“US Manga Sales Plunge 20% in 2009, Scanlation to Blame!”

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Much of the blame for a 20% drop in North American manga sales is being pinned on scanlation.

The annual report originates from “pop culture” industry information peddlers ICv2.

Their white paper describes how manga sales in the US and Canada fell 20% in 2009, down to $140 million from $175 in 2008. In 2008 sales declined as well, dropping 17% from their all-time peak of $210 million in 2007, meaning the market declined in size by one third in from 2007-2009.

An excess of titles and the industry’s failure to successfully market josei manga to maturing fans of shoujo manga are cited as reasons for the decline, along with a decline in TV exposure “[keeping] hot new titles such as Rosario + Vampire from achieving the kind of success that previous Shonen Jump hits have enjoyed.”

However, the bulk of the blame appears to be reserved for scanlation and fansubs, the perennial publishing industry bugbears:

Another key factor in the slowing sales of manga is the presence of so many volumes of manga in translated form on the Internet.

Just as the anime market in the U.S. was gutted by fansubbed downloads available on the Net for free, manga is now facing its own crisis created by the availability of free unlicensed scanlations on the Web.

Manga readers lack the “collector mentality” of comic book fans and also tend to be both young and tech savvy.

The fact that manga is “long-form” entertainment, with many series running to dozens of volumes (Naruto Vol. 48 is due out in June), even taking into account the fact that manga is very attractively priced compared with traditional American graphic novels, it is very expensive to collect the entire series in paper.

Increasingly retailers who saw their once strong anime sales shrink away to nothing are telling ICv2 that manga readers are sampling new series online and only buying their favorite one or two series in printed form.

The almost total lack of digitally distributed manga capable of competing with such versions by now hardly needs mentioning – strong demand for convenient digital manga is apparently something publishers in both the US and Japan are desperate to ignore.

Oddly, the report completely fails to mention that there was a major global recession commencing in 2007 – apparently macroeconomic climate has no effect on manga sales worth mentioning, just like in Japan.

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307 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    I do buy manga when I can, but the combination of slow releases and series being cancelled at random do make me leery to start new series. I’ve had several series dropped on me at this point.

  • :The fact that manga is “long-form” entertainment, with many series running to dozens of volumes (Naruto Vol. 48 is due out in June), even taking into account the fact that manga is very attractively priced compared with traditional American graphic novels, it is very expensive to collect the entire series in paper.;

    Naruto isn’t worth collecting at all

    You want to collect something
    -stamps
    -diamonds with color
    -coins that are old
    -video game consoles with GOOD games
    -yard tools
    -family photos
    -trophies and not the fake video game achievements.
    -the photos of your past girlfriends naked
    -the photos of your drunk female coworkers naked(LoL)
    -knowing they wanted you to take the photos
    -knowing your not the blackmail type
    -having sex with you, cause your great in bed
    -having them write you come screw me letters
    for your collection.

    All this stuff is good.
    Just remember when you go, post it at your Will and recite this public stating

    “I’m a REAL MAN”
    “Women loved me, the haters will hate, but at least I know I never needed to Masterbate.”

  • Meh, I want the US LLCs to die out.

    They mishandle manga and anime to the point of ruining it, and expect us to shell out an arm and a leg for their butchery.

    Scanslators and fansubbers may have their slip-ups, but it’s nothing compared to the slowness and crap quality of the fatcat companies.

  • As bad as I feel for the mangakas and Japanese companies, I cant afford to be buying all the series I read. Its a lot harder to discover the a lot that I don’t have access to on the internet. Besides the fact that I’d need a new place to store all the ones I’ve read. Suck it up, companies here don’t do well for this thing. In Japan they make billions in manga. America just won’t do it

  • Seems odd to be blaming scanlation now. Scanlation was a much bigger deal before, when none of these manga were officially produced in english at all, and almost everything you read was scanlated. The english publishers wouldn’t have half their market if scanlations hadn’t gotten people interested in reading manga.

    I doubt the volume of scanlation has gone up at all in 2009, the publishers are just deciding to throw blame around now.

