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Why Manga Publishing Is Dying (And How It Could Get Better)

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Post #539098
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7:53 pm, Jan 24 2012
Posts: 9106

Jason Thompson at io9 has written an article on the current and future state of manga. I recommend you read his take on things

A just ruler amongst tyrants
Post #539099
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9:34 pm, Jan 24 2012
Posts: 81

The problem is that its difficult to gain access to newer volumes in America. Not only is there too much delay in the translation and delivery, there are too less places that sells them.

Post #539100 - Reply to (#539099) by Tenji
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11:12 pm, Jan 24 2012
Posts: 920

Dont forget that less popular manga have no way to get read since they are far less likely to get translated, which is a shame because some mangas have appeals to certain types of peoples or personality.
On the side note i have to say damm one piece is owning in sales o_O

Post #539101 - Reply to (#539099) by Tenji
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11:22 pm, Jan 24 2012
Posts: 5

They really can't blame it all on piracy. Except for the problems Tenji mentioned, a lot of japanese-to-american translations are really badly made, which is a turnoff for the fans. Censorship is another issue: how do you expect someone to buy his favourite comic if you cripple the story? Of course people would much rather search for mangas online if they find out the quality of scanlations is better than the quality of the bought manga.
Actually publishers should really stop whining and move along with the times. As the article itself says, the manga market has become outdated and publishers should start thinking about digitalizing their content, thus making it more available (plus cheap and ecological) for everyone. Webtoons are a proof of that, and crunchyroll is a proof that you can sell cheap legal anime and still make money. So why not do the same with manga?

Post #539102

11:24 pm, Jan 24 2012
Posts: 170

From the article itself : "while they've [Japanese publishers] dicked around, scanlators have taken things into their own hands."

This says it all.

Post #539103
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11:38 pm, Jan 24 2012
Posts: 140

the solution is simple, keep doing the old stuff since stopping it would kill the industry but start with suing the aggregators into oblivion (millions of dollars on top of shutting them down so no one else would think to do that again sends a nice message). Once the aggregators are gone start giving the manga away for free. Ad Revenue should bring in far more money than licensing. They might even want to allow people to submit translations to them (aka scanlations) making even more traffic.

Post #539104

11:38 pm, Jan 24 2012
Posts: 43

people always laugh at yaoi fans for wanting a physical copy of books and not getting with vid digital times. Not really. After emanga came along, a lot of us have started buying pretty pricey online volumes. These usually have shoddy editing, poor translations and bad grammar (read sample pages of many emanga titles). A digital volume means it dies along with the company. We can't sell it like a used copy. We can't download and keep it for offline reading and we certainly can't keep it in our multiple devices. If the company prints the title, they won't print enough copies, won't reprint out of print copies, won't give a fixed publishing date and keep changing the date as well.

Publishers and translators on twitter being high and mighty about people hunting for scanlation: without scanlators, most mangaka won't even get exposure for english licensing. The popularity of yoneda kou and takarai rihito are pretty good examples.

The world of yaoi scanlations leaves much to be desired, with the closed comms, the rules, rules, everywhere and scanlators who don't care we have a life outside manga. It's not about the mangaka or stories anymore. Just an ego circlejerk.

It's best we learn japanese and import (if we work for manga money, we don't have time for japanese learning. And japanese titles also go out of print depending on how popular a title is with japanese fans - niche genres - not bleach or something). I don't see the licensing or scanlation world getting better anytime soon. Or you could learn chinese and pirate like what's going on in a majority of genres. No one catches chinese scanners, mangareaders or forums based in china. Just look at dm5.

Post #539105

12:04 am, Jan 25 2012
Posts: 27

Part of the reason why the US manga scene sucks is that it takes 3 freakin months+ for a volume to come out. There is no weekly magazine that's consistently imported without maybe a 2 week delay every so often. One day, the publishers are gonna have to suck it up and stop hating on scanlators, and make a plan to incorporate them into the system. Scanlators only host sites and seek reimbursement on costs because they have to. If publishers ever discover the net and provide that, who knows what might come of it. But, I don't see that happening anytime real soon.

