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Home of manga no more, to be exact.
As all manga readers & enthusiasts know, the “king” of the aggregator sites, OneManga, have decided to pull off all manga scanlations on July 31, 2010. Cue fanboy/fangirl rage.
As manga journalist Deb Aoki pointed out, there has been an overwhelming backlash against the publishers for forcing OneManga to shut down. I even went to a OneManga fan page and there were users literally telling stories about how OneManga gave them hope. Someone even created a petition to let OneManga continue!
Honestly, I have very mixed feelings about this. I have to admit that I have gotten into a variety of series through OneManga. If it weren’t for the site, I wouldn’t have gotten to do a lot of research for my blog. I also have some favorite series that I love (through OneManga) like Bakuman, Air Gear, Hayate no Gotoku!, Katekyo Hitman REBORN!, and others. At the same time, I applaud OneManga’s decision to abide by the wishes of the publishers. I believe they are seeing the bigger picture unlike a majority of fans who don’t know.
I just wished publishers worked together with the fans more. Or possibly work with OneManga. The thing is OneManga actually takes down scanlations if publishers ask them to. One example would be Soul Eater. They actually do take into consideration the effect scanlations have on publishers, unlike other aggregator sites. Though I think it’s more important that publishers reached out to the fans. Publishers should’ve noticed that online content was going to be big when scanlations started to become popular during the early-to-mid 2000s’. In business, trend-spotting is one important tool businesses need to have to survive & evolve. Even social-media entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk emphasized it in his book, "CRUSH IT!". Manga publishers need to practice more of “reactionary business”. “Reactionary business” is when you immediately take advantage of new opportunities, adapt to current demand, and look ahead to what’s next. What we’re seeing right now with the scanlation issue is what happens when companies don’t practice “reactionary business”.
e.g. Publishers ignore scanlations -> recession hits -> publishers lose money -> rage on scanlators -> unhappy fans that publishers don’t bother to educate on their dilemma
It could’ve been:
Publishers see scanlations -> realize that online manga is the next big thing -> hop on the online bandwagon IMMEDIATELY -> talk to scanlators to find an agreeable solution -> create a legitimate online manga business model that works -> address fans & show they care -> PROFIT! -> happy, happy online manga fans
Seriously, what’s going on with the marketing dept. from the publishers!? Maybe they did know and they didn’t care. BIG MISTAKE.
I don’t know what’s going to happen right now. As for my blog, I’ll go to bookstores to read and watch more anime for research. Thank goodness for Crunchyroll & Hulu. Even though a manga service similar to those sites is on its way, the problem now is that most fans might not want to pay for such a service that might not have all the titles they want. What do you guys think is a good solution?
Face it, scanlations aren’t going to go away. Publishers should be more concerned with possibly the wrath of many online manga fans who they’ve probably ignored for a long time & could’ve captured.
Where shall the industry go from here? I guess we’ll find out whether it will be towards prosperity or chaos.