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The War on Manga

The War on Manga

This is an editorial. The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect the views of The One Piece Podcast or Raftel Productions. This Monday we will be interviewing Stephen (One Piece translator for Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha) and Molokidan (One Piece translator for Mangastream’s now defunct scanlations). Make sure to tune in!

A War on Two Fronts by Zach Logan

No matter which side of the debate you land on, the manga industry is radically changing. The corporations that published manga in the United States are deteriorating. Around a year ago, VIZ Media downsized significantly and began to cut back production. Tokyopop shut down months later. Borders bookstore shut its doors completely in 2011, rendering a huge blow to the manga industry in a time when it was already crippled significantly. The industry has reacted by shifting distribution to digital development. VIZ Media developed their solution in VIZManga, and later, in Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha.

Scanlations have existed for well over seven years, and have become more pervasive than ever. OneManga, a former scanlation giant, was one of the top 100 websites as ranked by Google in 2010. Mangastream, largely heralded as its successor, garnered well over 400,000 Facebook fans, and over 100,000 followers on Twitter. This kind of brazen promotion and popularity has caught the eye of the owners of the properties these sites have reproduced. In Japan, Shueisha and other companies have looked to shut down these sites. Stateside, VIZ Media has represented these publication conglomerates in looking to protect their market brand. These sites have hurt their bottom line after the bubble popped in Asia, and after the recession began in the United States. This process has essentially turned into a game of “Whack-a-Mole.” For those not familiar with this American pasttime, it essentially boils down to the fact that Shueisha and others close down one site, only to see another pop up. The only way for the game to end, in this case, is to prevent a need for the moles to come up, or tape all the holes down so that the mole pops out just where you want it.

There are some simple facts that need to be percolated amongst the anime and manga communities:

The Internet is not free. In Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union the Internet barely escaped a law that would have banned all obscene materials. Not only would this have essentially ended the Internet pornography industry, but it would have provided the standards we have on basic cable television to the Internet. In the wake of that case, the Internet has blossomed and been a bastion for libertarianism. It is still, however, not free. If you do something illegal, you still are liable. If you provide scanlated materials to a mass amount of people, the companies that own that material can shut you down. Intellectual property exists to motivate those who create to continue creating. It’s law that is so sacred that it’s in the U.S. Constitution. These laws are what make the works of Oda, Kishimoto, and even Kubo a possibility. For those who claim you can do anything you want on the Internet and expect no consequences, you not only maybe hurting yourself, but you are hurting the principles that make it possible for creativity to proliferate.

The Internet provides. The Internet is unquestionably one of the greatest innovations of the century. It has provided a means of instant communication to people around the globe. A mere decade or so ago, the proliferation of manga legally (or illegally) simultaneously, near-simultaneously, or earlier than the release in Japan would have seemed far-fetched. This has created a sense of entitlement, but I don’t mean to say that in a wholly negative context. We are all intellectual property criminals, let’s face it. The Internet creates a means of distribution that makes it impossible to resist. The ability to read the latest chapter of One Piece as soon as it comes out is not only easy, it’s a brainless task. How can a struggling manga industry, then, take this kind of model and still incentivize and reimburse those who put their time and energy into it? A lot of fans also ask, how can I make sure what I (would) be paying (would) go to the author and not a corporation?

VIZ is trying to fight the scanlating by producing Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha, and they’ve certainly come closer than anyone else at producing a model that may work. The problem is twofold.

First, the hurdles of licensing. Any reasonable fan can admit that it’s likely easier to do something without following the rules then it is to follow the rules. Scanlators merely scan, translate, and render the images they take from the magazine and put it online. VIZ, on the other hand, goes through a painstaking process to make sure the license can allow certain distribution models (from color pages, to statements in the text), they have to figure out how to distribute it, they have to pay people who translate, edit, and typeset all the material, and they have to get everything approved. One may produce a product that pays back to the original author and has better quality, but the Internet will always go to the first because they provide a means of consistancy and speed.

Second, the hurdle of geography. Licensing goes far beyond the intermediary steps we do and don’t know about. Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha, though unfortunately behind by two weeks from the releases in Japan, still provide quality translations. The problem is, those translations are only provided to those in the United States and Canada. The international manga fan remains in the dark. There’s no way around it, because in order to legally distribute manga online (simultaneously or not), the company of each individual state would have to get approved. This is no easy task, nor is it likely to pan out in many smaller states.

So this presents us with the war on two fronts. The war on scanlations, and the war on the manga industry. The war on scanlations can never end unless an alternative can be reached that is legal and affordable for everyone. The war on the manga industry cannot end until the war on scanlations concludes.

We are left with some difficult predicaments: am I entitled to read my manga chapter every week without paying? Is the dissemination of that material on the Internet a crime, and if I read it am I significantly hurting the author and the creators of the work? Can the manga industry ever provide a reasonable alternative, a la Crunchyroll for anime?

We must push VIZ to speed their Shonen Jump Alpha releases in the wake of the shutdown of Mangastream. We must push Shueisha to provide Shonen Jump Alpha as an immediate alternative to those around the world. So instead of complaining and whining, make your voice heard and let them know you want simultaneous worldwide releases of One Piece (or whatever your favorite manga might be). It may seem impossible, but it’s already begun to happen to anime. It maybe possible for manga as well.

Keep reading for former One Piece Podcast member, Tsukento, and his take on the current situation. For his full article, check out his blog.

————————————————————————————–

VIZ’s “War on Manga” by Tsukento

Think the title is a little silly? Unfortunately, it’s an accurate portrayal on the exaggerations some fans are going as far as to make over on Viz’s Facebook page. Why is that? On February 11, 2012, manga scanlating group, Manga Stream, published a statement on their website that said they would be no longer doing fan scans of Weekly Shounen Jump manga due to demands from Viz. The following series’ were affected:

  • Bleach
  • Claymore
  • D.Gray-man
  • Hunter × Hunter
  • Katekyo Hitman Reborn!
  • Naruto
  • One Piece

Needless to say, as soon as fans read this, the internet seemed to explode.Now let me first start things off explaining my own thoughts on the situation. I’ve been pirating virtually everything since back when Napster was the big thing everyone was using before it became a big hot issue to download music over the internet. Even to this day I still do it; games, anime, manga. Whether it be streaming or download. I am very much the definition of a pirate.

However, I can rightfully say that I still support the industries I seem to “steal, plunder and rape” from with my hijinks. I have lord knows how many boxes full of manga volumes, anime VHS tapes, DVDs and a couple of Blu-rays, as well as an obscene amount of games purchased physically and digitally. If you’ve seen my posts on Twitter, chances are you’ve stumbled upon my photos of my collections and random purchases.

I may not be able to buy anime and manga right away as they come out, but I still find my ways to chip in when I can to not only support the industry but to get the things I like when they’re released here. With that, I also understand that it costs companies like Viz money to obtain a license from the original company so they can then translate their product, mass produce them and then ship them out. Some series’ are major hits whereas some aren’t. Sometimes there’s not enough money to be made because the series doesn’t have a big enough fanbase, while sometimes it can be the fault of the company for not backing it properly to raise awareness. It’s never easy to pinpoint which is the exact cause.

With the loss of the WSJ manga being brought to the internet by Manga Stream, it’s both a hit to the fans as well as the pirates. Viz’s hopes were clearly meant to force pirates to look to legal methods for reading manga digitally, which they offer with Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha. Unfortunately, the fired attack also managed to hit some loyal fans in the same process. Fans of Claymore, D.Gray-man, Katekyo Hitman Reborn! and Hunter × Hunter were equally angered by the removal of their series’, as only three of removed series’ are even being shown and promoted in WSJA. The KHR! fans are a little more upset as this is a series that has spanned for 37 volumes in Japan, with only 16 released by Viz, as they have no plans to continue translating the series, having placed it into indefinite hiatus status.

It’s also understandable for some other fans who pirate for other reasons to be upset – neither the manga nor WSJA is available in their regions/territories. As of this writing, WSJA is only available in the US and Canada. This leaves a majority of the world locked out, especially those that are native-English speakers. With no way of being able to officially obtain their manga, what other alternative did they have? One could suggest they import manga from the US, but that becomes rather pricey and (honestly) inconvenient. This is a problem that’s been affecting them with anime streams and with Viz hitting Manga Stream, this only doubles the punishment for those who couldn’t pay for these, even if they wanted to.

Viz has a LOT to do if they want to make WSJA something to turn to as an alternative to pirating manga. They need to make their service available offline for those not using smart devices. As it stands, you’re only given temporary ownership over your volumes of WSJA for a fixed amount of weeks. Why can’t subscribers keep them if they bought them with their subscription? Why do they have to be online in order to read them on their computers? A program similar to Steam would benefit Viz greatly, as it doesn’t hinder those who purchase the manga greatly, allows them to access these things while offline and still prevents them from sharing them online with those who didn’t pay for them. As it stands, Viz’s methods are more closer to Origin.

Not only this, but this should be more accessible to other platforms. The iOS shouldn’t come first at all times; especially when reading manga on a cell phone is an extraordinary pain. That’s the 1st page of Bakuman Vol. 1 as through my iPhone 3GS. No modification was done to the image. It’s exactly as it appears on my phone and requires all sorts of zooming and swiping in order to properly read any manga on Viz’s app. If anything, it would be more ideal to work a way to get manga apps onto the 3DS and PSVita. The PSP originally attempted something like this with various western superhero comic books. Their screens seem like much better alternatives than the smaller smart phones.

Finally, the big issue being they need to focus more on other series’ to promote what they have and raise awareness, rather than focusing on the small group of manga they’re boasting about in WSJA. With the additional pages they mention having, it would be more ideal to rotate around certain series’ or at least do spotlights. Heck, best option would be to turn to fans and get an idea of what they want to see. On top of that, attempt to reach outside of the North American market. One of the big problems the anime industry (and sometimes gaming) suffers from is when certain parts of the world won’t ever see a stream or release because no one will license a property for their area. One of WSJA’s main drawbacks is that several people are left out because they’re not able to access it.

Now with all that said and done, don’t mistake this as me bashing Viz or anything of the sort. If anything, my suggestions are merely constructive criticism pointing out what’s wrong with their methods and services, along with a few ideas of how they can be fixed. The fanbase, however…there’s no fixing that. After browsing Viz’s Facebook page, I’m left utterly baffled some of these people can even form a coherent sentence, as their anger towards Viz is the equivalent of a child. Some fans are being very civil and expressing their concern calmly. Some just outright bashed their heads on their keyboard and hit “Send.” I think it’s only fair I now look at what they have to say and point out what exactly is wrong with some of the fanbase.