Post #539106 - Reply to (#539104) by derpMonster
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12:08 am, Jan 25 2012
Posts: 529

I agree...I've been to e-manga to see the prices, and I think that paying 6-7 dollars for a digital copy of something I will never outrightly own is too much, I don't mind buying and paying 12 dollars for a book, because I know that I own the book and it won't disappear on someone else's whims.
I was really excited when I found out that Hana no Mizo Shiru was licensed in English, until I found out that it was only going to be released digitally, with the potential to be printed if it sold enough. I have not been able to find numbers for the release, but I wonder if enough people cared. I know that I for one have not paid to read the official English release because I am not interested in a digital copy I don't own. Maybe if I was given the option of actually buying my copy, then I would have been ok with the digitalization.

And I also agree with less than stellar official translations. For example, I love Bleach, but I hate Viz's translation, so as much as I would love to own the books, I won't buy them cus of the translations. I'm still waiting on a re-release of Ranma 1/2 that is not flipped, but I wonder if that will happen? And the translation of Seven Days by June was not all that great either, but that was a short series so I could live with that fact.

Post #539107
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12:33 am, Jan 25 2012
Posts: 309

It's a pity. As a scanlator, and freelancing letterer, I do enjoy a solidly produced adaptation of a good manga. I wouldn't say the problem is piracy in itself, but despite the recent C&D actions towards onemanga and the likes, online reading sites are still too easily accessible. Every kid has access to the internet nowadays, and it can't get easier than just going to one place that collects every popular manga you'd wanna read. Plus kids don't have money, so there's that. The revenue created from people purchasing these popular manga offered a lot of space for publishers to do some more creative licensing. So in that sense it affects those looking for something a bit more "out there" just the same. Popular manga will always be out there, though, in every form.
As for people who honestly believe scanlations are better by default than published books, you have NO idea.

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Post #539108
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1:14 am, Jan 25 2012
Posts: 12

I still don't understand how they took so long to publish something, some random kid clean things faster, and I read an article not long ago about how the companies were paying people who barely knew japanese to do the translation (something like 6 dollars a page? and that they used to be 14+dollars a page) also, they change the whole volume form, and it's just... lame. I really don't see the point of buying chapters online :/. They should improve, there are tons of amazing manga which poor scanlation that fans would buy (because we can't really ask HQ scanlation all the time).

Post #539109
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1:20 am, Jan 25 2012
Posts: 26

I live in rural America in one of the poorest counties in my state. The nearest Walmart is a 30 minute dive away; the nearest bookstore that carries manga other than Naruto is over an hour drive away, with a poor selection at that. If I wanted to buy any manga I'd have to order the physical copy online and have it shipped to my house (Can you say "expensive"?). Ultimately though I don't want to buy most American releases of manga, for numerous reasons. A lot of American translated manga has lost it's native charm; the honorifics have been taken out, they've been painfully altered to try and resemble American culture and history, or there's no guarantee the next volume (or in some cases the preceding volumes) will ever be published in English. As much as I want to support the manga industry (and I really do), I just can't justify going through the effort and expense it would take to obtain a product inferior to what I can get for free online. I do have a somewhat of a guilty conscious because of this, but I make sure to never keep any manga I download. I feel that if I didn't pay for it I don't have the right to keep a copy of it.

Post #539110

1:24 am, Jan 25 2012
Posts: 133

Apart from availability and the speed of the translations by those US publishers, one of the biggest problem in this entire thing is mainly the cost, IMO. I've always found it weird that one volume of english-translated manga costs SGD9.00 - 12.00, while the chinese-translated version of the manga costs anywhere from SGD4.50-7.00, depending on the quality.

The english publishers should really either lower the cost of manga or speed up and increase the quality of the translations so that the english versions aren't lagging too far behind their japanese counterparts.

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Post #539111
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2:11 am, Jan 25 2012
Posts: 278

I missed the manwha scene, of course someone could say "It's about Japan, so only manga" They are wrong, It's about the problem and the possible solutions to 'save' manga.
He should definitely have looked add or at least mentioned the format that Daum and Naver use for their webcomics.

Post #539112 - Reply to (#539099) by Tenji
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2:27 am, Jan 25 2012
Posts: 119

it's theoretically a lot easier in America, while in many other countries just a small number of titles published there (here), not to mention the access to the new volumes of published titles also slow mmm...

I will change this world mmm...
So the world can change me mmm...
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