Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It is War you Manga Pirates!

I caught this on Sankaku Complex the other day. Shonen Jump is taking the offensive on those that translate and upload their newly released manga for others to read.

Here is an excerpt from the message they sent out:

"To our readers,

The Internet is now overflowing with illegal copies of manga. All of these illegal copies run counter to the wishes of mangaka. They also ignore the wishes of the creator as to how the manga should be read.

It may be done without much thought, but in reality it hurts the mangaka who pour their creative talents into these works, and it is also against the law.

When we discover such illegal copies, we discuss possible measures with the mangaka concerned and try to tackle the problem, but there are so many heartless people around that it is just impossible for us to tackle them all."

I can understand their perspective on this as it is taking possible revenue out of their pockets. If someone took something I wrote and translated into Japanese, I would be a bit miffed.

This has been as much of a heated debate as those that upload new Anime from Japan. If everything that was published in Japan was also published elsewhere, then this would be a non-issue.

However, there are some things that we find we love to read, but know for a fact that they will never make it over here for us to read. It is not possible to publish every issue in the multitude of languages so that everyone can read it. Explain to me what you want us to do in the rest of the world?

Here is a personal example. I have not been able to locate a copy of the Shonen Jump (VIZ Media) release of Kurohime 15 here in the US. It was supposedly released on 2010Jan05, but I have never found it.

No one has it here in the US and even eBay is vacant of the book. I have all the previous 14 volumes and really want to read this volume. Am I suppose to wait until the end of days to read the last volume? Should I jump on the internet to see if there is a Scanlation for me to read. It has been over 3 months which I think is a fair wait on some news on this.

The other thing that gets my goat as well is the US Distribution time frames. Why am I waiting MONTHS between volumes. I can see maybe 1 - 2 months between volumes, but 3 to 4 (or even more) is a bit much. If you want to keep my interest, then keep popping them out a little more frequently dammit!

For those interested, here is a list of the Manga that I am currently PURCHASING:

20th Century Boys, Cats Paradise, D.Gray-Man, Dance in the Vampire Bund, Dogs: Bullets and Carnage, Fairy Tail, Gurren Lagann, Kuronhime, Ninja Girls, Rosario + Vampire, Soul Eater, Nightschool - The Weirn Books, Raiders, Hero Tales, Sayonara; Zetsubou-Sensei, Yokai Doctor, Waqwaq, The Dark Hunters, Tegami Bachi and King of Debris.

I have never listed all these before - what a damn big list I have. Now these are what I have on my shelf currently and is always growing. I have a really wide range of tastes and do share these with my wife and son as well.

What are you thoughts on all this?

Source: Sankaku Complex


  1. Eh, they need to get over it. They're not the only ones. Everything is copied to the Internet. Movies, TV shows, anime, manga, books, etc. And if there is no official English translation available, it's only going to happen more.

    And even if a company is translating it but only releasing one volume a year or something stupid like that, fans will go to the Internet. This is a consumer's market. If you don't please the customer on their terms, you won't have a customer anymore ^^;

  2. I totally agree with you about uploading manga ilegally, it does hurt the industry and it causes manga companies to raise there prices for new volumes. I personally find this sickining.

  3. The Internet is invoking a rethinking of many products and services business models - a paradigm shift if not just publishers, but also other media-based businesses.

    Most of the series won't be even be heard of outside of Japan if not for the internet.

    They just need to rethink of how they can use the double edged sword of the net into their favor.

  4. Are they earning money with those "pirated" copies? Even the translation take time and effort by the translator and are they charging money for that?

    The world is changing and so is the economy and lifestyle. Is something they have to learn to deal with.

  5. if it weren't for the translated manga, they won't have such a big fanbase in the first place. They need to get over it

  6. I can see how a company would be miffed if they lost money to someone on the internet that was able to translate their work into another language.
    I do think that it is still wrong to undermine the profits of a company that is putting out manga in multiple countries.
    I think that manga are still very well priced compared to similar genre like comics. They can keep prices down by selling their same books in multiple languages.
    If the company is not going to sell the book in the US, then by all means, get the downloaded version. In your case, BlueDrakon, this is a series you have given 14 volumes of money toward, and for them to not finish is weak. Similar, I had collected and really liked Cannon God Exaxxion. They got to what, volume 5, and then they stopped producing the book? Um, lame!

    Very interesting article. :)

  7. Well I think it really does hurt in some places like here in the US where the sales are dropping steadily. I much prefer buying manga but every once in a while I'll read a scanlation if I can't find a translated one in the local store or online. I'm not a huge manga reader though but when I buy I prefer to commit to the series. So it's usually a thing to be able to check out a chapter or two online via scanlations to see if I'm going to like it at all before buying. So I guess I'm neutral on it. If I was a mangaka I'd probably have a more solid opinion.

  8. I buy everything I read online whenever it becomes available in my area, but I'm not naive enough to think that's what everyone else is doing too. There are a few series I practically worship and read chapter to chapter as its released in Japan, I would be really sad if I was no longer able to read those chapters. on a weekly/bi-weekly basis.

    But in the end I'll have to with the flow on whatever the companies decide. I just hope the US companies don't let me down and leave series unfinished, that's my #1 concern. I'm still waiting on some hope that Aria, Pumpkin Scissors, The Queen's Knight, Genju no Seiza, The Kindaichi Case Files, ...etc will have more volumes over in the US.

  9. Talk about Shonen Jump, they released Bleach anime in English translation! Awesome!

  10. Your other readers have pretty much got it - the internet is more an unstoppable force that should be taken advantage of.
    Rather, I want to comment on them saying their mangaka aren't happy about this being suspect. Of course, they're probably not ecstatic, but as a writer I'd jump to the occasion to allow an expansion of my audience, even if that results in no turn of profits. Just my young, ambitious writers' ideology, but my primary goal is to get people to read my writing - no greater happiness than that. Thus, my first aim will be to find if the translations to the other language are accurate, and properly represent my work, instead of immediately viewing it with disdain.

    I'm talking as if I'll actually successfully become a writer, but I think it's not far from the truth to say such titans as Kubo wouldn't be as popular in the West as they are now if not for these scanlators.

  11. I'm guilty of hurting the manga industry. Ningyo said pretty much what I want to say though.

    Anyways, rather than trying to control the internet, manga industries should try to take advantage of it. For example, Crunchyroll and Hulu has done a decent job on that in terms of anime.

  12. @everyone ~ there really have been some well thought out comments to this issue. It is a very hard one to keep under the tongue.

    I want to thank everyone for their frankness and honesty to this. We know it is sometimes a difficult issue to tackle when things that we love don't always cross over to our language.

    I hope that Shonen Jump sees this and realizes that we are not trying to take money out of their pockets, but actually trying to put it back into them.

    I will always purchase when I can purchase and hope that they give me the chance to do so. Not all Manga (or Anime) ever make it over to our shores, so this is the only way for us to enjoy it.


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