This is going to be the part where I pick some Facebook comments and give my two cents on them (aka tear them apart). Obviously I won’t be including any full names, because I’m not a jerk and don’t exactly want anyone getting the idea it’s cool to harass people on their Facebook page. Remember, this is for education and entertainment; not bullying.

Kris: money whores!
Joshua: Thanks a lot you jerks, MangaStream is 10x better than you. You’re just upset that it was popular unlike you.
Davey: Jealous that a group does a better job than you – and for free?
Francesco: You are evil. EVIL SATAN WORSHIPPERS!
Daria: That moment when a business is anal because a free provider does pretty much everything better.
Francesco (Again): Now that’s where you were hiding, ADOLF HITLER!

Nothing but “u jelly” and senseless name calling. Didn’t think running a business to ensure your product made a profit and wasn’t being stolen equated to being a money whore and being worshippers of the Devil. News to me.

Bilal: I used to buy your issues whenever they were out in my country. Since you guys put an end to Mangastream, I am never ever going to buy anything from Viz again.

Now this one makes no sense. If you bought issues when they were available, why would you forcibly limit yourself by not buying anything at all?

Robby: Oh, and if you wanted…make viewing of manga online free. Going digital means you can do that.

No. No that doesn’t. You know nothing of how that works. Shueisha would kill Viz if they offered these things for free online. Not to mention, they’re the ones who give the final okay to what Viz does.

Trevor: You guys are WAY behind on Bleach (Which is at Chapter 480 in Japan, You’re at Chapter 424 from what I saw, Which is the beginning of the previous arc…its going to be over a year until you catch up!)

Actually, Bleach is at Chapter 477 in WSJA. So it’s only 3 chapters off. Might help if you keep up with current events, rather than randomly complain.

Rin: I hope your company bankrupts and burns. LONG LIVE MANGASTREAM!
Ray: I hope you guys ROT IN HELL.. I HOPE YOUR COMPANY GETS BANKRUPT
Abdiasis: I’ll be happy to watch your sales go plummeting down!
Alex: Let s boycott them so they ll go bankrupt…… hopefully!!!

Yeah! I hope hundreds of people lose their jobs and have to struggle with money! I also hope for the only major company that helped shaped this industry to crash and burn, preventing us from ever seeing official releases again! That’ll teach those MONSTERS for taking away my illegal goods!

David: your fate will be the same as Tokyopop.

Being owed tons of money after being cheated out of it by Borders and because people like you refuse to buy manga?

Tom: Congratulations Viz, I don’t buy your products often but I always buy naruto games when it’s coming out and now I won’t

Congratulations! You’re taking your anger out on Namco Bandai, the ones responsible for publishing those games. Nice job!

Estevan: I will spread the word NOT to subscribe to the poorly received Shonen Jump Alpha, it won’t. If you think I’ll buy the manga and B&N, think again. It’s practically a library.

So in other words, you never used Alpha, otherwise you wouldn’t word it as if you’re going to explain based on the experiences of others. You also never buy manga, considering you see bookstores as libraries. So really, what exact right DO you have to complain for?

Torres: You will not stop internet freedom!
Muhd: U TAKE SOMETHING PRECIOUS FROM US AND IT IS FREEDOM……..

…The freedom to steal manga? I’m not sure I follow.

Terresa: I will learn Japanese and buy straight from Japan. The result? Faster, more accurate manga and I am supporting the artist directly and not having to give money to companies like this one.

To bad part of the money is still given to the publishing company. Oh, did I forget to mention that Viz is a part of Shueisha? So your goal accomplishes nothing. If you have the time and money to spend on getting lessons to learn another language for the sake of reading manga, then you have the time and money to pay for official releases.

Luis: trying to monopolize those series, uh? so are you guys gonna stop the other groups as well?

Well…they kinda do have the license to them, after all.

I’ll stop here. Now take a good look at the comments above. Is this really what our fanbase looks like? Shallow, petty, self-entitled whiners who feel they DESERVE to be given free things? As I’ve mentioned earlier on, there are definitely a lot of problems Viz has that needs to be worked out as they effectively hurt people outside of their range that couldn’t even contribute if they wanted. Said folks have been calm and explained carefully why they don’t like the situation. Meanwhile, the outspoken vocal individuals have clearly shown their true colors and how, for a good majority of them, they have absolutely no idea what it is they’re talking about or how things work.

Look, Viz is a business. They have Shueisha breathing down their necks on making sure they don’t screw this up and to make sure they try killing off as much rampant piracy as possible. They kinda have to keep your money in their interest. It’s not like they don’t take an interest in the fans, either. After all, we did get an entire Shonen Jump dedicated to the fans. Yeah, they still need some kinks to work out with everything. But to outright compare them to Adolf Hitler? Because they took down your illegal manga? Are you kidding me? This is partly why I don’t actively take part in any fanbases; the people surrounding it tend to outnumber the ordinary, sane fans.

Written by Zach Logan

Podcaster and lawyer. Host and Founder of The One Piece Podcast, Anime Fans Give Back, and many others. The views expressed are solely my own.

Home Forums The War on Manga

This topic contains 81 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  kuldeep 2 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #7706

    Zach Logan
    Keymaster

    This is an editorial. The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect the views of The One Piece Podcast or Raftel Productions. This M
    [See the full post at: The War on Manga]

  • #7707

    John D

    Hey guys! I thought the articles provided some very interesting and valid points. I normally have a policy to stay the hell away from internet debates, but as an art student who is aspiring to go in to comics… well, this one hits home for me. Anyways, since I still think this might offer an interesting viewpoint to the discussion I figured I should post what I posted on the facebook discussion. If this is at all inappropriate for this part of the website, please let me know and I will try to delete it.

    What I wrote was:
    “I’m not going to lie, I do read scans, but that doesn’t mean I don’t go out and support the official release and not support Alpha. When people read it for free and then don’t go out and support it, it doesn’t only hurt our chances of getting more frequent releases and more content, but it also affects all kinds of comics. This may be a personal opinion, but I can’t really see how anyone could say they are a fan when they have stolen from the creators that have given us awesome stories.”

    I still stand by it at this point, especially the part about it affecting comics as a whole.

    Thanks for the information, and I am looking forward to seeing the views of everyone on the podcast!

  • #7708

    CaptainCalliope

    I agree with most of the other complaints (lousy viewer, no Android support, etc.), but what I’m most sour about is that this means Viz now has, in essence, a monopoly on the translated manga industry. By eliminating the competition and becoming the sole providers, they no longer have any incentive to make their product the ‘better alternative’ to the other’s. The reason computer technology has advanced at such a fast rate is because companies like Microsoft and Apple are waging a quality war against each other. Without Mangastream, We now have to go to Viz for our One Piece fixes and they know it. Who’s to say they won’t jack up the price as a result? Or, seeing as how most of the world’s population cannot nor has a desire to read it in Japanese, cease caring about the accuracy of the translation?

    I am in no way, shape, or form an advocate of piracy. But as someone who feels the deserve the best for their money, I think this is a move that will come back to bite everyone in the butt sometime down the road.

  • #7709

    Tim Gorden

    I honestly don’t agree that “these sites have hurt their bottom line”

    That implies that people that read scanlations don’t buy the material (or buy less of it) due to them reading online.

    Two kinds of people read scanlations 1) people that read scans then buy the volumes when they’re available and 2) people that read the scans and will never buy the volumes. Either way Viz isn’t loosing money from either group.

    Take myself for example (just viz titles that mangastream dropped) I own volumes 1-21 of DGM, 1-19 of Claymore, 1-16 of Reborn, 1-27 of Hunter and 1-60 of One Piece (with 61-63 pre ordered)

    However I also read all these titles on mangastream as soon as they come out in Japan. How does my reading the chapters early hurt Viz?

    On the other hand I also read Bleach and Naruto on mangastream and don’t (nor will I ever) own a single volume of either series (both very average) so if I can’t read them for free then I just won’t read them at all. Again how does this affect Viz’s bottom dollar? It doesn’t.

    I literally give Viz all the money that I possibly can for the series I care about. I can’t get Alpha as I’m in Australia so buying the volumes is all I can do.

    I got into reading manga from reading scanlations (as did most people I’d wager) so if I never did it then that several thousand dollars from just me alone that Viz never would have received. They should be thanking scanlators for making some series incredibly popular and for all the free advertisements of series plus they can tell which series are popular.

    I just don’t agree one little bit that scanlations have any meaningful impact on publishers bottom dollar. It’s like when the movie industry says “1000000 download = 1000000 missed sales” hardly any of those people would have bought it if they couldn’t get it for free and those that like it will buy it either way.

  • #7710

    Melodycass

    Even though I’m greatly sadden by the loss of MS, im glad viz and other publishers are taking a stand on illegal use if there work. This may mean I’m stuck listening to the podcast ( nothing bad in that ) or reading summerys on the wiki, till NZ gets right to publish. When you look at how much goes in to one chapter of one piece or any manga the people , both japanese and amercain, dserusve to be paid for there work.

  • #7711

    Ame (Savi)

    I agree with most of the things that were mentioned here, it’s sad that people doesn’t see the good part of this, Viz going to speed up things with the releasing of One Piece Volumes, by next year the gap of volumes between Japan and USA should be one volume, and that great since there is a lot of people who read scanlation and still support the creators by brought the volumes.

  • #7712

    Jackskellinghog

    It was all going well until you randomly started calling people out that should’ve been straight up ignored.

  • #7713

    mei

    I have always read one piece when it came out in mangastream and then ordered the volume in the internet when it was avilable. Not only i cant use WSJA because im not from America – but i wouldnt have bought it any way, I dont think reading 8 weeks behind -on the internet- is worth it.
    By the way, I was a subscriber of the american SJ and its a shame they wont continue it.

  • #7714

    Connor Ritter

    This is a really great article and it addresses the issues. As a kid, the most I could do was buy the monthly Shonen Jump and an occasional volume. At the time, both of these were really far behind Japan, and once the Borders in my town closed I turned entirely to scanlations for my manga. When Shonen Jump Alpha started I immediately subscribed to support them, but I continued to read the scanlations.

