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Can I Haz Legal Mangaz Wit Mah Internetz? What's Next After JManga

Originally, this was supposed to be an article about self-awareness and how it could be the key to help saving the manga industry. And then out of the blue, the big digital manga initiative that was considered to be a “savior of manga”, JManga goes kaput. So what now and does Japan even care?

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koga882506d ago (Edited 2506d ago )

When was JManga ever called the "savior of manga?" It barely was a drop in the bucket and I heard absolutely nothing about the service since it was announced until it's closure.

Looking at some of the stuff they have on there, it most likely was the lack of worthwhile series that caused their failure. Sure there is an audience out there for some of those obscure manga, but without any of the big dogs coming to the party, people will go elsewhere.

Viz Media is the only other company that does it legally online like that, and they now have English translations of some of the biggest series only a couple days after illegal versions are released, meaning it is viable to invest money into their Weekly Shonen Jump service. But even then many people simply get faster and arguably better translations online.

For example, Viz's cleaning of a series has shown a drastic disregard for redrawing as you'll see in this image:

ShoryukenII2505d ago

First, why are there three images. Second, what is the problem in the picture?

koga882505d ago

It's three examples of the Hayate the Combat Butler manga. If you notice, the Japanese version's panels are normal as one would expect, but Viz's translation on the bottom three panels show that rather than try to clean the page properly and then insert the English text after doing their best to re-draw anything that was removed.

Instead they simply inserted giant black bubbles and put the text in them. For example, another version of the page cleaned and put into English:

ShoryukenII2505d ago (Edited 2505d ago )

Oops. Replied to myself.

ShoryukenII2505d ago

I've been staring at them for a while but I still don't see it. :/

All three pictures look exactly the same to me. I do see black boxes in the second panel. But I see that on all of the different versions. Can you be a bit more specific, like which panel exactly and what text?

MangaTherapy2506d ago

I give props to VIZ Media for trying. They're doing something right. Though it makes me wonder if Shueisha is the only Japanese manga publisher that seems to care since they are interested in what their baby, VIZ, is doing.

Archaic2506d ago

The most disappointing thing about all this is simply that those who did legally purchase their manga from JManga will have no way to retrieve these in future. I presume it's possible to save everything one page at a time (unless they've got some stupid kind of DRM on them), but that's got to be prohibitively time consuming for anyone with a big collection.

MangaTherapy2505d ago

^That's the problem. They did implement DRM on their content.

Archaic2505d ago

So there's no way at all to download anything? Not even by manually saving pages one by one? Ouch.

Yi-Long2505d ago

... to just download the manga you love illegally online, and if you really like it, then buy the official book in the store.

Once an online-only service fails and goes down, and there's DRM involved, you'll end up having lost a huge investment, and the industry simply doesn't care about you, cause they already received your money.

Archaic2505d ago

I wouldn't quite put it that way....but yes, what's happened to JManga here will certainly serve as a disincentive to consumers in future. It'll be hard for them to trust that sort of system if there's no way for them to back up their content offline.

MangaTherapy2503d ago

Sigh, it's because of things like this that people turn to piracy.

Archaic2503d ago

My thoughts exactly MangaTherapy. Piracy is a customer service issue, and this is a case of poor customer service by the industry.

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Flavor2505d ago

Japanese business culture had no chance against the fast-changing internet age. They just cannot keep up or innovate, and are so far behind I am afraid about the future of their country.