Thursday, March 14, 2013

News: JManga Shutting Down

Wow, didn't expect to see this announcement today. I'm definitely sorry to see JManga go, especially since they have been friendly and open to responding to customer feedback (like pushing to make their titles available worldwide), and their partnership with ALC Publishing has given us a number of yuri manga licenses- including a bunch of titles I like.

It does suck to see them go, but they don't deserve our getting angry at them, and they aren't "betraying" us. If a restaurant that serves food you like goes out of business, are you going to walk up to the owner and rant at them for closing down? I hope not, because that would be assholish. Same deal here. I'm not happy about seeing JManga go either, but am not going to act like a baby about it. That rant concluded (btw, feel free to disagree with me, but arguing with me about this won't change my mind, and likely won't change yours if you still feel that way this point), I am, again, sorry to see JManga go. I appreciate how much they promoted their yuri titles and got some good entertainment out of their releases.


Anonymous said...

Beyond depressing. I really liked jmanga. I wish there was a way we could at least keep accessing the titles we already purchased, but oh well. Wonder what happened.

Katherine Hanson said...

@Anon- I'm not sure either. And yeah, it would be nice to be able to keep accessing titles purchased, but like you said, oh well.

Justin said...

"They don't deserve our getting angry at them" Well, what do you want us to do huh!?? We like getting angry, so yeah, that's how we roll!!! xD

Yeah, it is definitely a disappointment. Unfortunately, this does make me wonder about legal digital manga options now :(

Katherine Hanson said...

@Justin- Touche. :P (Typing this on my phone, so can't get that accented e, dang it.)

I am curious about what legal digital manga distribution in English will be like going forward also.

Anonymous said...

Does this leave series like Poor Poor Lips back up for scanlation? I wonder if it can legally be done if JManga no longer exists?

Steven said...

I suspect that going forwards digital distribution is going to need to make assurances of a few things to get consumers accept them. E-reader support for instance and an assurance that even if they go out of business their customers will be able to have a copy of their purchases. I mean, it's nice and all that JManga's giving people Amazon gift cards for their remaining point balances but... how many of their titles are available (in English) on Amazon?

Technically there is a way to keep accessing the titles you've purchased since anything you can see on screen can be saved to your computer using your computer's "print screen" function (also handy for remote tech support). Of course you'd be looking at hundreds if not thousands of pages to get screenshots of them. The amount of time, effort, and uncertain legality of doing so makes it not a worthwhile choice though.

@Anon- Don't kid yourself, scanlations have never been, are never, and will never be legal. Unfortunately some of the fallout from this will probably involve people who may not have used scanlations in the past seeking out scanlations of the series that they purchased but will no longer have access to.

Katherine Hanson said...

@Anon- Like Steven said, scanlation isn't legal, regardless of a title's license-status. I'm really hoping that PPL will get a licensed English-language release again at some point (esp for volume 4, of course), although if it does happen, it won't be for a while. (

@Steven- Yeah- even though I do pay to consume media without permanently owning it (like going out to see movies, and subscribing to Netflix), when it comes to manga, I would rather buy to own, however logically inconsistent it may be of me. I assume JManga's model (not sure how much of JManga's policy was determined by JManga and how much by the publishers they worked with) was meant to prevent folks from cutting into profits by file-sharing with other people- which I completely understand- but it sounds like people do that regardless. tl;dr version, DRM-free downloadable ebooks = ideal format for digital manga distribution (and for me, at least, digital distribution of books in general), which we'll hopefully see movement towards.