  • Their marketing sucks >.<…
    If I didn't search for it specifically I won't even know that they are translating certain series.
    Unlike some countries, where info on manga products are easily available with many stocks around.. Shopping for translated product take more effort in Us, and this includes time efficiency such as shipping, etc2.. Not to mention the price.

    To bad, they got potential market, but didn't effectively do as well as the market worth..

  • I read scanlations, but u notice how each one always ask it’s readers to support the series by buying the manga. I hope I could if I’d got money…
    Also, If i buy a manga, i don’t just want one or 2 volumes that i liked the most, it’s my style to buy a complete set or none at all, cuz what will I do with just a couple of volumes when there’s so many out.

    but still, I dunno how great are american english translation compared to fansubs? I never read an american translated manga so I wouldn’t know, but if it’s anything like the anime script, then hell know.
    I hate it when US manga leave stuff out from the original because of “cultural difference”, like phrases, sayings and other things, and change it to something so american can understands, in other words – “AMERICANIZED”.
    I HATE IT, TO THE CORE!
    like my manga authentic and original, a literal translation and little notes here and there for info, like what fansubs and scanlations do for us.

  • does anyone else feel that manga has become so retarded that you feel like your brains are going to melt and run out your ears after reading a few pages?
    srsly , the vast majority is simplistic crap/garbage/shiesse with no redeeming value whatsoever…
    even the furry fabulous freak brothers had more effort and care (and the artist was stoned most of the time…)
    if all manga drops dead tomorrow i see no real loss to the world …

  • I was a heavy manga reader, but then I didn’t have much extra money to blow, so I would buy certain titles and then read other ones in bookstores.

    But then the last few times I went to the bookstore to enjoy manga reading, I ended up getting aggressively hit on by weirdos so I stopped going to bookstores.

    Scanlations are now my cheap way of keeping up with manga I don’t have the money to buy.

    I do wish it were priced better. $10 is a week’s worth of gas. $10 is also a week’s worth of food. At even $2~$3 less, I would buy more manga. Would save me from getting hit on at bookstores too.

  • I’m saving trees by not buying so many paper products. I’m not using gas to drive to the store.

    I’m saving money I don’t have anyway. People do not have money for these things, nor is it really worth spending on. So you can have your art enjoyed by some and possibly bought, or not bought or seen at all.

    Now that I know I can get something for free off the internet, I don’t need to get it, ever.

    Net file sharing is not to blame for the economy, it is economists and those who really control the dollar, policy makers and a lack of fiscal/business awareness by everyone, and detrimental economic manipulation.

    It’s time to learn from all this that profit for creature comforts isn’t a necessity or a priority in society. Say you lost money, so what, who cares? File sharing isn’t to blame for music sales either.

  • Get a real job. If all you do is produce stuff and expect to be paid each time someone pressed Ctrl+V, well, good luck with that.

    Art isn’t a job, it’s a hobby. Go feed some starving Africans and make yourself useful.

  • Awesome! A bunch of fans know more about the economic realities of selling manga than the people who actually run the companies! What geniuses! Surely these budding media businessmen will pay licensing fees and pay for translations and lettering and put their manga up on the internet for download at a small fee–whereupon it will be copied and distributed by torrent and website so that no one else ever has to pay for it. I admit, I’m envious of the high-grade cunning that this idea represents. I’m sure someone here will Change the Manga World any day now.
    Right?
    C’mon, you keep saying how great the idea is and how it can’t fail to work! Anyone out there? Anyone…?
    Hmm. Maybe it’s just an echo-chamber of otaku who want an excuse to quiet the tiny voice of their conscience over the fact that they are STEALING someone else’s work–someone they claim to admire and respect.

    Moving on, manga are more expensive in the US than in Japan because in Japan the publishers gets 60% of the cover price and returns are not trashed by the bookstores, but returned to be resold. In America publishers get 40% of cover price (or less) and unsold copies are destroyed by the bookstores and the ripped-off covers returned for credit.
    In other words, before you open your big yap about “greedy” American publishers, do some damned research.

