Posts on Feb 2018

Preferred Networks support the 30th International Olympiad in Informatics held in Japan

Preferred Networks, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as PFN) supports the 30th International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI 2018 Japan) and participating students in the event. IOI2018 will be held in the city of Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture from Sept. 1-8, 2018.

Kazuo Furukawa, Chairman of IOI 2018 JAPAN Organizing Committee

The support from PFN is a great help in our endeavor to ensure that IOI 2018 JAPAN in which we welcome students from various countries and regions around the world will be held smoothly. Receiving support from companies with employees who have participated in the previous contests such as PFN is quite encouraging for future contestants as well. I expect all the participants who represent the next generation to take this opportunity to expand their network and hope that a new wave of technological innovation will be created through the contest.


Toru Nishikawa, President and CEO of Preferred Networks

PFN has six employees who participated in the previous IOI contests. Acquiring such high-level skills as problem analysis, design of algorithms, and programing will be a great advantage after entering the world of business. I hope IOI2018 will be a wonderful opportunity for students to feel the great joy of programming and improve their skills through friendly competition with both Japanese and international friends.


About International Olympiad in Informatics

International Olympiad in Informatics is one of the international science olympiads that focuses on the field of informatics. Selected groups of students in secondary education from more than 80 countries and regions participate in IOI held every year.
Contestants design algorithms to solve assigned tasks and compete to get the best score based on the performance of their algorithms such as efficiency and quality as well as the programming skill needed to implement the algorithms properly. One of the primary objectives of IOI is to nurture talent who have a network of personal connections around the world and play major roles in the future of advanced IT society by bringing together young students in the same generation gathered from all over the world.

Hakusensha and Hakuhodo DY Digital Announces the Launch of Colorized Manga Products Using PaintsChainer, a Deep Learning Coloring Technology created by Preferred Networks

Tokyo, Japan, February 6, 2018 -Hakusensha Inc. (Headquarters: Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo; President: Kazuhiko Torishima; “Hakusensha”)and Hakuhodo DY digital Inc. (Headquarters: Minato-Ku, Tokyo; President: Akira Tsuji; “Hakuhodo DY digital”), with the cooperation of Preferred Networks, Inc. (Headquarters: Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Toru Nishikawa, “PFN”), have started distributing and marketing color version manga products with automatic coloring using deep learning technology.

We have customized the automatic coloring service PaintsChainer *1 provided by PFN, to develop a new manga coloring model. The PaintsChainer enables users to enjoy a unique look and feel with color gradations that are only possible with automatic coloring based on deep learning.


  • Example of coloring using PaintsChainer

Kekkon X Renai (Akira Hagio)

  • Initial release titles
Kekkon X Renai (Akira Hagio)
Watashitachi XX Shimashita (Asuka Sora)

The initial releases have been distributed through Hakusensha e-net and other major e-book stores since as early as January 24, 2018.


Hakusensha have published a large number of Webcomics, such as Love Silky *2, the pioneer of monthly Web magazines, and have been involved in a large number of projects collaborating with CONPYRA *3, which is produced by Hakuhodo DY digital. This project is another product of this collaboration.

In this collaboration, PFN have developed the PaintsChainer manga coloring model, and Hakuhodo DY digital have been working on requirement definitions and specifications and directed the progress of the production. Starting with the first distribution this time, they will release other colored product versions as well.

Hakusensha, Hakuhodo DY digital, and PFN aim to further innovate manga expression and aggressively work on development of new manga production technologies using deep learning.


*1 PaintsChainer(R)
PaintsChainer is an online automatic coloring service developed and provided by PFN, which became a big topic on Twitter and other social media sites on its release in January 2017.
After uploading black and white pictures, it colors them automatically or as specified based on deep learning technologies. PaintsChainer provides three different coloring models Tanpopo, Satsuki, and Kanna, free of charge.
Official site:

*2 Love Silky
Love Silky is the monthly Web magazine distributed by Hakusensha. It features a large number of manga works for women and it distributes a new issue every third Wednesday of the month. It has been five years since the first release of Love Silky in January 2013, and currently its sixty-first issue is being released in January 2018. It has two sister magazines Love Jossie (published since July 2015), which features manga works for women, and Jossie Bunko (started publication November 2017), which specializes in novels.
Official site:

CONPYRA is the author agent business produced by Hakuhodo DY digital.
Currently a lot of new content is generated and issued by users on the digital platform every day. CONPYRA uncovers particularly excellent works using their proprietary data analytics capabilities and produces these works collaborating with the authors/creators based on agent agreements.
In addition to agent work, CONPYRA is promoting the development of a large number of businesses focusing on novels and manga, in collaboration with a variety of publishing companies.
Official site: