online before the comic anthology hit store shelves because the title is so popular that it is illegally uploaded to pirated websites.

“It has been especially uploaded to YouTube recently, so we are taking the initiative to stream the episode before pirated editions appear,” a Kodansha representative said.

In addition to selling a digital edition of the episode on a special website celebrating Clamp’s 30th anniversary, the publisher said that if the episode generates a response large enough to create ad revenue through streaming, it will consider a mechanism to give back part of it to the creator.