At approximately 3am Eastern Time on July 22nd 2010, a major contributor to the wildly, and sometimes silently popular, online subculture of manga scanlation announced its eventual end.
In about 7 days time, the legendary OneManga will come to an end.
If you log on to the OneManga website now, a disclaimer will pop up before you reach the main page. The message that appears is quoted below:
“There is an end to everything, to good things as well.”
It pains me to announce that this is the last week of manga reading on One Manga (!!). Manga publishers have recently changed their stance on manga scanlations and made it clear that they no longer approve of it. We have decided to abide by their wishes, and remove all manga content (regardless of licensing status) from the site. The removal of content will happen gradually (so you can at least finish some of the outstanding reading you have), but we expect all content to be gone by early next week (RIP OM July ’10).
So what next? We’re not really sure at this point, but we have some ideas we would like to try out. Until then, the One Manga forums will remain active and we encourage all of you to continue using them. OMF has developed into a great community and it would be a shame to see that disappear.
You can also show us some love in this moment of sadness by ‘liking’ our brand new Facebook page. It would be nice to see just how many of you came to enjoy our ‘better than peanut butter and jelly’ invention.
Regardless of whether you stay with us or not, on behalf of the One Manga team, I would like to thank you all for your unwavering support over the years. Through the ups and downs you have stuck with us, and that is what kept us going.
As a certain Porky was fond of saying… That’s all folks!
Time for me to go lay down and let this all sink in.
For those who are not involved with the culture of anime and manga, OneManga.com would probably mean nothing more than a website of Orientalized still-image entertainment. But for those of us who are part of this infinitely captivating universe of narrative, creativity and wonder, this is truly a great loss. For years OneManga has provided us with speedy scanlations and translations of manga, both mainstream and cult, both popular and unpopular, for the supportive masses of the Internet. The powers to be may consider the act (in our case, ‘art’) of scanlation as a violation of copyright and infringement laws. In some cases, that may be true, but in many other cases it is most certainly legitimate. With the advent of cyberspace, all traditional methods of advertising, corporation, and capitalism, were undoubtedly challenged. Many large corporate businesses have failed to keep up with activity of the instantaneous Internet that unconsciously distributes to the masses whether or not legality is involved. From my perspective, the art of scanlation is most definitely assisting the companies with their manga products. This recent online subculture may not abide by conventional rules of product distribution and advertising, but it certainly betters the global phenomena of manga and anime. Without the Internet and scanlations, giving manga the identity of ‘global’ would be much less worthy. What OneManga has provided the world in the past few years was a great and vast access to this revowned Japanese cultural art, media, and entertainment, and to have it end is a monumental shame.
Regardless of legal issues constantly hovering over the art of scanlation, the fact that it has grown to its current prominence, and will continue to grow, is a testament to not only the power of the Internet but also the power of readers who undyingly support this culture. The polite disregard scanlators have towards legality shows what they do is filled with passion and energy. Scanlated manga provides a potential and effective counter-culture to large corporations that back smaller entities responsible for manga publication. In short, it provides them with a loud but subtle middle finger to the captains of industry.
Without getting too long winded, I would like to end this tribute post to OneManga.
I hereby formally salute you, OneManga family, and may the waves of cyberspace reincarnate you into something even more grand and spectacular in the hopefully not so distant future.