Scanlation Site One Manga Removing All Content

By Ishaan . July 24, 2010 . 10:25am


Earlier in the week, scanlation website One Manga announced it would be removing all scanlated content from its pages due to increasing disapproval from manga publishers. Upon visiting the site — you might have to clear your browser’s cookies first — the notice pictured above appears.


Here’s the relevant portion of the text:


“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).”


One Manga’s closure is the latest development in a long-running rivalry between publishers and “scanlation aggregators” — sites that are classified by publishers as profit-based ventures that offer manga to their readers for free. Last month, a coalition of publishers — both American and Japanese — was formed to combat the rise of sites such as One Manga and Manga Fox.


While certain sites have resisted the pressure to an extent, the results of the coalition’s labour do appear to be taking effect.


Meanwhile, publishers are making their own strides into the realm of digital distribution, each in their own ways. While Tokyopop have teamed up with digital reading service, Zinio, to make digital copies of their books available for download, Digital Manga Publishing hope, instead, to work with scanlators and help them distribute their work legally.


Similarly, the scanlation site formerly known as MangaHelpers now goes by the name OpenManga, and, too, is attempting to develop a platform on which manga-ka (and interested publishers) can work directly and legally with scanlators and translators to provide manga digitally to a global audience.


So widespread is the move to digital that new publishing outfit, Manga Factory, formed by former Aurora Publishing staff, have announced that they will aggressively pursue digital content publishing right out of the gate.


And last but not least, as recently as two days ago, videogame publisher, Square Enix — known for being one of the larger manga publishers in Japan — announced the opening of their own digital manga store this Fall in North America and France. Square Enix’s store will begin by offering existing translated versions of manga that they serialize in Japan (such as Fullmetal Alchemist and Soul Eater), published by local companies such as Viz.

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  • Yeah, i saw this, too bad, i am sure they wont be releasing as many series onemanga had, or maybe they will even stop halfway…

    Anyway, i can still use the spanish scanlations :P

  • I can understand the position, but I’m still a little sad since there were a lot of series which weren’t picked up or licensed that were there. I’d visit OneManga to keep up with 1/2 Prince, a Korean manga which hasn’t been licensed outside the country that I would never be able to normally read.

    • 1/2 Prince is a Taiwanese manhua. I just felt the need to point that out, but I do like the series. That and the Korean manhwa Yureka, aka iD_Entity, are at the top of my all time favorites list. I’m actually not sure if anyone has picked up a Hong Kong or Taiwanese series to localize ever, so it makes me a little sad too.

      • Sorry, my mistake.

        A friend tell me to read 1/2 Prince once a year ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

        I’ll probably have to check some bookstores in downtown Chicago. Maybe someplace there will carry the physical books. But even then, I’ll have to see if I can find translations online.

  • Akimitsu

    Considering I’m a forum/chatbox moderator at OneManga, it is definitely saddening to see something like this happen, although it was inevitable when they first announced they were going after sites such as OM. It also has caused quite a lot of “havoc” on the forums, with the servers for the forums being overloaded quite a lot with the massive influx of new users and people posting. Even though they get the big sites like MangaHelpers and OneManga to change/shut down, it’s still going to be hard to get everyone to conform.

    • I dislike to pirate things. But with something like this One Manga predicament, I don’t feel it is some kind of retribution or justice needing to be served. I think that’s how a lot of people feel about this whole thing: One Manga constantly respected publisher wishes to take series down, and brought lesser known series to the mainstream.

      So while I prefer to fall on the side of the law, I dislike destroying years of hard work for a last ditch business plan… and that’s exactly what this is. It’s a case of the big man taking out the little man to do half as good a job as the little man was doing before him.

      I don’t know how to sort all of my thoughts on the subject, let alone put them into words, but I hope my attempt brings some thinking or discussion about, at the very least.