    My main reason I continued to read the scanlations is accessibility. Shonen Jump Alpha is a good service, but it’s very limited. Like this article mentions, subscribing to SJA gives me access to the issues but that only lasts for as long as my subscription does. Also, I can only read it on iOS or my computer in their more complicated service where as I can read the scanlaitons on anything with a web browser by chapter.

    I support Viz’s decision to take action against MangaStream as it is a legal issue, but it cuts me off from reading Reborn! which hasn’t been supported in North America for almost 2 years. Yes, I will continue to search for scanlations of Reborn, but what I really wish is that Viz will bring these licensed titles to SJA so I can read them in a legal manner.

  • #7715

    SamusRidley

    @mei
    What is it with this constant misconception everyone has with alpha? It is not 8 weeks behind, it is 3. 3 measly chapters. I wish everyone would look up their points to make sure they were true before pressing that send button. Now, I understand your problem with not being able to get the manga, but…. that “wouldn’t have bought it anyway” is kind of… stupid.
    (Plus if more people buy it, the smaller that chapter gap will get. So by purposefully not buying it, you are trying to keep it at that 3 chapter gap :/ )

    And to those who CAN buy alpha but choose not to…. It’s like, $1 per issue. Surely you have a fricken dollar. I know it’s not FREE, but come on… You have to support the mangakas somehow. (Plus with a yearly subscription, it’s almost 50 cents per issue.)

  • #7716

    AsteriskCGY

    The real issue here is was shutting down piracy necessary or even a benefit to their upcoming release? The nice thing would’ve been to promote Alpha through Mangastream, since Mangastream still needs it’s own ad revenue to stay afloat. And if the idea was to convert eyes over it doesn’t help if those eyes are now turned away.

    Course I’m one that likes to read this stuff but not really buy it. But hey Hulu gets my ad eye money and clicks.

  • #7717

    Romancedawn

    Oh no VIZ will have a monopoly on One Piece and many other Shonen Manga, there is no competition to keep them growing as a company! God I wish Sony could make Mario games! That would force Nintendo to really get their crap together and make the best Mario games ever!

  • #7718

    Kempix

    The loss of mangastream is a sad day for us all, however i see why Viz is making the move. I wish they would somehow encorporate their Magazine with a Crunchyroll premium account since i already have one of those.

  • #7719

    Joshua

    Thanks for the riveting post(as well as some good pot shot at some upset fans) The beauty of Manga Stream wasn’t that it was free, but the fact that these guys did it better than the pros themselves! They got the manga to the fans INSTANTLY! Viz simply can’t do this, and that is why fans are upset! I will not stop supporting the manga industry(as they are the ones who make the manga!) But I still won’t be happy about a company like Viz forcing a site to stop making scanlations simply because it got more attention than them.

  • #7720

    Jewel

    I know where Viz is coming from with piracy and all, but without scanlations, I probably would have never gotten into manga or anime and I think Viz is taking this the wrong way. On this video, http://youtu.be/0Qkyt1wXNlI, Neil Gaiman talks about how piracy led to more awareness of his books and sales of his books actually went up because of piracy! I’m not saying that it should be free-for-all but nobody is going to buy anything without knowing how good it is.
    Also, with the Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha, as mentioned it’s only available to U.S. and Canada and plus, it’s only for people with credit cards. I don’t have a credit card, and many parents would probably not go through the whole inconvenience of subscribing to the magazine. This really limits for the younger Jump readers and I think we may lose a lot of potential young fans.

  • #7721

    zero

    Nice arguments at the beginning, but then becomes nothing but a stupid reply to angered people. You don’t try to understand what they’re saying by taking it all to the first degree. It’s easy to just take comments and criticise, pretending that they’re just stupid and that you’ve got more knowledge. Anyway, I think that viz media isn’t yet the best solution, it doesn’t cover all the WSJ, and surely have worse services than MangaStream. That is why people are angered! Paying for something that is no better than the free scans.(i’m explaining so you could understand). Childish. You don’t the right to judge if those fans need WSJ manga or not. And for the no-English speaking countries? Here we are 6 or 7 volumes behind. And no wsja. (you surely might have talked about that, but well, I didn’t read your all your thing.

  • #7722

    Tsukento

    Joshua: The problem there is that scanlations were coming in several days before Jump was even made available to the public. What was going on was that people were getting access to early copies from stores before they were meant to be put out for the public, scanning them and then putting them online.

    In other words, it’s a was very shady process at work. Shonen Jump Alpha may be 2 weeks behind, but it at least comes out on the exact day Japan gets their printed version. There’ll be a point where we’ll close the gap. As I mentioned in my writing, SJA needs a lot of work and the best we can do is give VIZ as much advice and suggestions as possible to help make things better.

  • #7723

    AgelessWanderer

    A good read. Though I sadly feel this won’t change much. The monster is huge, and many holes still litter the battlefield. For this war on scanlation to end, a reliable of distribution must be provided. Limiting it to US and Canada is really just gonna add fuel to the fire. More series also need to be avaliable. Ignoring that Bleach and Naruto already seem to be on their deathbed, One Piece can’t support the magazine on its own and there are many series that never get released state/world wide.
    Personally I think this is going to be a dance that will go on forever, if the market doesn’t change. Personally I would love it if they made like a Steam or Crunchyroll-esqe service. All the big companies in Japan print them and upload them there, then the US publishers translate them. I can’t articulate my thoughts for crap, but you get the gist of it.

  • #7724

    Loki

    Certainly if VIZ actually wanted to provide a really better alternative to mangastream , they could have done a little research on the market before launching a tottally not friendly based limited work as SJA (and here i am a college boy trying to teach a company how to sell things , when they do that for living).
    I’m sure if such research was done ever it would have brought much better service than the currently provided for USA and Canada (i’m from Bulgaria for that matter and i study the mistery of tourism , not that its such a big deal , but it turns out i know how to sell stuff better , than a company that probably works with millions on yearly basis).
    Anyway my point was , there is not a single fan of manga (outside of japan) that wouldnt want to spend 25$ or more if he has really nice and simple way to get it and not resort to scanlations , that has been the trend in scanlation communities for years , it was when MangaHelpers lost its mojo , when OneManga became forums based community only , when MangaToshokan turned into ManhwaToshokan and it has been before that + i am sure it will be for the years(or atleast until december this year) to come.
    VIZ knows that , yet still decided to do something , that just plainly sucks considering the bigger picture (there are manga fans outside of USA and Canada).

    Thanks for reading.

    PS. Mangafox/mangahere are owned by company named NOEZ , makes thousands of dollars per day + they have group called dragonfly scans created to satisfy their needs <<< VIZ doesnt do nothing to stop them , claiming mangastream was OneManga's progeny , when its just one group , not site for making money
    Mangazone is similiar to dragonfly scans , owned by another online reader ; Mangainn has its own group to and they make the big bucks as well , no1 stops those that ruin the fun , just those that try their best to redirect their fans to the places that could help them buy the official releases of their favourite series

  • #7725

    jettom

    I agree 100% with your standpoints, while the shutdown of Mangastream was aggrevating to say the least, im not participating in a piss contest on Viz Media; as a matter of fact I’d sooner defend them. They’re a company that sells a very unique product; manga. Of course they have “flaws” compared to unofficial, downright illegal scanlation groups, but that’s to be expected. They need to go through alot of work before they can release a chapter and they want money for it, just like any other company.
    That said, it would be nice if they merely told you to cease the scanlation and translation of Naruto, Bleach and One Piece, as they do not release those other mangas.

    Hell, if I actually lived in North America I would subscribe to them within a heartbeat and read their official releases & Mangastream’s. But, sadly, I live in Europe, luckily a “Mangarich” country of Europe, but Europe nontheless.

    Anyhow, I’ll be looking forward to reading your Fairy Tail releases from now on, & quite possibly the new series you’ll pick up! Keep up the good work.

  • #7726

    Kreeker

    Now I’m all for people getting money for the things they do. Wouldn’t be much of a point to do it otherwise. Now I can’t really say I’m aware of the whole manga scene that is going on in America. But I can sum it up here : Almost non existent. Before making this comment I wanted to make sure I wasn’t talking out of my ass. But apparently. SJA is only available in Canada / United States. I live in neither of these countries. I do enjoy manga on the other hand. And whatever copies I do find I usually buy (provided I have the resources.)
    So putting it this way it is a loss in my book. But I can’t be really angry at Viz for wanting their cake. I’m just sad that I’m going to be having less cake thanks to that.

  • #7727

    NavyCherub

    Also, @jettom: they actually do release Hunter x Hunter, D.Gray-Man, and Claymore. I am most surprised at them stopping their scanning of Reborn!, since they cancelled their own releases quite a while ago (much to my own dismay).

  • #7728

    someguy

    There’s to many flaws to buying manga from actual american company they translate it so bad to someone who would do it for free. They take forever to release.

    I’m a die hard naruto fan and when they translate shadow clone jutsu= into doppel ganger i just couldn’t read it i might as well read comics.

  • #7729

    Primo

    I’m one of those people who realized only recently that sj was leaked days before Japan got it, that changes my viewpoint on things a lot, not enough to make me stop reading it, but just thinking on a few things.

    Viz is 100% justified in their actions. It’s one thing to do something illegal, but to basically call attention to yourselves is not good. That’s where mangastream made their biggest mistake.

    I’m not saying mangastream is only wrong because it got caught, the whole operation was and still is wrong regardless of getting caught. People act like mangastream were the only ones releasing scanlations, their not, they just got the most attention. Scanlations won’t stop being released, it seems like those raging at viz don’t understand, viz can’t completely purge them all, so you guys not in the us or Canada can read those scans until the volumes come out like usual.

    People, sj magazine is meant to be read for a week or two and tossed aside, not many have a complete collection and read one piece from it, they but volumes, but you know this. Going from that, the scans or sja or whatever are meant to entertain and hold us over until the volume release. Not even mangastream keeps all the chapters,similar to someone reading sj magazine right? Sja does that and everyone is complaining.

    Anyways just my 2cents, tired of typing.

  • #7730

    Joshua

    Tsukento: True it may have been a “Shady process” But us Pirates don’t really care where the information comes from. People like me(people who use the internet) All we care about is instant gratification. It may sound childish, and down right unreasonable, but that is just the way I (and many others) are. As I said I will in no way stop supporting the manga industry. They do an amazing job, and they do it with little to no gratification from the fans. But their actions against Mangastream have pissed a lot of people off(400,000+) which if you believe the talk of some distraught fans(who claim they will never buy another Viz product again) will cause them to lose even more revenue than if they had continued to let Mangastream do scanlations. In short my point is that if you want to take the manga away from fans then at least make it easier to get! I don’t mind spending the money on manga, but what I don’t care for is the waiting, and if Viz wants to stop A LOT of people from jumping ship they will do so. I already tried to sign up for this “Jump Alpha”(which by the way I only heard about TODAY where is the advertisement for this site?) And i’ve run into problem with the sign up sheet not loading. Im getting frustrated with trying to do the right thing, and im sure a lot of others will to. In the long run this little power play they are doing with Mangastream will cost them even more money. Sorry if im rambling, and thanks for listening to the insane ramblings of a fan.

  • #7731

    Volsuto

    If anything I think Mangastream and Viz should just join forces. I don’t mind paying to read manga online. I didn’t even know about Viz’z WSJA. If i would have known about that i would have swapped over. Still love Mangastream though.

  • #7732

    Mat

    I purchased one episode of SJA to see what it was like, and the reasons Vis is not going to get any more of my business and I’m going to continue to seek out pirated versions of One Piece are as followed: 1- they’re not up to date with the series, 2- the actual translation is censored to a “pg-13″ level, 3- “buying” an issue of jump from SJA is in reality only renting access to it for a few weeks, 4- navigation of SJA is not user friendly in any sense of the word. To clarify things, I buy all my music on iTunes, I’ve had a subscription to Crunchyroll for the past 3 years, and I have a 648 disk anime collection (which I payed an average of $29.99 each for), not including 3 storage bins of old VHSs and laserdisks, so I’m not adverse to spending money. As a customer, all i really care about is the product- not where it originated from, who got paid for it, or who didn’t get paid for it. in my opinion, instead of shutting down the pirate sites, Vis should have contracted the pirate sites to do the work they were already doing… /rant

  • #7733

    Triellan

    If VIZ/Shuesha want to stop the collapse, they should first start taking on the giant troll on the internet, Mangafox/NOEZ (You can read http://japanzai.com/index.php?topic=1619.0 for more details)

  • #7734

    John T

    Unless a system like iTunes for music or Steam for games is created for manga, there is no way near the official publications will be close to beating scanlations.

    And for a small, dying industry like manga, I doubt it will happen and work.

  • #7735

    Ryan

    I’m an American, who has been leeching off of Manga Stream for some time now. I started reading Naruto then later became intrested in Bleach, going on to watch most of thier animes. I never spent money on either, and I never will, my money(what little there is) was never going to go to the industry. I’m not mad at viz or anyone else, sad at the loss of Manga Stream, but I’m not mad.
    If it comes down to me paying for manga or me not reading it I’m in the boat for not reading it. They haven’t lost a paying customer or gained one, all that happened is that they lost a fan. With anime that have been plauged by fillers and the removal of the only high quality site to offer the story line, I see no reason to continue staying intrested in these stories. If that is what they were hoping to accomplish so be it, I will continue on my way and they thier’s.

  • #7736

    an1995616

    I’ve seen a lot of these opinion pages lately since the big eruption over our ‘rights’ and the internet.

    For example,

    ACTA
    SOPA
    PIPA

    And, a non-internet example NDAA. And I do have to ask though… How is this affecting Japan itself? America is an undisputed leader of the world in economic terms (despite the recession). I think that people aren’t getting enough information on how scantalating and fansubbing is affecting the Japanese themselves.

    Do you have any information on this?

  • #7737

    Alex

    I buy every english tankobon of Naruto, Claymore, and others the week they come out in Canada. I also read the newest Naruto scanlation every wednesday morning.

    Moral arguments aside, legal arguments aside…if you’re going to compete with free, Viz, you have to complete on quality, and value.

    Here’s the thing: it’s not like manga will cease to exist in Japan if Viz dies. Seriously – the world will keep turning and manga will keep getting made – the industry in Japan isn’t in danger of dying. VIZ, the foreign arm of the company, is in danger here. To compete with free, you have to give us something BETTER than free. I honestly wouldn’t have had a problem if VIZ had swallowed Mangastream whole, turning it into a subscription site, and maintained the speed and quality of their releases. I’d probably have paid a lot more money into a website like that, over time, than I ever would have spent buying manga.

    None of this even touches the greater problem of the publishing industry being outmoded and destined to lose relevancy over time. Honestly, if the authors of all manga started their own indie comic subscription sites and self-published, I’d pay them all directly and to hell with the middleman. Supply chains and marketing campaigns aren’t worth the massive cut you guys take from the authors.

  • #7738

    Griffith D. Dontey

    Sigh, wish people would stop thinking that the internet is free

  • #7739

    Jon

    Without sites sites (Like Mangastream) that are scanlating manga, I would have never been exposed to manga and thus would have never bought an issue. Yet Mangastream allowed me discover the Manga world and I began buying them. I thought many people would go straight into buying manga online without any exposure to what they are. This is what I feel manga scanlating sites are doing, exposing manga to the world. Mangastream encouraged its user to buy the official releases. not only did they do this but they did not keep a record of all the chapters. They would delete them after a while so that the only way you could read them was too buy or go look in a different site. I am also one of those people who feel that Mangastream did a better job with volunteers than Viz does with actual workers. They are getting paid for their work they should provide something outstanding and not half ass their work. I am in no way attempting to insult them I am just stating my observations. Now for all those people who are directly insulting Viz, I disagree with what you are doing. You are making the entire Mangastream community look like childish piraters who have nothing better to do with their time. That is not the way to go dealing with situations. Viz had legal rights to do what they did even thought I do not agree with what they did. they did what they did and now we will see whether it has a good or bad effect on their business.

  • #7740

    El

    Hi there. I can see that you do make some excellent points with this post. However, even though the fans and online manga leechers have a very very lousy way of expressing themselves, they aren’t totally wrong. They just aren’t using the right words, and you seem to have taken the most extreme of comments to prove your point (comparing Viz with Adolf, accusing them of being worshippers of satan etc.).
    What I am saying is that MS was the best at giving scanlations for the manga listed, and not to mention the fastest at that. I don’t think I need to remind you that most of the people reading Naruto, Bleach or any of the other manga listed in the post are not living in USA, and lack ways of acquiring these manga legally, hence they resort to illegal scanlations.
    And when Viz (with licensing rights) demanded that MangaStream cease and desist with scanlating the listed manga, they automatically make it that much harder for non-US based fans to read their beloved manga. And I can probably guess that the comments you quoted probably aren’t from US citizens… Would you not be frustrated, angry and upset if you couldn’t read your beloved polish or russian manga (if there are any) because the company with the rights asks the only group scanlating your manga to cease with this?

    I, myself am not a US-based fan. I can’t buy these comics, nor can I read them on WSJA. What are my options if I wish to keep reading the thing I love on my free time? And what do I do when my options are removed?

    I am not justifying what the people are saying to VIZ, since in the end it is all about money, and this might make them more profit (or less, depending on the impact of their C&D letters amongst US-based fans) but can you blame them? Imagine yourself in their position, what would you do? Roll your thumbs and whistle until the manga is released in your country, or curse at VIZ for punishing you for something you have no control over and keep looking for other illegal alternatives until there are legal alt. in your country? I hardly doubt you’d pick the first alternative, and if you say you do, you are a lier.

    Ps. Does anyone know if the manga industry in Japan, or VIZ and the others for that matter even expect to make a profit out of us outside the US, Japan or Canada? Or do they deem us as a lost cause?

  • #7741

    El

    Hi there. I can see that you do make some excellent points with this post. However, even though the fans and online manga leechers have a very very lousy way of expressing themselves, they aren’t totally wrong. They just aren’t using the right words, and you seem to have taken the most extreme of comments to prove your point (comparing Viz with Adolf, accusing them of being worshippers of satan etc.).
    What I am saying is that MS was the best at giving scanlations for the manga listed, and not to mention the fastest at that. I don’t think I need to remind you that most of the people reading Naruto, Bleach or any of the other manga listed in the post are not living in USA, and lack ways of acquiring these manga legally, hence they resort to illegal scanlations.
    And when Viz (with licensing rights) demanded that MangaStream cease and desist with scanlating the listed manga, they automatically make it that much harder for non-US based fans to read their beloved manga. And I can probably guess that the comments you quoted probably aren’t from US citizens… Would you not be frustrated, angry and upset if you couldn’t read your beloved polish or russian manga (if there are any) because the company with the rights asks the only group scanlating your manga to cease with this?

    I, myself am not a US-based fan. I can’t buy these comics, nor can I read them on WSJA. What are my options if I wish to keep reading the thing I love on my free time? And what do I do when my options are removed?

    I am not justifying what the people are saying to VIZ, since in the end it is all about money, and this might make them more profit (or less, depending on the impact of their C&D letters amongst US-based fans) but can you blame them? Imagine yourself in their position, what would you do? Roll your thumbs and whistle until the manga is released in your country, or curse at VIZ for punishing you for something you have no control over and keep looking for other illegal alternatives until there are legal alt. in your country? I hardly doubt you’d pick the first alternative, and if you say you do, you are a liar.

    Ps. Does anyone know if the manga industry in Japan, or VIZ and the others for that matter even expect to make a profit out of us outside the US, Japan or Canada? Or do they deem us as a lost cause?

  • #7742

    Primo

    Lol, people actually think viz connecting with mangastream a viable idea.

  • #7743

    Neil Cruzpero

    People,

    They do have a point. We should think of the artist who does not sleep or even eat just to finish an entire chapter. How would he get the money if we all just wait for free mangas. I was disappointed when I saw the news that mangastream will no longer upload scantalations of Bleach, One Piece, and Naruto. The first thing I thought was, “Oh no SOPA and PIPA lives.”

    However, come to think of it, why don’t you in your community form a group gives contributions to buy a manga and do something like a book club. Don’t upload the scantalations on the net.

    If you don’t pay, whatever we are discussing here will become and moot and academic because Publishing companies will go bankrupt and artist will no longer be paid.

    We cannot do anything anymore except whine. But, we can still be creative!!! :)

  • #7744

    Patrick

    Viz is behind on releasing all chapters.
    Things Viz needs to do to improve:
    1. Release 24 hours after Japanese release.
    2. Allow singular comic subscriptions (not everyone wants to ready everything in alpha)
    3. Remove the viewing limitation. If people purchase something they should receive it, permanently. Or is this another DRM control method? “Annual subscriptions may be purchased for $25.99 for 52 weeks of access and individual issues may be purchased for $0.99 each for four weeks access through VIZManga.com.”
    4. Research and perhaps even hire a translator that worked for one of these groups. Find out what made them so popular.