    • “A bunch of fans know more about the economic realities of selling manga than the people who actually run the companies! What geniuses!”

      Oh yeah, professional economists have so advanced knowledge, they couldn’t do something like causing complete chaos with stupid lending plans… Oh wait…
      Are you one of the “genius” who causes the massive 2008-2010 economic chaos ?

      About the downloading, we already heard that crap from music majors like “They are downloading music, we’re ruined, nobody will buy online music, …” and suddenly ! Oh ! What happened when some online music store appeared !? They got massive money ! Yeah, remember how Apple’s economy and reputation sky-rocketed ? Online music store ! Do people still download music via torrents ? Yes ! Doesn’t stop them getting big bucks !
      Your retarded logic is “There’s a problem so we won’t change until the problem disappear”. Since the problem is caused by your current positions, it will never disappear but you might ! Seriously… like if there isn’t any torrented manga already ? Or websites scanning manga and distributing them for free. And I’m not talking about scanlations only.
      Isn’t there a fucking message ? Don’t you hear it : “We want faster and cheaper releases, even if it’s online only !”. Want to play deaf ? Play deaf. Didn’t help the manga economy so far.

      So yeah, you’re a dumbass. If you’re retarded business plan consists in doing nothing but whining, well… Too bad for you. You’re stating the risks of a new business model like if they were currently inexistent threats. But they aren’t threats, they’re *real*. It’s *currently happening*.
      And FYI, Marvel is already doing digital distribution ( http://marvel.com/digitalcomics/ ). Look at the website and the price. Doesn’t seem to cause them an incredible prejudice. Now, you can insult people and try to think that any evolution is dumb but it won’t change anything.

  • past 1-2years manga prices have gone up 4$ locally. I was okay with 8.99-9.99 price tags. But 13.99 is excessive. And compared to the 400Yen they cost in Japan, prices are ridiculous.

  • Well fuck, you know what? They’re pretty much right. When a manga fan becomes aware that they can get all the manga they want without spending a cent, do you honestly think they’re really going to keep buying manga legitimately? I guess a minority who just love owning a hard copy might, but the vast majority will never buy another book.

  • I probably wouldn’t own any manga if it wasn’t for scanlation, how about they blame the non-existent marketing departments of these publishers whose only tactic is to piggy back on anime.

  • You can include the reason that english translators for Tokyo-Pop and Viz are incompetent as much of the translation distorts the original message or that message is lost in translation altogether. It’s funny how scanlation gropus are more competent than the ones that work for Viz or Tokyo Pop….

  • If they wanted to solve problems, the Manga and Anime industries would just HIRE all of the fansubbers and scanners to not only speed up the process, but have a better translation (yes some fansubbing is bad but still a lot better then buisness subbing). Lifting the bar alot higher would help (good god what would have happened if 4Kids had gotten Naruto instead of One Piece)

    those two factors would improve the product AND boost sales….. But instead they make em look like devils.

    Morons T_T

  • It’s scary that none of us even considered that the cause of the recession was the internet in the first place.

    I’m claiming something outrageous. But the truth is people love free stuff and they think that something that gives them free stuff is a good thing for all people. They choose to look the other way when it comes to social consequences.

    Consider this however: During the depression, we actually had to burn a lot of crops because there was too much surplus of it. That surplus made food way too cheap to sell. (Obviously I’m not saying surplus was the only reason for the depression)

    I imply that Google has killed many jobs. For example, people who print encyclopedias lose jobs because there exists a free Wikipedia. Consequently paper companies lose jobs. Consequently trucking industries lose jobs. Drivers lose jobs. Mechanics lose jobs. Don’t hire a consultant, just Google.

    Let’s go the other route. People would rather buy a new computer than a new Rolex or a toy gun. Consequently, our toys have to be made in China in order for that industry to compete with the ‘free’ that is offered by the internet and open-source computer apps.

  • It kinda makes me wonder why people read manga and watch anime, when they don’t buy nothing to support it. American comic books do way better than Japanese comic books, what is the interest if people don’t like to invest? At least with American comic books, we don’t have to worry about people stealing and uploading comic books on torrent like websites like you do with Japanese comics. That’s a big relief if you ask me.