      • Akimitsu

        I’m currently only reading like 6-7 ongoing series right now, but I don’t know where exactly they are with the translated versions in the US (Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Kekkaishi, Fairy Tail, Bakuman and Zettai Karen Children I think is all). But yes, OneManga always did comply with publishers and took down manga if they were asked to. Also, this does seem like a quick way to just cut down the “little man,” even if the publishers themselves do either a half-assed job or they’re really slow with releasing new chapters. With scanlators, you knew you were going to get the newest chapters of most manga a couple of days after they were released in Japan.

        • You want to why Scanlators can get things out in a couple of days? They operate outside normal business practices. They don’t pay for licenses nor for the production and distribution of print manga. Don’t pretend these guys are white knights. How are they any different than the groups than rip a CD, then torrent the MP3s?

          EVeryone loves to beat down down companies when it’s not as simple as “Company is lazy and slow”.

          • NeoTechni

            “. Don’t pretend these guys are white knights”

            Don’t pretend they’re not. It shouldn’t take years to translate stuff. And the official guys could just as easily post online as well.

          • Akimitsu

            Obviously, it’s much faster to translate a chapter and then post it online for digital distribution, which is why scanlators are in such abundance. I’m not saying that they are “white knights,” but it’s not like sites like OneManga were profiting at all from running the site. As far as I know, all of the revenue from the ads and the like were put right back into running the site, as I’d expect the server costs for the manga and forums were quite pricey.

            Also, as was said before, One Manga always acted in accordance with publishers. I remember when I heard Dark Horse had asked for the site to take down all of its manga, and OM did so quite quickly. It even acted in accordance with the issue with “adult” manga, taking down all of those in question and personally shifting through them to review every single page.

    • Is there any way to save onemanga, or restart this website in the future?
      Can petitions save this website?

    • I’m pretty sure the “havoc” is more than half leaching programs hurrying to mirror the content.

  • WonderSteve

    Reading back at the post on siliconera about how much the digital version of Speed Racer will cost, I am highly skeptical these legal channels will be very successful.

    • malek86

      Ditto. They’ll have to seriously rethink their strategy. Well, hopefully that’s just one publisher being an idiot, and not everyone else.

  • If I didn’t have to wait months to years to get any good series in the USA, I wouldn’t have to read scanlations. That’s the main reason people read scanlations: they can’t access the same material in their preferred language at the same time the Japanese can. Publishers need to fix that major problem before pinning their declining sales on scanlations. Also, I’m not going to spend money on a manga series that I’m not certain is worth the money. How do I determine the value of a series without buying it? Read a few chapters online and if it’s good, buy all the volumes available. If anything, I’m just going to buy less manga now because I don’t want to buy something bad

    • Agreed. It isn’t an issue of wanting the manga for free, its an issue of wanting the manga at all.

      I personally believe in buying what I own, but I can’t justify paying for digital pictures… I can justify paying for paper and ink, however hypocritical that might be.

      • Aoshi00

        I would never pay the same price for digital books or games either, but space is really becoming and issue for me, especially if you need to be mobile. If you look at Jpn people who live in apts, they have no more than 2 dozens of manga, usually they just read and then sell them back to bookstore (for dirt cheap of course, so it’s like they rent it). Right now I have mountains of books (maybe like a 1000?) and games/movies, if given the chance, I kind of wish all of the books I own could be converted to digital, if I ever get an ipad (I don’t like reading scanlation on the computer monitor or on a small iPod). Maybe it’s digital, but for the convenience, it’s worth it I think. I don’t really read manga these days, but I still buy a few every month, I’m trying not to because I don’t have enough space..

    • That’s more or less how I felt. And a lot of the manga I’ve been planning on buying were manga I would never have picked up off the shelf in the first place, let alone read (Kitchen Princess, Beauty Pop).

      With Gakuen Alice, the first chapter didn’t pull me in, neither did the second or third. It wasn’t till the fourth -volume- that I was addicted, and by then I made it a goal to buy the rest of the set. Of course, I check Amazon and lo and behold.. whereas Japan have already finished everything, publishers are only now coming out with volume 12-13 and they’re at least beyond chapter 16 in scanlations.