    In summary: Speed and quality! You cannot expect fans who are used to 24hr release with no DRM restrictions to take your options. Adapt to the market! Do not make the market adapt to you. You can see how that worked for Viz, downsized.

    On a separate note, Border went bankrupt because of their failure to integrate the digital platform into their business model. Viz suffered a similar fate, they failed to expand onto the digital front and because of that they were downsized. Now this may not be their fault but the parent companies.

    Personally, I would never subscribe to Viz online. I would rather buy the physical volumes. At least I get to read them free of restrictions. Though I personally like the scanlator (mangastream) translations better. Plus if anything is censored in those volumes. I would instantly stop purchasing that manga.

    At least I can voice my opinion here as Viz doesn’t seem to be interested in anyone’s opinion.

  • #7745

    Nara

    Just adding an opinion from a manga fan based not in North America or Japan, they do publish quite a lot of manga series here where I live, and I’m talking about the series which I do read as scans online.

    I do try to buy the locally published volumes as much as I can (currently in the process of collecting OP manga box-sets from the first volume). However, one problem I have with the publications here is the quality of translation to my local language, which felt to me way below par and often fails to communicate the emotions conveyed by the authors, which is why I still prefer reading the scans online with their great translations into English.

  • #7746

    maljhong

    I for one don’t mind supporting companies for trying to bring a good thing to me, but here is my real problem, I only read one manga that is published on SJ. So I can’t really validate paying for an entire issue of something when I only enjoy a small fraction of it. My money is very limited and I don’t to waste it. Some can argue that it is only a dollar a week, or the 25.99 a year, and for some this may not be a large amount of money. To me this is not the case. To me it is a waste. If they can offer me a subscription to the one mange I like for a smaller price I will gladly pay for it. But until then I will merely keep looking for that proverbial “Mole” that will no doubt pop up each time a different one is knocked out. Hate on me for it if you must, but I personally think it could be financially better for them to try to do more micro transactions like this.

  • #7747

    Jae

    Viz is now jointly owned by Shueisha, so the real strings are being pulled straight from the top. Naruto and Bleach will be ending within 2 years tops. What is their business plan when 2 of the Big 3 are no longer propping up house?
    A model like crunchyroll, which offers moderate advertising with free viewing, and instant access to subscribers, can very well work for manga. Instead of cutting off popular sharing sites, they should be taking from them what works. That’s what any good business does to grow. You think Molokidan wouldn’t say yes to a full-time translation job if the conditions were right? There is an entire fanbase willing to work even for free to make money for the authors they love, and they are being patronized instead of channeled to more productive things.
    A good model to look at I think is Korea. Korea has a huge variety of manhwa and publications. Webtoons exist side by side with Print editions in perfect harmony. Webtoons make money from views and advertising, while the authors make money from freely publishing their own work, since they still own it. Books and toys are licensed, and enjoy huge popularity if the webtoon is popular. Having every single chapter of a webtoon available for free has not at all stopped sales of books. To the contrary, it ensures that the strong survive, new pieces are given fair chance, and that new fans have easy access to increase the fanbase and sales. People in other countries who know nothing of manhwa come across it accidentally, and linking translations to the original (like EGscans does) ensures that the authors get full benefit from an international fanbase, something impossible with print-only works.

    Online aggregators, instead of what they are now, should become places where links to official translations can be found. They get views and in turn offer exposure to new audiences, while the official site directly takes the traffic they bring in.

    I think it’s time for Shueisha to know when to take the hit. Give the fans what they want for a while and at least kill the scanlation market. They decide what manga stay and go by popularity votes, and this model is what has made them the manga powerhouse they are today. How can they then ignore the clear and unified voices of fans . “we want it fast and easy; we don’t care if we have to pay for it” The one who finds the answer to that will be the one who makes the money. Nothing else will work, even if a million scanlation groups are crippled.
    The human drive for the path of least resistance in the face of laws that hindered growth led to the American Revolution. Unfortunately, since faceless internet groups are impossible to completely stop even with new laws, the ball is in Shueisha’s court, and it doesn’t look like they are playing to win, just playing defense.

  • #7748

    Dan

    Manga being scanned online and being illegally distributed all over the internet is an issue indeed. I’ve been reading manga since 2006 online without paying a single penny because its available and its the smart thing do to, or so i thought. If the illegal distribution of manga content will lead for authors, such as Oda and Kubo, to stop writing their amazing stories, i will stop right away. I live to read One Piece every Wednesday morning. It is not only that it is entertaining but it also gives me motivation. Seeing Luffy struggle through his adventures and seeing how he fights for whats right makes me believe that i can change the world and that anything is possible. Some reasons why i don’t buy manga: 1) Takes a long time to get a recent volume translated to English. 2) There are not many resources to get the manga in convenient places 3) Why should i buy a volume when i can read each chapter for free? However, due the circumstances i am willing to safe up some money and support the companies that distributed this amazing stories. I think it would be good to have more publicity about the consequences of illegal manga and have more publicity. I dont see anywhere “The amazing stories of luffy, now available at This store”. Anime in america is just plain garbage and all this laws of censorship just works against the product. If you want big companies want the piracy to stop, EDUCATE the population about consequences of reading illegal content, DON’T just shut down sites without explaining readers whats going and i think the most important thing is to LET people know this companies exist. More publicity, more content and faster translations. I’m not a parent but if i was, i would rather buy my children all the One piece, Naruto, Bleach, Fairy Tail, Hajime No ippo, Bakuman manga volumes instead of letting them watch Jersey Shore on MTV.
    MangaReader FAN!,
    Dan :)

  • #7749

    Aerin

    It doesn’t matter how fast Viz tries to get the translations out or how they try to accommodate a fanbase with cheaper translations. They’re failing to see that manga on the internet is, for a lot of people, not just reading manga.

    If Viz were able to stop these fan translations entirely, the fandoms would take a great hit in more ways than one. Suddenly, people in one country might get the chapter weeks, even months, before another country, and still more countries may never get it at all. Fandoms only really “work” if everyone deeply involved in them is more or less on the same page. Look at Harry Potter. Once a new book came out (and after the first few books, they were released almost universally in dozens of languages on the same day), most fanfic authors and forum discussers and character essayists disappeared for a day or two until they’d completed the book, then came back to discuss it. THIS is exactly what happens in Japan when it comes to new manga chapters, although they don’t need a day or two to read it. They read it within a day if they’re big fans, either online or from the magazine, and go online to partake in discussion. That’s part of the fun of following one of these series. If fan translations are destroyed, this will be limited to only Japan.

    The fandoms for One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach, among other SJ manga, are IMMENSE, with people from dozens of countries, and many of those countries are ones where those manga are simply unavailable legally. If we were to cut those people out entirely, as well as prevent most people outside of Japan from reading the manga within a day of Japan getting it, the fanbase will drastically diminish. People will stop caring if they have to wait, or they’ll get sick of having the chapter ruined for them because someone in another country who got it well before they did said something or because they were looking up fanart or fanfiction and saw something. That’s the kind of thing that can ruin a fandom: sharply dividing it by countries, preventing certain countries from every having it, forcing others to wait weeks after another country gets it, and so on. It kills the community. It kills the sense of anticipation we all share the day before a new chapter comes out as people throughout the world try to predict what will happen and subsequently share in the shock, annoyance, amusement, and enjoyment of the new chapter, whatever it may bring, all at the same time. Too a decent percentage of manga readers, that is sense of community, of fandom, is just as important as the manga itself, and if you lose one, you lose the other.

    No matter how you try to argue it, many of these series are famous exactly because of fan translations, as they couldn’t have spread nearly so fast and so far, and YES, the authors still make money off of them. I for one buy the official releases as they come out, and I know quite a few others who do as well (I also know many people who wouldn’t buy the manga either way, even if it meant they simply couldn’t read it anymore; in which case again, Viz loses nothing). If you destroy fan translations, you seriously cripple the online fandom. And when you do that, the series loses popularity. How much money does Viz lose to fan translations? We’ll never know.

    But what I DO know is that were it not for fan translations and online fandom, I’d never have started reading manga. I wouldn’t have spent thousands of dollars buying them. And you I also know that if these fan translations are destroyed entirely, I will simply cease to read and eventually purchase the series. If I can’t jump online and discuss the newest Naruto or other SJ manga chapter with a kid in Japan, a kid in Brazil, a kid in Estonia, and a kid in California within a day or two of it coming out, the excitement I have for the series will eventually wither, and those series will have lost a loyal fan and, what is clearly far more important to Viz, a loyal buyer.

  • #7750

    Terrence

    Might as well throw my Canadian pennies in this. OneManga got me into Bleach, then One Piece and Naruto. MangaStream continued the ball with Fullmetal Alchemist, Reborn, Fairy Tail, and even Ippo. Viz? They gave me a chance to purchase my manga legit. The volumes online are way cheaper then I can get in Chapters. I still buy select print volumes of One Piece, the Fullmetal box set, Bakuman and (Fairy Tail, by Kodansha). If manga wasn’t available in Canada, then I probably would have stuck to scanlators and FUnimation’s simulcast. But it’s here, for me to own and read at my leisure. With Shueisha putting scanlators on the run, I would rather back Viz. I want to invest and support creative endeavours in the arts, movies, music, games, and novel industries here.

    My only complaint with Shueisha and Viz would be put your money where your legal arm reaches. Shueisha (if you’re out there), it’s all your domestic property, but you’re licensing it internationally. Don’t be so stingy with regulations that Japan comes first. If our industry fails because the readers don’t like it, then you tried and can stop. But if the industry collapses because you set obstacles, then you might not get another chance to reach our readers in this decade (for the same cost). Viz, it’s okay to take legal actions, but tell your readers up front what you’re doing with Shueisha against pirates, and how that might effect the coming future. There’s action, then comes reaction. Remember where all your fans came from in order to enjoy your manga :)

  • #7751

    NavyCherub

    International, same-day releases of manga are completely possible and in fact already a reality. http://tinyurl.com/85zlpno

  • #7752

    Hood

    I don’t understand how WSJA will reduce piracy, if anything it will increase, because most of the world is excluded from the manga industry. I really feel like the odd kid left out of the football game. I would support WSJA if it was available for everyone in the world.

