The showdown between the Manga Coalition and online scan aggregators took a major turn as the biggest online aggregator bows down from the fight. OneManga, the highest visited scan aggregator, ranking 935 on Google’s top 1000 sites and 348 on Alexa, has decided to close it’s doors. Early next week, all mangas posted at the site will be gone. The message upon entering the site reads:
“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 2010).
The site will not completely shut down though, leaving their forum and it’s community intact. Whether it’s members will move on or stay is another matter but the guys of OneManga are currently debating the next step after deleting all the translated licensed and unlicensed manga from their servers. OneManga’s sister site 1000Manga will also shut down.
As stated previously, MangaHelpers, another scan aggregator and translation site was the first to bow down right after the news of the formation of the Manga Anti-Piracy Coalition. MangaFox, another scan aggregator, has agreed to take down certain licensed mangas due to requests from the scanlators but has made no mention of shutting it’s doors. There are tons of other smaller scan aggregators and whether they follow suit is up in the air.
MangaHelpers is the only site which had a fallback plan which is to open up a site called OpenManga promoting licensed manga content from seasoned manga creators as well as new up-and-coming talents from around the world. The site has yet to open but you may follow it’s progress at the big three: twitter, facebook, and their blog.
As more manga companies ratchet up their production of digital manga, it makes me wonder if they can provide service that everyone will be happy with. Will they provide sites with a monthly fee so customers may read any and all titles much like CrunchyRoll’s current service or will the service just provide no membership fees but very limited previews? Maybe they’ll continue much like they have done with publishing physical copies; no previews, just the title, summary, and a price for you to purchase the manga. One thing is for sure, with the lackluster economy we are in now, buyers may be a bit more reluctant to spend their money on goods unless they truly love the series or have money to burn.
For me, I think the next best thing is to hit up your local library and see if they carry any manga titles you are interested in.