      Cost and availability will always be an issue not to mention fan translation vs publisher translation (the use of the word ‘pizzaz’ from Beauty Pop, I’m looking at you), and like Samuel, I prefer to pay for printed books than digital ‘copies’.

      I like to think of scanlations as demos. The really good stuff will pull me in, and when that happens then I’m all in for the whole manga and merchandising to boot.

  • raymk

    OH well i’ll just continue to use the other sites that host manga and scalante for them, i always knew this would happen with onemanga though.

  • If this was a few years ago, I’d be completely devastated. I probably would be less adventurous in trying out different series, but I’ve gotten to the point where I follow my favorite series (and I do buy whatever I can).

  • You know, I’ve used OneManga from time to time, and it was good, but it doesn’t replace the printed medium.

    I only used it for exclusives to Japan or other regions such as Riki-Oh and I consider myself fairly “not-guilty” in terms of how much of a pirate I was being, but that isn’t what matters. It’s not justice or injustice, it’s business, intillectual property, and for me at least, it is a scary situation we’re in.

    One Manga being shut down means that the execs at the manga translation companies want to do their own online manga, which means that the printed stuff, the stuff I can look at from different angles, and smell the ink off of, and really love and cherish and be attached to is dying out. … And then it’s off to the used book store. The only positive of that is some out of print series that fetch high prices may be reissued cheaply on these websites. But you’d hope they could do a reprint, and that’s looking even less likely now.

    So now Blame! for me. I better pick up the rest of Berserk ASAP, I guess. Alas, such is life.

    Basically, regardless of the legality of OneManga vs official online distributors, it hurts me that it marks a downfall of the printed medium of Japanese comic books.

  • Hraesvelgr

    I don’t really get the issue with this. I’ve seen people complaining they won’t be able to read manga anymore, but it’s readily available without onemanga. You can import it for relatively cheap or, if you can’t read it, learn to use IRC. There is pretty much nothing they can do about sharing through IRC.

    • puchinri

      Out of curiosity, where would you import for cheap? From the bookstores themselves? I managed to find a somewhat rare manga on JP Amazon, but the shipping cost triple the manga itself, so I’m trying to figure out a cheaper way.

      • Aoshi00

        I go to Kinokuniya, or if you order online, I suggest YesAsia, they carry many titles at a reasonable price (free shipping for $40 or above), $7.49 per manga, try searching the titles in Jpn if you dont see them in Eng.. Amazon Japan is definitely not worth it anymore since they had started using EMS for shipping only. I really want to collect the whole set of “Otogi Matsuri”, but they’re quite expensive like $15.99 each (~1000 yen), and even Kinokuniya doesn’t carry them, my only choice is Amazon Jpn or YesAsia, and both come to be about the same price. I definitely recommend YesAsia, sometimes I’m too lazy to go to Kino I just order from them.

        • puchinri

          Yeah, I usually pick my manga up at Kinokuniya too. But there were a couple of titles I couldn’t find in store and one I couldn’t find online. Oh, I didn’t think of YesAsia for manga though (I do think of it for anime, music, etc).
          I understand that. I’m 2 hrs away from Kinokuniya, so I have to have the money and transportation (and time). But I’ll look into YesAsia (I already use PlayAsia and YesStyle, so I guess they’ll be making all kinds of money from me >u< ). Oh! Do they does those free items you get like when you order certain CDs and anime?

          Thanks so much for the suggestion.

          • Aoshi00

            No prob. Actually I haven’t thought of ordering manga from YesAsia until recently, when I was scratching my head thinking what to order to make the $40 free shipping lol. Then it turns out they have a very extensive inventory, even more so than PlayAsia (sometimes you just need to type the title in Jpn), and if you don’t see the things you need, shoot them an e-mail and they will order it for you at no addt’l charge, given that the item is not rare. Nah, the freebies only come w/ the CDs and DVDs, I’ve gotten some DS stylus and keychains before, I have a koopa shell and goomba on my keychain right now :) I actually work in the city and Kino is just a couple of blocks away (before they were at 50th St. at Rockefeller Ctr), sometimes I’m just too lazy to walk there, and I get a manga or two from Y-A if I’m a few bucks short of $40 for free shipping :) I have never ordered clothes from YesStyle though, their models (?) look so good.