  • #7753

    Moe

    I don’t mind paying at all, I love to support what brings joy to my life, VIZ can have my money, as long they provide a good service, as I live in a country where manga doesn’t exist here, I’m more than happy to pay them, after all, I’m a fan of legal ways, I always follow my rule: be legal, be at ease. I hope VIZ provide a good service.

  • #7754

    ZombieAladdin

    I think the reason why there’s this two-week delay in Alpha is because of legal reasons and bureaucratic tape. Scanlators don’t have to deal with that, but Viz does.

    So I wonder–is it possible for Shueisha to delay the Japanese Shonen Jump for two weeks? In other words, the manga is still drawn at the same rate, but now it’s delayed in Japan until about the same time the English-language ones show up in Alpha.

    I’ve subscribed to Alpha since the moment it got started as I’m not particularly picky about which manga I read (though it’s annoying that Viz’s coverage of Psyren suddenly stopped). But I didn’t realize it was only available to the United States and Canada. Not even Mexico, Australia, or the UK? Well, I suppose it must be because there’d have to be talks with whatever companies distribute manga in those countries.

    In any case, the kids (and adults, I guess) who don’t care either way about if the authors are getting money or not were never really fans to begin with. I don’t mean this as how I see them but that their dedication level is low. If the manga industry died out one day, these guys would simply move on to something else that’s free. They’ll be just as happy watching videos of cats playing piano, as long as it’s free.

    I’m sure everyone who posted here is a manga fan though, Mangastream supporters or not, because they’re dedicated and passionate enough to say something here. But I think we can safely ignore those people with the ridiculous sense of self-entitlement because they were never going to pay for anything anyway and thus would never have been part of Viz’s (or any company’s) customer base.

  • #7755

    Justin

    Sorry I agree with the whole internet isn’t free thing, but I don’t care for VIZ at all. Over the years of reading manga I gotten into the whole Japanese culture thing and decided to learn a bit of the language. I bought a couple of raws and decided to compare them to some of the Giants from the U.S.(tokyopop,viz,etc). What I found was very crappy translation Naruto for example if I see a line where I know it reads something it is toned down for the younger audiences .Why is that? We pay full price a premium of sorts to read a near perfect translation yet we get sub par work. I understand that Viz wants to get money from the kiddies but then you should make an honest translation for the adults. It was the same problem with Tokyopop I complained many a time on the forums about the GTO Early Years translations and all they sent me were weak excuses. The translations were way off and there were many grammatical errors. I’ve seen more errors in Tokyopop than I ever seen in my entire life. But I’ve hardly seen any in manga stream also manga stream is much more closer to the translation. That’s why we need them it keeps rival companies on their toes so you just cant put out a crappy product and tell yourself well “I know its sub par but the people have no other place to go so I can do anything I want.” That’s why I am anti this. Its like a monopoly and the only people who benefit from it is Viz. I hope that Viz just doesn’t go the way that T-Pop did. They lost the manga licensing because of the complaints to the publishers over seas about the poor quality that was coming out on this end. It had nothing to do with borders. Go on the forum and the fans plus the editors will tell you. Well that’s my rant maybe I should start scanslating give it to Viz and show them an example of how it really should look.

  • #7756

    Harlequin

    I would love to buy manga and support Viz and the manga industry, but as I live in Australia I really have NO choice if I want to see anything resembling a current arc of any manga, not to mention some of my favourite manga aren’t imported because there isn’t enough of a fan base. You know what Viz I can understand that you’re losing money but to pigeon-hole the entire world like this is retarded, it only leads to more scanlation groups popping up or worse encoded traffic, which you could do next to nothing to stop. Really you should take a step back and re think this seemingly knee jerk reaction, you could stand to make ALOT more money for it too.

  • #7757

    Todd “GWOtaku” DuBois

    Here is a question to ponder. If fan translators & certain sites truly and honestly only cared about filling in the gap for the major Jump series and keeping people informed about what is going on, well, why does it not stop with mere translation? Why don’t they content themselves with spoilers, good summaries or maybe even script translations? That’s fair game and the latter is likely irrelevant from Viz’s perspective. Comics are a visual medium, I think we can all agree that text does not infringe on that product. But there are people who go the extra mile.

    Why? I’ll tell you why: for prestige and, yes, for the sites out there, money. Ill-gotten money.

    I’ve heard much about how Shonen Jump Alpha is two weeks behind, which is bloody amazing considering where the manga industry & digital content was even a year ago–two or three, the shift is nothing less than dramatic. There was a very recent time when any long-running manga being caught up to the Japanese manga volume releases was just a nice dream. Now we are where we are. How easily some people forget with such complaints as “well they don’t have THIS” and “but it’s North America!” (while I empathize with global fandom, this complaint is also a perpetually moving goalpost: if they catch up in the UK people will shift to some other country where English is a major language. We’ll hear something like “but what about Singapore?!”).

    My unfiltered opinion on the subject is this. People can talk about the reasons we are where we are & what can be done better & the manga industry, and I’m about to cite something that does a lot of that, and that’s all very useful. But at the end of the day you have fundamental questions that demand answering: does Viz have rights, and do these Viz flamers have any standing to complain? The answers are “yes” and “no” and they’re not up for debate.

    Everyone attacking Viz on this is, quite frankly, a fool – especially the individuals that flamed them on Facebook with the grammar and intelligence of a tantrum-throwing third grader.Deb Aoki, about.com’s intrepid manga blogger, explains everything fabulously on her blog.

    http://manga.about.com/od/bookreviews/a/Mangastream-Vs-Shonen-Jump-Alpha.htm

    I’m picking out some key parts regarding Mangastream’s deplorable statement:

    “It’s not like this news caught them by surprise. (See the announcement of the anti-piracy coalition Japanese Digital Comics Association back in June 2010, followed by OneManga’s shut down in July 2010 and MangaFox’s token attempt to take down VIZ titles in June 2010 (that they later reposted). Sure, MangaStream tried to make some concessions to VIZ by “removing chapters that are older than a couple of weeks.” Clearly, this was an attempt to placate VIZ/Shueisha’s legal team who eventually got tired of the games, and by the sound of Mangastream’s letter, finally sent Mangastream a strongly-worded threat that they had to take seriously. Given all the anti-piracy developments brewing since June 2010, Mangastream was living on borrowed time and they darn well knew it. If they didn’t, they were either naïve or stupid or both.”

    “This bears repeating: Mangastream’s scans NEVER paid a CENT to Masashi Kishimoto, Tite Kubo, Eiichiro Oda, or any other manga creator whose work is posted on their site. And for good measure, they probably didn’t pay the fans who translated, scanned, cleaned up, and lettered the manga hosted on their site either.

    “So who made money? Well, probably Mangastream and the various scanlation aggregator sites who make money off the Google Adwords / display advertising that’s posted on their sites. I’ll say it again. Not a SINGLE PENNY of this advertising revenue ever did or ever will go to the creators who drew the manga. Got it? Good.

    “Despite that inconvenient truth, Mangastream’s letter drips with bitterness:

    ‘(VIZ has) succeeded in little more than invoking inconvenience to the community as their digital magazine missed the mark; it runs several issues behind and only features 3 of the above series. So long as their product continues to be slow, awkward and inferior to something a ragtag group of nobodies can churn out in a few hours – fans will continue to look to scanlation groups and aggregators for their weekly fix.’

    “See how insidious this reasoning is? They’re basically saying, ‘Hey fans – big bad VIZ is being sooo mean. They sic’ed their lawyers on us. We tried to fight the good fight, but alas, we cannot any longer. VIZ’s product is inferior to ours, and it’s sooo slow. VIZ is just a big, bad company full of greedy incompetents, while we are for you, the community of fans! We are the good guys! Fight the power!’

    “Before you swallow that bit of swill, let me introduce another inconvenient truth: The reason why the ‘ragtag group of nobodies’ can ‘churn out’ the latest chapters of Shonen Jump manga in ‘a few hours’ is that they don’t have to worry about tedious details like, oh… getting approvals from the original manga creators, editors or publishers in Japan? It’s easy to be fast when you don’t have to worry about things like that. It’s also easy to be profitable when they’re only paying for their Internet hosting costs, and not paying anything to the editors, the letterers/clean-up artists, translators, the publishers and most of all, the creators of the comics that they claim to love.”

    Aoki closes by sayingi n part

    This is making for a long comment, but this closing sentiment is important: “I’m not saying shut up and just take what VIZ is giving to you – you, as fans, as consumers, and people who are paying your money to read Shonen Jump manga, are entitled to say what you think, what you want, and how you think things can be improved.”

    That part is key. You have a say (a civil say) if you are a customer. The types that act like victims over this and insist Viz does a horrible job and therefore won’t ever support it? For the most part these aren’t customers. They’re jerks with a totally misplaced sense of entitlement. As Aoki says, Viz surely knew they weren’t going to please everyone right away. They don’t need to. They just have to market & reach out to the people who actually care. And this they are doing, better than they ever have before. As Aoki asks: is it really so hard to appreciate how far things have come?

  • #7758

    Hea

    One thing I don’t like about manga translating and selling companys like VIZ is that they translate even the sounds which really sucks in my opinion. The sfx’s, especially in Bleach, were part of the Art and if I were to buy the manga from viz and read it I get big fat FROOOMMMS and KAAABOOOOMMM and that is something really annoying.

  • #7759

    mariowie

    I am going to dick around with proxies now, I don’t understand why they wouldn’t accept my cash.

