O Say Can You See: The Greatest Patriotic Super Heroes of All-Time
Sankaku Complex (warning: NSFW!) translated some reaction from commenters at the Japanese forum 2ch to the recent announcement that OneManga.com is shutting down. They weren’t particularly sympathetic:
“If you don’t release simultaneously with the Japanese release they will pirate them. They are that committed.”
“They get them even faster than the Japanese regions do. It’s too much…”
“What a bunch of crooks. They make a fortune off donations and advertising revenue. They pretend they are creators and heroes. I want to watch Hollywood movies and American dramas at the same time as their US release. Of course, for free.”
“Overseas manga is ridiculously expensive, so that’s probably behind One Manga’s popularity. However you look at it, ¥2,000 for a single volume is way too much.”
“If the prices drop they’ll just start using censorship as an excuse instead.”
“They wouldn’t buy even if it were cheap. Their anime is far cheaper than in Japan and they still won’t buy.”
The name-calling continues in a second post, in which the 2ch users react to the comments to the first post. What’s interesting here is that scanlators like to say that they are good for manga by promoting its popularity in other languages; the Japanese don’t seem to buy into that, and in fact some commenters complained that publishing unedited manga leads to a backlash:
1. Foreigners pirate our manga and develop a taste for it.
2. Foreign big-wigs say ‘This content is violent! Ban it, Japan!
(This in fact may be happening, but with regard to sex, not violence.) And to some extent, they are echoing the position of the publishers, who invest good money in paying creators and printing manga, only to see it posted online, illegally, for free. This happens in Japan too, of course, and there have been several cases of people obtaining manga chapters and posting them online before they are published in print magazines.
Incidentally, reports of the death of OneManga seems to be exaggerated; a quick check this morning shows that the most recent chapters of Naruto and Bleach are there, and the Bleach chapter was added on July 23, the day after the big announcement. And they just added new chapters of Ouran High School Host Club and Gakuen Alice, two more licensed manga in the past day or so.