    • NeoTechni

      “but it’s readily available without onemanga”

      No it’s not. A lot of it is not.

  • puchinri

    That was so sad, I wanted to cry. Like someone else said, OneManga has always taken down manga for publishers, and introduced a lot of great titles to everyone (some I was able to the Japanese volumes for at Kinokuniya even), and I just feel so frustrated. None of the publishers tried to work with them at all? That right there is a huge mistake. I wonder how many people are going to support or boycott certain publishers after this (I already didn’t like TokyoPop, now I can’t enjoy them at all).

    But honestly, I don’t buy many localized manga anyway. I’ll read almost everything on scanlations, but I do get some of that stuff at Kinokuniya sometimes to support the manga-ka (and if I love the publishers here, I’ll buy that too, like for Berserk). But honestly, I feel more frustrated with the mentality of some of the publishers than losing OM.

    Some manga have worse typos than the bad scanlations (Negima for instance), and I notice they’ve began to edit the most silly of things (One Piece was sad to read in the SJ mags). They give me reasons not to read it localized and published. And the fact of the matter is, sometimes, I prefer to read it digitally. I don’t have the room to be buying more manga often (sadly), and sometimes I want to enjoy the manga even after I’ve bought my books for the next semester. I just wish some of the publishers would do like DMP and find a half way point of sorts or let sites do like MH is.

  • Actually now that I think about it, it’s not that hard to just look at group names that do the scanlations for your favorite manga now, google them and just bookmark their websites or if follow the RSS feeds if they have them. If they don’t have a website, like Hrasvelgr said, just find them on IRC.The best thing about OneManga out of all the online readers I know is/was that they had no automatic voice ads.

  • gatotsu911

    Good to hear. Piracy is absolutely murdering the anime and manga industry, and any step taken to combat it is good news.

    • pirecy is kilin aneme im suportin the indestruy by wactcheing naeruto on cartoon swim

      • gatotsu911

        Thank you for that witty, concise critique of my statement. I would think that someone who is a big enough fan of a particular manga artist to take on their name over the Internet would agree that such people deserve to profit off of their work, but hey, maybe not.

        • I don’t even like Bleach, I just was using the name Tite Kubo for the facebook account I used to register on disqus.

  • JustaGenericUser

    Maybe if US publishers weren’t always 10 years behind the Japanese, they would be more willing to buy the volumes instead of having to read scanlations. In the end, this is going to hurt them than help them since online manga reading sites is how people even know half of the manga out there.

    EDIT: Oh, and it would help if US publishers left the manga uncensored instead of butchering it, forcing manga readers to read scanlations to get what they’re missing.

  • mooncalf

    I’d gladly pay a subscription fee for a site like onemanga, if that money was flowing back to the original publishers/authors. I “steal” manga and anime not because I can’t afford it or am unwilling to pay. I do it because the free versions are also the highest quality versions in terms of translations, and the quickest in making it to the west.

    The sad thing is that if all the aggregator sites are shut down then there will never be any legitimate alternative that offers the same huge library.

    • You are correct. Most publishers/authours are protesting against sites, like onemanga because, they want money. I would buy their mangas; however, the places where I get my mangas, don’t have the ones that I can read online. Most mangas I read are either never found in my country, or never even heard of. If these publishers/authors want their money, all they need to do is make more mangas with alternative languages which can be sold to different countries, eliminating the need for high packing and shipping costs which people are not willing to pay for during this recession.

      Until the day I see the mangas I read in stores near me, in my own language, I will gladly pay money for it. So, for the time being, I will gather friends to petition against the closing of onemanga and other popular sites like mangafox, and mangastream.