    Maybe manga companies were doomed to fail in the long run in the U.S. Especially with how the U.S. and other countries entertainment industries work. However I do think manga books have great potential, but it’s never going to be in the same league as American comic books. Thank god Superman and Batman never had the internet back in the day, it would have been screwed big time. It definitely wouldn’t of have the cash flow with the flexibility of the internet.

    I mean that’s just how I see it. Nobody likes to read English Subtitles, it gets very tiresome. I rather listen and watch what I can understand. I can understand the phenomenon that is Japanese Animation, but is it really all that great when it comes with all these problems?

  • 1) High chance of even popular series being dropped by the English publisher before the end, leaving you having spent a lot of money on a long series without an end. Even if the English publisher doesn’t drop the manga, it is not uncommon at all for manga to be dropped before they have an actual end. Basically, manga is very volatile and has a decently high chance of being a bust. I’d buy more manga if the English publisher had to refund half my money if they dropped the series before completely translating it.

    2) Often a long wait between fan translation and official translation. Most people are not going to wait a year to find out what happens next when they can near instantly download the fansub.

    3) High manga price. For a long series, you can end up spending hundreds of dollars and that is only one series.

  • “manga is very attractively priced compared with traditional American graphic novels”

    Yes, paying $10 a volume for 20+ volumes of a series (a series that has been neutered by overzealous censors) strikes me as the best deal of all time.

  • Artefact is right, it’s the economy. I also think some of you are overreacting. Upset about the price of manga? Well, once again, the economy is to blame for that, not the publishers. But on this issue, if you’re paying the retail price for manga, you’re an idiot. Go to Amazon or RightStuf. Manga volumes there will almost always be considerably marked down.

    Furthermore, the vast, vast majority of manga printed in the US is unedited and contains decent translations, or is at the very least equivalent to the scanlations in quality. But this is just an assumption, seeing as I don’t speak Japanese. But neither do most of you I’d wager to say, so the “bad translations” arguments is a bit unfounded. I’ve read enough of both to know that scnalations are in no way shape or form the paragons of accuracy and correct grammar. Don’t kid yourselves.

    And it is a FACT that if enough people do not support this medium monetarily, it will die. I for one do not want to see my hobby die (I still collect manga by the treasure trove) because of cheap motherfuckers with a ludicrous sense of entitlement.

  • The real problem is that it takes 4 to 5 months for the next volume to come out! Why?!?! Most mangas that come stateside have ended their run or are at the end. When a US company buys the license, translate and print. The smartass take months and months between each volumes. Fansub are quicker even if their not always correct. Those companies can’t find translators to do the damn job?

    Plus the titles they pick… I’ve been to Japan and the titles they carry in the stores cover everything in the world! All we get are schoolgirl drama?

  • Bullshit. There’s this thing called the Economy. It’s kind of TANKING right now. You see, when I have to choose between Manga and Food, I’ll take the food. Food keeps me alive, I can live without manga.

  • If it wasn’t for scanlations they wouldn’t be selling nearly as much manga they’re selling at this momment. The only reason I discovered manga was because some scanlations I discovered on the internet, if it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t had bought the volumes I have right now.

  • While this does really affect me as I don’t buy translated manga these days. I’m translator by trade and I find the state of some “official” translations shockingly bad. I’m not saying that scanlators are any better but at least I’m not paying any money for it.

    I do agree with other posters here that the prices of manga here is at exorbitant levels. Whenever work takes me to Japan I always make sure I load up my suitcase with manga as the prices can be as little as 1/4 of the prices here.

    So, I guess what I’m trying to say is the day I stop downloading raws is the day they start sell Shonen Sunday for 260 yen here(or alternatively I could just move to Japan).

  • Fuck! Are they goddamn retarded or something? (Obviously they are.) Maybe if they wouldn’t fuck up the translations to a nauseating degree I might THINK about buying their crap.
    But even then what little they have licensed doesn’t please me. (I’m not encouraging their licensing either. It’s troubling frankly.) I’d rather not waste my money on half-assed material. I’ll just keep buying the raws from Kinokuniya and happily downloading my scans. They can burn in hell. Fucking greedy ass Americans.