  • #7760

    tenky

    i’ve been in the U.S and Canada before i used to buy all the products movies, manga, all the games for my favorite series but after i moved to the middle east i cant get my hands on any of the jump series i relied on manga stream for my weekly fix of manga but when i saw what Viz did i was outraged and i agree with all those people who left hateful comments because taking manga from fans is like taking a cigarette from a full time smoker thats been smoking for 50 years they made a problem they have to face the consequences and i doubt manga stream is going to be affected as much as Viz

  • #7761

    GoldenRah

    The problem here is on a lot of fronts. First The manga industry is hardly global, for the fans in Europe,Africa and most parts of Asia they have almost no means to get manga except of course shipping it from Japan or the USA. That can get costly pretty fast and we all know people aren’t made of money. Second point I’ve seen samples of both viz translations and Mangastream translations. Viz translations dare I say it are a lot worse than the mangastream translation, they are dumbed down and the translations are unreliable some times. Here’s a solution why don’t you hire some of Mangastream’s staff which does a lot better job doing the scanlations in turn making your own revenue higher? They don’t quite think that much ahead and with all the laws standing around making it harder for them to do something I don’t blame them.
    Third Point, the marketing strategy. They need to keep ahead of their times we are living. Ever heard of Steam? Yes steam, it was created in response to piracy, games were usually either unavailable or really pricey so people started pirating them. Problem is they were low quality so in turn they created steam releasing high quality games at acceptable prices, in which they did not spend money shipping and other costs. Why not do something like that it would increase their revenue by a lot, people wouldn’t pirate as much and it would be available all over the globe. Seriously it would be a golden idea and they would even save money

  • #7762

    Loki

    @Todd that just shows how little do you know about how scanlating works , while i do confirm that you are right on several points , you are also wrong on just as many

  • #7763

    mariowie

    I succeeded in evading the country restriction. But then I took a credit card to the knee :s, I now have to fix a credit card to make payments :c.

  • #7764

    Beastboy

    Hey,
    After reading Todd’s post I decided to came here and state that their are somethings in his post that are simply WRONG.

    He say’s:
    “And for good measure, they probably didn’t pay the fans who translated, scanned, cleaned up, and lettered the manga hosted on their site either.”
    MangaStream and those fans are one and the same. There is no company behind the actual workers, mangastream ARE the fan’s who translate and edit.
    They may have a member who just holds a server and does administrative bullshit. But if he gets any money more than the others, it’s basically stealing from MangaStream. Just that.

    Where the money goes? Well, GoogleAds is no golden pot. Really. You need A LOT of viewers to get A LOT of income.
    And they do have a lot of viewers. It so happens that a lot of viewes in an image sharing website is expensive. You need a pretty decent server to sustain that many bandwith. And I’ve never done the math but I doubt they had that much to spare.
    If they made or made not, who knows?
    But accusing them of getting money is a baseless accusation. And that’s kind of a crime too.

    But your post becames fallacious when you invent a “they” different from the “translators/editors (…)”

    I’ve been part of an (international) scanlator group, and there is no such a thing. Its just doing it for the fan. And yes, there is prestige involved. Things like “we are faster than X” or “We are slower than Y but at least our translations are accurate”. But there is no monetary greed. Just a kind of voluntary attitude towards giving people something to read.

    What we’re doing was kind of legal, as in our country those mangas are not licenced (altough, I haven’t find the specific laws).

    Also I’ve nothing against Viz. I kind of have a problem against the current copyright laws. I just find it awful that we’ve proven methods of creators getting paid, while viewers getting it for free (TV!!!). So I can’t be for any paying system. But that is another matter.

  • #7765

    Morgan

    Dear Zach I have been subscribed to shonen jump for several years my main problem sj alpha is I don’t get to keep a copy of it. That’s it I still own all my shonen jumps since I started in 2007. I don’t get why I can’t download a copy to my flash drive so I can always read them. I am not happy about psyren getting axed either but I guess I will find some illegal sight online to read that series as long as Google’s protecting us our government not going to shut us down I agree that shonen jump should turn into the steam of manga and anime that would be cool.

  • #7766

    Morgan

    Oh yeah the other i think that sj alpha should do is ask you personally what 5 or 6 manga you want to read in shonen jump alpha so your favorite manga doesn’t get axed and you can read your favorite manga without having to worry about them being axed by others who disagree with you. I think that if your paying for this service that’s the very least they can do to improve upon the service they provide.

  • #7767

    James

    I don’t really see the problem, the fact that so many people wants to read manga shouldn’t be a problem xD it should be a cash machine for those making it! And it can be so the way it is now, we all should be able to read it for free. The internet is free IMO, and it will and should be payed by commercials and advertising. So why don’t they start putting commercials into it, which the author can profit from. It wont bother any of us, and as I see it, there already is commercials in some manga’s – at least Japanese commercails. So they just need to make it work some way, so we all get the commercials interesting for us. Like google or facebook give us commercials. Piece of cake and much more money than if u have to pay for the Jump…

  • #7768

    ken

    I think one of the reason sites like onemanga is popular, because it fast release. It not like they are 100% accurate with there word or sometime miss page.
    To tell you the true you could get 20% more sale if you release fast with single release. People around the world would be made if their site went down, because the want mange every week, more like everyday lol. Okay let say you make a site or have it on iPod app and release them on Monday or Tuesday with that you beating them on time and because of that your 100 official so no one wrong word or miss page. This would make you #1 place to get manga. Why would I go to sit like mangastream? People want free but please also want faster release.

  • #7769

    Tobbe

    i read all of this and i still don’t see any other option for me to get manga other than illigal ways, that or pay over 500% transport fees to get it here, the same applies to anime, i allso don’t have the physical storage space for the products, and the digital servise on manga is not available here, i would use it if i could but allas, i cant. just becuz i live at a inconvinient place meens im not allowed to read manga? from what i read, if there is not big enoth fan base where you live you loose the rights to read the manga? what sort of fucked up dictator reasoning is that if i may ask?

  • #7770

    KB

    The problem lies with the business model itself that Viz, Shueisha and those other companies like to use. With the internet, it is a model that no longer has a competitive edge and is consequently falling. However, rather than adapting their business to the relatively new technology and the new way of thinking that inevitably comes with it, they have chosen to instead persist with their outdated business model, by trying instead to adapt the new technology to it.

    As it’s been correctly pointed out, even though it appears that reading scanlations online is “free”, there is still money being made from it. So, rather than waging a war to try and crush this new way of doing business, it would be much more beneficial to utilize and adapt to it. How do you think hulu.com does it?

    Other problems are of course the bureaucracies that no one wants and the politics that no one cares about. No one likes censorship or having things “toned down”. Those that do aren’t even paying customers, nor are they even remotely interested in the product, so why are they the ones that are being appeased?

    Also, competing modes of business aren’t necessarily piracy. Piracy is by definition “theft”. However, to duplicate something isn’t theft, it is duplication. If someone buys an apple, and uses the seed in it to plant his own apple tree, is that “piracy”? Of course not. It is simply more for everyone, and that is exactly what duplication is; “more for everyone”.

    Once everyone comes around to realizing all that, real progress can finally be made.

  • #7771

    Tobbe

    Allso, 1 of the bigger reasons many people choose the illegal version is that the fan made translations (anime and manga alike) are a lot better then the official one, the picture quality is better, and its for free. why pay for a version thats far inferior the the free one? well, i would still pay for it if it was digital, not to expensive and i get to keep what i pay for (why the hell would i pay for it otherwise?) and if the translation is closer to what the bigger fan sites offer i would even pay a little bit more

  • #7772

    James

    when the 2 options for non US people are A) wait 18 months (yes 18 months, 1 volume every 3 months, 9 chapters per volume, current chapter available to buy is 516) for this weeks chapter to come out in the UK.

    B) mangastream

    these are the options. who reallys wants A? even if you want to support manga, who wants to hear about stuff that you don’t get to see for over a year? that’s just not living in the real world, no matter how much you try and say internet isn’t free, very few people will be willing to wait 18 months. Like Gabe Newell said, piracy is a service problem, when the best legal alternative is so far removed from the easist option, it’s no wonder it’s so successful.

    Simply do what Crunchyroll does for manga, have it translated and available for $ the day after, not 18 months.

  • #7773

    Shki

    First of all, mind your tone.

    Because most people who complain about recent VIZ vs MS, are still fans who love the series.

    If your point is to promote WSJA, make it so that it is not in offensive language.

    Now there are several other points you should know

    – In some countries like Myanmar, the average person earning is less than 30$/month which they can barely live and eat.

    For them, internet is the only source they can afford intellectual products; it is not as if everyone is a leecher just because they want to be.

    – Tsukento, your comments about Facebook page might be true to some extents but you are doing it the wrong way.

    Someone complains about the huge gap in manga chapters of online vs WSJA and your response is his inaccuracy in manga chapter number which is off by 3?

    Seriously, online chapters sometimes have wrong numbers due to special chapters, etc. but that was not his point, was it?

    – So some people complain about “quality translations” and some people complain about “selective manga”, they are somewhat true you know.

    – Thirdly, MS is a respectable scanlation group whose wish is to promote the manga they love, there is no reason to bash them.

    TBH, internet policing has practically very little effects because in some countries, the international laws don’t work.

    Most fansub/scanlation groups listen to VIZ when addressed directly is because they care about them even though they have the option to reject them.

    For example, Tazmo and co. – they don’t really listen about whatever the officials are saying, do they?

    —————–

    Bye then, hope you justice-wanna-be guys are enlightened a bit.

    (^^ I chose this tone ‘cuz I am angry with how you guys talked about us fans. Learn to pay respect, even if it is internet.)

  • #7774

    Shki

    Oh yes, before someone might troll, let me correct my typo

    *Thirdly = Additionally

  • #7775

    Mark

    I can go with viz having the copyright laws. Viz quality isn’t as good as other sites and it’s something that they need to work on. The problem I have is now I can’t read Reborn or hunter x hunter. I checked the viz website and they have nothing. What are they going to do about that?

  • #7776

    Strawhat

    If it wasn’t for scanalations I probably would have never become a one piece fan. But since then I have bought numerous one piece manga books, dvds, I’ve even bought unlimited adventure for the wii twice, which buy the way they don’t make anymore. I don’t mind paying for it but I need my one piece now.

  • #7777

    Anonymous

    “Where the money goes? Well, GoogleAds is no golden pot. Really. You need A LOT of viewers to get A LOT of income.”

    According to Alexa, MangaStream.com was getting 15 million pageviews a day on average, and they had ads on every page of the site.

  • #7778

    Anonymous

    “Oh yeah the other i think that sj alpha should do is ask you personally what 5 or 6 manga you want to read in shonen jump alpha so your favorite manga doesn’t get axed and you can read your favorite manga without having to worry about them being axed by others who disagree with you.”

    Alpha has a reader’s survey you can take on the official website, in which you can rank the series, similar to the ones published in the original copies of WSJ in Japan. It also asks about preferences in merchandise and other such things.

    WSJA’s TOC is also arranged by popularity based on the Japanese reader poll results.

  • #7779

    Anonymous

    “Dear Zach I have been subscribed to shonen jump for several years my main problem sj alpha is I don’t get to keep a copy of it. That’s it I still own all my shonen jumps since I started in 2007. I don’t get why I can’t download a copy to my flash drive so I can always read them.”