      • I thoroughly agree with all the statements. Honestly, what do they expect to gain by doing this? It can be certain that manga publishers would lose thousands or maybe millions of their fans if they do this and continue targetting major free-scanlating sites like onemanga. All these scanlating sites are indeed the only way for many of us to gain access to manga conveniently; and I too would not mind paying a suscription fee. It’s sad that it has come to this after so many years of wonderful scanlating works by many avid manga scanlating groups and forums. Everything would now be a waste of time and effort… or maybe not, if us fans are able to do something about it.

        As a Malaysian, I am certain they have VERY FEW shops that even sell manga in the country and having lived in Lebanon, I am pretty sure almost NO ONE has ever heard of Manga. Manga publishers have dissapointed us all.

  • thaKingRocka

    I’d be all for this if it meant more reasonable prices and a healthier manga market, but that’s not the case. It’s a shame that the consumer’s ultimate leverage was entirely illegitimate, but now the consumer will continue to lose any and all leverage, and the publishers will call the shots continuing with ludicrous release schedules and overpriced books.

  • holyPaladin

    I rarely use onemanga, only to read Area no Kishi or FMA because it haven’t published yet on my country..

    Check 2ch reaction about OM, they’re funny lol

  • Scallion

    Golly. I guess I’ll just have to download them one chapter at a time like I used to.
    It makes more sense for the publishers to work with the pirates and the scanlation scene than fight them. They certainly can’t win.

  • gk+ertsetb 346

  • Roses4Aria

    I’m a little surprised that OM caved so soon, but I guess it was inevitable. It’s a shame, because I don’t think shutting these sites down is really going to make any difference in the end. Half the manga I read online are shoujo titles that are unlicensed in the US and unlikely to ever be picked up by anyone. So they cut off my only avenue of reading them and it hasn’t gained them anything, certainly not my money. It’s not like I can just run out and buy the volumes instead, so I fail to see how this helps the manga publishers.

    I’m cautiously optimistic about this trend toward digital, but so far it seems to be mostly yaoi and shounen fare. If they start offering some good as-of-yet- unlicensed shoujo titles, I could really be enthusiastic. I’m not holding my breath though. :(

    • JustaGenericUser

      “I’m cautiously optimistic about this trend toward digital, but so far it seems to be mostly yaoi ”

      Wow, I’m not the only one who noticed? It seems like every time I read an article about digital distribution, I ALWAYS see a Boy’s Love image, as if that’s mostly the only thing they’ll have. Ehhhh, NOT doing a good job convincing me, publishers.

      • Chromekatana

        Pretty sure they just want to try it out,with some smaller manga and new genres to see how it’ll go first.


    Its mean I will never ever read any adult manga again … None of them can be released in may country … hiks …. and digital manga need credit card, I don’t have any … its very difficult to make one ….

  • i have no problem if it WAS for the goodness of manga, but..

    – they like to cut off people instead of improving, example cooperate with those scanlator. i`d say “sure you can butchering people all you want, but dont you EVER think of improving yourself? you just dont wanna someone better than you?. well if you dont like it why cant you show improvement?”
    – it was ilegal, but its one of the fact that its famous enough. you dont like they steal from you? well, you goddamn publisher ever doing something better than them? nah
    – you said its for mangaka get money, well for some of us its impossible and cannot buy and you never publish it in my country! we will never able to read by normal means of buying books because your incomptence, you want me to buy it? then improving instead of kick people ass. havent you realized we doing this not because we want to? its because you publisher was not good enough, as a matter of fact i`d say you guys pathetic, no wonder theres this much scan available without legal authority
    – they already respect you by deleting licensed series even with much complaint, working free (mostly) for something that you incompetent fools never-finish-or-i-doubt-you-guys-ever-publish-the-manga plus manhwa thats outside it now you take aggresive action to hide your incompetence?

    sorry it seems harsh but those manga publisher never doing satisfying job (for me at least)

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