OneManga.com, the largest source of Manga Scanlations (scans of translated manga) on the internet, is to remove all manga content from their site.
The announcement was made suddenly on Thursday (22 July) on the site homepage, by One Manga’s webmaster, Zabi. He mentions the changing stance of publishers on scanlations, and his decision to comply with their wishes.
Just weeks earlier 36 major Japanese manga publishers and several American publishers had formed “a coalition to combat the “rampant and growing problem” of scanlations”. Among them are publishing giants Square Enix, Viz media and Tokyopop.
The coalition worries that scanlation sites “now host thousands of pirated titles, earning ad revenue and/or membership dues at creators’ expense while simultaneously undermining foreign licensing opportunities and unlawfully cannibalizing legitimate sales.”
The coalition has also reportedly threatened legal action against 30 scanlation sites.
Square Enix have announced that it is to launch it’s own online manga site in the fall, which will be made available to visitors from North America and France. However, it will not be free as they aim to set up a “paid digital distribution channel” to “better serve the varied needs of its global customers”. Square Enix is best known for the popular game series Final Fantasy.
One Manga has been listed #935 in Google’s 1000 most-visited sites, which sourced its data in May of this year. It states that One Manga received 4.2 million unique visitors and 1.1 billion page views that month.
So is this the end of One Manga? Unlikely. Though the site will no longer offer visitors the translated scans which made them so popular, they do already have a thriving community forum with over 100,000 members. They are also ranked very highly in many Google search results, which offers massive potential to develop a site aimed at the same target audience.
Among the titles which were enjoyed by One Manga readers are Naruto, One Piece and Bleach.