[G-man] Scanlations Targeted….

Recently I was surfing the internet, minding my own business, and doing my daily routine which, unsurprisingly, means checking out some manga at onemanga.com. When suddenly this notice comes up on the home page stating that publishers suddenly, out of the blue, feel differently about scanlations and that onemanga.com would be shutting down- which happens to be my main source for all things manga. So I guess the only question that remains is WHAT THE $%$@ ARE THESE PUBLISHERS THINKING!?

The Argument (I think)

Well, I guess the publisher’s perspective is that they are bearing all the risk and cost of developing these franchises i.e manga, just to have them scanned and posted on the internet without proper distribution rights, or in other words,  without publishers earning a dime. So the idea is to rid the world of the scourge of scanlations so that publishers can legitimately license their works to respective territories and be properly compensated for their work. Because without which publishers would lose tons of “possible earnings” which will result in a domino effect of complete hysteria resulting in the end of manga as we know it. That pretty much sums up the oppositions argument. Oh and the fact that scanlation is a form of piracy, and the only pirates that are cool are the straw hats, the rest are obviously evil.

The Counter

Well, I should first like to point out that though it may appear that I’m pretty bias, being a manga reader and all, I completely understand where the publishers are coming from. I mean I’m kinda in the same industry myself, different product but same yin yang. So I will first begin with the disclaimer that publishers are entitled to all of their rights and to being compensated for their work. I truly believe that. The only problem is that the way there are going about attempting to reserve their rights and profit is absolutely 100% ridiculous. Here’s why: 1. Alienated your fan base is never a good thing, they are the reason why anyone overseas knows of you. 2. 95% of manga isn’t ever going to be license outside of Japan because it will never go over well with the general market. For instance, here in the good ol’ USA, manga has a very limited audience since most adults would never be seen caught dead with a manga, most teens for that matter also,  So unless your trying to license the most commercially viable manga possible i.e bleach, naruto, etc.. there’s no hope of actually getting licensed. So basically publishers will actually be prohibiting the “unlawful” distribution of manga that will never be disturbed outside of Japan-how unfair! 3. Let’s be real, we all know, hopefully, that all manga publishers recoup their profits through domestic distribution, serialization, selling volumes, and then making an anime to sell more volumes. The idea that publishers are actually counting on foreign distribution to recoup any losses is madness and a joke- if you can’t win at home, how are you gonna win overseas?

A Solution

I really believe there is a solution to all of this that can make both sides happy. I believe that publishers need to first know that their cult following fanbase is their number one asset when it comes to introducing new manga series to foreign territories. It behooves these publishers to cherish them and treat them well. Another thing that these publishers need to realize is that these fanatical cult status otakus are gonna get their new manga chapters, even if it means torrenting, creating proxy servers, or creating ingenious innovative ways to get their manga fix. And do you know why: 1. because otakus are addicted feigns who will stop act nothing to satisfy their lust- this includes me!!. 2. manga is big business for pirates!! For example, Onemanga.com was one the 1000 most visited sites until recently, in other words cha-ching.  The first step to the solution is to really understand this, because only then will the next step make sense; which is to create new means of distribution, via the internet, where content can be uploaded and profits can be obtained through advertising and subscriptions. Will this decrease the sell of volumes in foreign territories? Sure will! But I believe that can be recouped through more lucrative avenues like having wide spread content to premium content at a price or creating a larger consumer market through ease of access.


In the end of the day unless a meeting of the minds takes place through publishers and otakus, nothing will change and there will just be continued variance between the two groups. I believe crunchyroll.com has paved the way in showing a great example of what can happen when a meeting of the minds does take place. I for one know that nothing short of apocalyptic forces will stop me from reading my cherished manga. And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone- power to the people!

I AM G-MAN!!!!

7 Responses to “[G-man] Scanlations Targeted….”

  • It should be noted that the people that the publishers are going after are the people who run scanlation *aggregator* websites like OneManga and Manga Helpers. Not fans at all, it seems to me: people who take fan-made work and make money off of it by putting it online with ads, and sometimes refusing to take titles down even when the scanlators– the fans –request it.

    So far, the actual scanlator groups themselves have not been a target, nor those reading scanlations. Only the sites making a profit off of other people’s work via very little of their own.

    I understand that it’s inconvenient to have OneManga and other sites like that disappear, but as far as defense of one’s livelihood goes, I think the U.S. and Japanese manga publishers are clearly doing their level best NOT to target their fans while still trying to diminish the very serious problem of manga piracy.

    So the next time someone rants about those greedy publishers causing problems for the aggregator sites, you should think a bit about those greedy aggregator site owners, making money off of not just the original creators’ work, but the fans’ as well :)

  • Onemanga weren’t saints. The only manga series I read from that site was Genshiken and they were scans of the US release… But seriously, everyone is spouting too much about scanlators getting picked off when it’s only those sites run by shady companies. If publishers were trying to get rid of scanlators I’m sure C&Ds would be flying all over the place.

    For us tech-savy folks, it just takes away the convenience of not waiting to downloading a zip file. For the people who don’t know how to use bittorent, irc, or have zero patience(yes,they do exist), they are really going to hurt.

  • @gia: Unless you’re talking about commercially popular titles like naruto and bleach, how are U.S and Japan Publishers losing money from the distribution of works that aren’t even being sold through traditional means? Is it messed up that these “shady” aggregator sites are making money off of other peoples work? Sure is! But i believe this more indicative a problem with the manga industry itself. If there’s a market demand for a good, and its profitable to meet that demand, then that demand is going to be met period.

    @Firetribe: Yeah but these shady companies provide an enviable service to both manga fans and publishers. It’s short sighted to worry about the “potential” profits publishers are losing because of these sites. Instead, they should focus on meeting the market demand themselves, and then getting rid of these sites. So at least fans have an alternative.

  • Another point I want to add- Even though I do enjoy hard-copy manga better than online ones, I still won’t buy all of the manga out there on the internet. Why? Rhetorical question- I read ‘tons’ of manga per week. I won’t bother, or more accurately don’t have the means to buy so much manga (nor the space required in my room….and even the courage to buy some nasty hardcore stuff).
    And- a. Let’s say I want to buy a manga I really really like for my collection- I still have to check it online.
    b. F@#k this! I’m a cheap otaku bastard who wants his daily online doze for free. And yeah yeah, I know I will be hated for this, but at least I’m telling the truth. I do buy what I like, but I just don’t want to waste my money illogically.
    c. Mom would never allow me to waste my money online on anime/manga/related merchandise.
    *please don’t take me too seriously.

  • I complete agree with G-man. The manga industry has tons of cult otaku followers all around the world. If it can viably establish a distribution system to allow foreign consumers to purchase translated manga, it could easily turn a profit.

    Plus, no one is entitled to free manga. I’d love to support mangaka by buying manga, but what’s the point if I have to have its in Japanese and I can’t read it?

  • Totally agree with you….wth are they thinking lol….goshhhh

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