OneManga Shutting Down

Posted as a popup on the front page, or in the forums:

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.

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.

– Zabi

In the forums, he also explains that 1000Manga, which they created for the more mature stuff, is also going away.

I can’t say as I’m surprised; I’m sure that manga scanlations are eating into the corporate profits. Unfortunately, in my case that pretty much means I’m out of the manga reading gig (assuming MangaFox and others are also forced to shut down). Short of torrents, I won’t have access, and I can’t support the Manga industry in the US.

It’s not that I don’t want to; in particular, I’ve felt bad about not buying Negima books just to support the author and industry. Unfortunately, I will not buy something I cannot use, and the text in the small-book format used by American manga importers is too damn tiny for me to read without a magnifying glass, something I just refuse to do. Gasses aren’t enough. Negima is a particularly bad offender, even on a large monitor I find myself having to load pages into a graphics program and zoom in to catch some of the text.

I was hoping that OM might be able to ride the storm by doing a CrunchyRoll type deal, especially to carry the stuff that doesn’t get released commercially in the US. Sure, they’d be forced to lose the big three (OP, Naruto, Bleach), and probably other highly popular titles, like Negima, but there’s a lot of marginal stuff that isn’t commercially viable for printing that they could work with. Either the site owners weren’t allowed that route, couldn’t take advantage of it, or didn’t want to.

Given the amount of anime that comes from manga (Sekirei, Negima, OP, Naruto, FMA, Bleach, etc.), this is also going to have a negative effect on the anime market. Some very popular series will still break through, but for most, there will be far less word of mouth ahead of time. Who would have cared about HOTD ahead of time, if not for the manga scanlations?

I’m not going to rant about corporate greed, or try to excuse getting something for nothing. It’s just the way things are, and I’m sad to see OM bite the dust, if for no other reason than my ability to get timely Negima updates.

Update: 91,000 Facebook “likes” and 77 pages of comments and counting. Publishers take note.

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