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.
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)