    That’s because they still want people to buy the volume releases.

    Just like how in Japan, Weekly Shonen Jump is printed on really shitty paper and sometimes the artwork isn’t even finished or has errors.

    People in Japan usually just throw away their copies of Weekly Shonen Jump when they’re done reading them.

    Then, if they want to own the series to read it whenever they want, they buy the tankobon releases which are printed on good paper and include corrections to art and dialogue.

  • #7780

    Anonymous

    Last thing I want to say…

    “One thing I don’t like about manga translating and selling companys like VIZ is that they translate even the sounds which really sucks in my opinion. The sfx’s, especially in Bleach, were part of the Art and if I were to buy the manga from viz and read it I get big fat FROOOMMMS and KAAABOOOOMMM and that is something really annoying.”

    You only say that because you can’t read Japanese. Since you can’t read it, you just see scratch marks and stuff, and think it’s “art”.

    I can read Japanese.

    When I see the untranslated SFX, I see:

    ZUGAGAGAGAGA!

    or

    DOGAAAAAN!

    Or whatever.

  • #7781

    VoiceofReason

    I won’t buy manga from Viz only b/c the translations are poor and toned down. For now I will either find another site like Mangastream or wait until the volumes are released in Japan.

  • #7782

    geowrian

    Unfortunately, there is literally no choice, and therefore no competition, when it comes to manga. There is no legal method to obtain different variations of the work, and decide which one you want to spend your money on. Then again, “monopoly” isn’t accurate either. There’s not enough demand to generate the sales for 2 companies to compete on the same series. What’s the result? A single company gets a series and consumers are forced to either buy their version regardless of quality, get it illegally, or not get it at all. That’s a very poor state for the industry.

    The current business models in play just cannot work moving forward. When this happens, the content creators usually start pressing to crack down on the “evil pirates”. They think it’s not the business model that’s malfunctioning – it’s the piracy. They’re the reason for the problems they’re facing. However, that’s incorrect. Piracy is a symptom here. Every other major industry that has taken that viewpoint has faced crippling losses. The music industry is still trying to figure it out, but they’re *finally* starting to make changes to their business model to turn would-be pirates into customers. And it didn’t happen by attacking the pirates or hosts (they tried that and it failed for years). It happened by offering various methods to obtain the digital items DRM-free, quickly, affordably, and with choices of who to purchase from. That’s still in it’s infancy, but it’s finally starting to take hold, and all signs is it’s being greeted with open arms. Maybe it will fail, but it’s still better than holding on to a dying business model.

    Some users will never pay for the material. Sorry Viz, but you’re never going to make a cent on these people no matter what you do. You’re wasting time, effort, and face trying to stop them. As for the others who might be turned into consumers, how can you beat the “free” that the scanlators are offering? You can: you can beat a “free” product by offering a greater value. Most pirates right now don’t see Viz’s releases as a greater value. Some see it as lower value. Yes, *lower than free*. Viz needs to create a product that is worth more than whatever scanlators can put out there. This can be done. There’s no valid reason why a small group of users from across countries and time zones can release a finished work within hours on strictly volunteer time and for no profit. I read the article above and realize some of this is out of Viz’s hands. It’s not Viz’s decision not to release worldwide, or to have considerable to significant delays in releases across countries. They also can’t throw the Japanese publishers under the bus: it’s biting the hand that feeds. However, Viz needs to realize that people don’t want to hear excuses. Think of all people as potential consumers of your products, and scanlators as a competitor. How can Viz win them over, but not on price? If they cannot think of a way to do so, then they *will* fail. I don’t want to see that, but if there’s no way for a company to offer what consumers want (even if it’s out of their hands), and that can’t be changed in a reasonable timeframe, then it’s time to exit as a business.

    Personally, I don’t think that’s the case. I think it’s possible for Viz to turn the ship around and produce something that has a greater value than the scanlators’ releases. However, I don’t know if they will do so, or if they will continue to walk the path they already made for themselves.

    Now that I’ve said all that analysis of the current state of things, here’s a suggestion. It might be impossible or silly, but it’s worth being said. What’s the perceived worst part of Viz’s releases? Time & availability? I don’t know when Viz gets the material, but if there’s a delay on that side then it needs to be identified and removed. There’s *no* reason why scanlators can get it done within hours while a company that focuses on this can’t get it done within 24 hours (barring approvals from the publishers, but that needs to be addressed as well to speed things up). What’s the next biggest issue with the releases? Translation. Why not find a way to allow multiple translations of a series (even if only in the digital formats)? Let consumers decide which “version” they want to go with. One can be more kid-friendly while others are more true to the original material. There are plenty of qualified, reliable translators out there that can handle this task for an affordable rate. There’s plenty out there already that do it for free already, so if they can make a couple dollars and get to work on the material they love at the same time, it benefits everybody.

    Okay, now to “rip apart” some of the responses to comments.

    “Now this one makes no sense. If you bought issues when they were available, why would you forcibly limit yourself by not buying anything at all?”

    Because if I disagree with what a company is doing, then I don’t buy their products. I’m not going to support (via sales) a company that I don’t like. I’d much rather go elsewhere (note: no other legal option available here) or not have the product at all. Pissed off consumers are toxic to a business, especially one that relies heavily on the fans and in a niche market.

    “To bad part of the money is still given to the publishing company. Oh, did I forget to mention that Viz is a part of Shueisha? So your goal accomplishes nothing. If you have the time and money to spend on getting lessons to learn another language for the sake of reading manga, then you have the time and money to pay for official releases.”

    True, but it’s likely significantly less money going to them. And it makes a statement that the US branch is doing something very wrong. No change is going to occur unless they see a problem occurring or is about to occur. As for the Japanese lessons remark, that’s like asking why bother learning to fish? If you have the money to learn how to fish and go fishing, the you have money to just buy the fish. I think everybody here knows why I chose to use fish as an analogy…that saying goes back almost 2 millenniums. I agree that the reaction is extreme, but don’t knock on somebody wanting to improve themselves and teach himself/herself how to fish.

  • #7783

    Laurens

    I’ve been reading the comments soo far…
    About scanlators, i dont think they rly made that much money if they made at any at all.
    Secondly if u think the authors receive good cash from use buying those manga ur sadly mistaken. Only a very small part (about 1%) goes to the artist. The rest of the money is stuck in between.

    And why is SJA 3 weeks behind? For an approval? They got to think more about their translations oke, not a couple of hours but give them a full day. Day 2 Let the several “bosses” read them for approval and make corrections if neccesairy. Day 3 u can Online release it.

    To be honest i can’t believe the authors are asked for the translations. I’m a premium member of Crunchy Roll, since DatteBayo showed me the way. I must say Naruto got sooo kiddie i cant watch it anymore.(ViZ handels those translations as well) If the translated tekst differs soo much from their own original how can they approve of those translations???

    Last but not least, ViZ rly should get more global, I live in the Netherlands and there isn’t 1 shop that sells manga in 100KM radius. I know 1 store that does sell it and ship in europe but only the big titles which are waayyyy behind. Sooo until they can provide us with manga, they should leave manga scanlets alone in those areas they dont sell. It’s POSSIBLE.

  • #7784

    chris

    Well I guess more people will download from turrent sites now. The mistake they make is thinking just because somebody reads them online and then they can’t all those people will buy copies. I will just find something else to waste my spare time, the manga’s was getting kinda boring anyway. Would not mind to see the last bleach ark, will I buy it? no.

  • #7785

    UchaNekome

    Well I love manga. I love One Piece most of all! I want to support the author! But I also want the companys who distribute the manga to have full and accurate translations. Meaning NO ZOLO! I also wish to get the manga when it is released. I also want to support the workers who try so hard to do the best they can. But I also want to criticise the ones who arn’t trying hard enough. I need to save money for collage, a car, and to get a drivers licens. I have no job. I want to buy WSJA but I can’t afford it. I want people to get these manga in other countrys. I want more than 3 manga in WSJA. I want people on the internet to stop complaining about the losing scanlations they don’t own. I want my weekly manga fix. I want to continue to read manga. I want people to stop pinning the blame on others, INCLUDING VIZ!

    The above are the spoken wishes of not only myself but the people who truly love manga. But wishing and wanting will not do anything. Saying I WANT is not enough. What WILL do is as soon as I get a job I will percious WSJA as well as read scanlations. While I know it’s hard to believe they are trying their best. and as you can see demand and pressure is high. Scanlations are not perfect ether. However they do translate better. But they aren’t leagal. Bottom line I love pirates…but I don’t want to be one. If I love something I pay the genius who created it. I read scanlations to check the water of manga. I do the same with streamed anime. If I like it I buy it if I don’t I save my money for more important things…Like a library book. But reading without planing to buy is just pointless. Sooner or later the author won’t be able to afford to continue his series. because it would be suposedly unpopular. AND WHO’S FULT WOULD THAT BE! if not for yourselves then for the one who works so hard for your entertainment. BUY THE DAMN SERIES!

  • #7786

    Reggie

    For everyone bitching and moaning about crappy translations as your biggest gripe, freakin learn to read and understand Japanese with all the money you’re saving by not buying the manga, then get the real story directly from Japan. There is always something lost in translation no matter what language it turns to especially coming from Japan where pretty much every story has at least a moderate degree of specific cultural references that when translated make absolutely no sense.

    For those thinking people don’t get paid with manga: any site that has ads and has 400k fans on facebook is getting paid big dollars. It really doesn’t cost that much to get fiber line and a server that can handle image posts nowadays. A few hundred bucks a month for the line and $2500 for a server and you can host webstreaming in the US for god’s sake, and its probably way cheaper to host in other parts of the world. Every person that reads online from one of these ‘fan’ sources is just taking that much money from the artist and licenses they represent. It doesn’t matter how insignificant the money is as it all adds up to a bigger loss for those truly entitled to it. 400k x 1% is a good chunk of money.

    The problem isn’t with the company who’s job is really just trying to make good stories and make a living. Its the so called ‘fans’. How can anyone say they’re a fan if they get mad at a company who’s simply taking claim to what’s rightfully theirs? Leeches who’ve been getting it for free should just be glad its been free this long. To all those who say they won’t be coming back to reading or buying Viz: good riddance. You won’t be missed.

  • #7787

    kuldeep

    I would love to buy manga but i live in india and manga is not available here :(.

    viz if you want to close sites like mangastream , onemanga u should made these manga available through site or book

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