Pirates and pundits

There’s lots of commentary going on about scanlations and the manga publishers’ recent move to shut down manga aggregator sites (which often host scans of licensed manga as well as scanlations of unlicensed titles).

Erica Friedman sees scanlations as the solution to a problem—fans want to read manga that is not translated, and probably never will be—and she tries to envision a legal scanlation model in which artists would agree to allow their work to be translated outside the regular publishing framework and readers and translators would pay a small fee. Fix yourself a cup of coffee before you start reading, because her post is long and the ensuing discussion in comments, while interesting, is even longer. Alex Leavitt also ponders some of the issues raised by scanlation and online manga.

Michael Pinto sees another problem: Shrink-wrapped manga, which prevents him (and other customers) from browsing and discovering new series.

At The Yaoi Review, Jennifer LeBlanc reports that Digital Manga is considering a scanlation-like project with fans translating manga that would be published strictly online. Check the comments for a robust discussion!

Most of the big scan sites were still up as of this morning, but a few of the smaller ones are shutting down. Manga Helpers has pulled its manga scans and plans to start a new site, Open Manga, which will be a legit fan translation site, apparently. Manga Downloads announced that it is closing up shop because apparently the person behind it has run out of money and time to maintain it. Interestingly, Manga Downloads appears to be affiliated with MangaFox, one of the top aggregator sites. An admin at Manga Volume stated on their forum that they are one of the 30 sites being targeted, adding, “Though, to be honest, the authors do need the money.” And Anime A announced on their website that they have stopped carrying manga due to an “indirect” request from publishers; click on a title, and you get the message “The manga publishers are asking to take down the titles in a press release. We have faith that they will come up with something that can replace online mangareaders.” And the scanlation group Nagareboshi Manga is quitting but handing over its projects to another group, so you could hardly call that a win for the rights holders.

And in Japan, a 14-year-old has been arrested for posting manga on YouTube before its official release.

Lori Henderson rounds up the week’s manga news at Manga Xanadu and posts the complete list of this week’s all-ages comics and manga at Good Comics for Kids.

Reviews: The Manga Recon team starts the week with the latest set of Manga Minis.

Kate Dacey on Black Jack, Laon, and 20th Century Boys (The Manga Critic)
Cynthia on Dry Heat (Boys Next Door)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 13 of Excel Saga (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Fairy Navigator Runa (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Mely on vols. 1-27 of Fullmetal Alchemist (coffeeandink)
kelkagandy on HaruHana: The Complete Collection (kelkagandy’s ramblings)
Snow Wildsmith on vol. 1 of I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow (Fujoshi Librarian)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 8 of The Magic Touch (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 6 of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Julie Opipari on vol. 7 of Mixed Vegetables (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Sesho on vol. 6 of Negima (Sesho’s Anime and Manga Reviews)
Marsha Reid on vol. 2 of One Fine Day (Kuriousity)
Sean Gaffney on vols. 52 and 53 of One Piece (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Cynthia on vol. 1 of Otodama: Voice from the Dead (Boys Next Door)
Charles Solomon on Real (Los Angeles Times)
Melinda Beasi on vols. 1-2 of Slam Dunk and vols. 1-8 of Real (Manga Bookshelf)
D.M. Evans on vol. 8 of Spiral: Bonds of Reasoning (Manga Jouhou)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Toriko (A Case Suitable for Treatment)

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  1. I checked AnimeA- the manga doesn’t seem to be down….

  2. Hmm. I checked a couple of pages of licensed manga this morning as I was writing this and they were all down. Now they seem to be back.

  3. Sounds like someone is playing a trick on us, making people look the other way after it gets reported. I guess they just made themselves a bigger target doing that though.

  4. Aside from this war, does anyone know a site or a blogger that knows a complilation of manga titles licensed in the US or upcoming titles soon to be release here? Mangacast used to post a big list of new manga titles licensed in the US, not anymore and their site is down.

    I think if people knew what to expect to come out they would wait and support the author.
    I used to look at the manga titles on manga cast to decide what I would buy. So yeah it was helpful.

    Anywho so anyone know a good site?

  5. Ayme, I just check listings at RightStuf and Amazon.com

  6. Ayme, justmanga.com has a pretty good list of upcoming titles. When you go to the site, go to the bottom where it says coming soon products and then hit “more” and you can see a bigger list. They tell what titles are coming out in the next month. Or if you go to Anime News Network, click on the encyclopedia tab, then “Releases”, then narrow it down to manga and you can set it to current or upcoming releases.