  • Personally I only download the scanlated manga that they so proudly deny us of… Kodomo no Jikan for example.

    The industry needs to STOP blaming sanlation and fansubbing for their woes. I can’t speak for anyone besides myself, but I know I don’t purchase manga because I can’t stand the mainstream popular trash that the industry tries to push.

    Out of the whole manga selection at places like Barnes and Noble, or Virgin Megastore, there are probably only three titles that I might actually purchase. I’m much more likely to purchase lesser known fringe titles from smaller publishers that are likely to go under anyway. For example I purchased all four published volumes of Blood Alone from Infinity before they tanked.

  • Well for those that would actually like to buy the manga, they simply cannot because of either prices or don’t have the income to especially since jobs are STILL difficult to come by. If I had a decent job, I would buy everything, but since I don’t, I deal with what I have.

  • Scalantion has always been there and now its affecting sales?
    Sure, blame it and lets just ignore there’s a recession and badly marketed products with silly high prices always suffer.

  • back in 90s in the USA the manga ranma 1/2 cost $20! and the page numbers where cut down so you get less content. also there is no weekly, bi-weekly or monthly releases of most manga hear. have to wait 6 to 8 months for each volume. some stores stock items once and never re-stoke theme.

  • Sandalphon says:

    “The almost total lack of digitally distributed manga capable of competing with such versions by now hardly needs mentioning”

    So very true master Artefact. One of the reasons I buy few manga is because it’s hard to store and keep them, compared to digital format at least.

  • Simon Jones says:

    The recession is worth noting, but compared to the overall GN sales drop of under double digits, additional factors are clearly at work in the case of manga. On the balance, scanlations are hurting the industry. Manga’s dependence on bookstore distribution also became a liability when those channels suffered; the comic-focused direct market weathered the recession better.

    But all that is based on looking at the industry as a whole. When you look at things on a publisher-by-publisher basis, these generalizations become less dependable. So book store space for manga has shrunk, but more of that space has been given to Viz and Yen. Scans may hurt some publishers more than other (in Icarus’ case, Yamatogawa’s Aqua Bless has sold slower than our other books because it is so much more popular, hence easier to find online). Domestic comics may have had a more stable year, but that came with more Marvel and DC releases dominating the top, so that is little consolation for small comic publishers.

  • One could cite a lot of things. Mainly, I blame the fact that manga is typically overpriced for what you get compared to equivalent stuff from other publishers.

    A manga tankubon costs roughly ten to twelve bucks per item. Which wouldn’t seem so bad, except that I can pick up a hardcover copy of Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man Volume 1 for sixteen bucks. It’s got bigger pages, full color, and it’s hardbound so it’s more likely to stand the test of time. All for four bucks extra over a novel-shaped book of a similar page-count with black and white pages. Customers know that they’re getting screwed compared to what’s available from other companies producing similar products.

    Honestly, the localization companies could be trying harder to keep costs down for consumers, but they don’t. The same problem applies to anime. The last time I picked up a DVD boxed set was a couple years ago, because it cost me nearly seventy dollars. For something like the Irresponsible Captain Tylor Ultra Edition, which included a bunch of extras, that’s fine.

    But take Naruto. It’s up to eighteen boxed sets. At fifty bucks per set, which is cheap compared to some stand-alone series, that’s nine hundred bucks. Just for Naruto, animated. Now add in the games, the tankubon, posters, then movies…

    The fact is, the industry is fucking flooding the market with expensive products during a recession and then wondering why their sales are down. If they would learn to just fucking dial it back a notch or two and release things a little slower, for a little bit more reasonable a price, maybe they’d see some better returns.

  • i have two options read bleach/naruto online and be up-to-date as in japan or wait three years for volumes to catch up to date at this point and then i’m still behind. currently we are on volume 26 in the US in Japan volume 44

  • Pfft, I’d happily support the series I like if the translations weren’t atrocious.
    All the jokes are replaced with retarded American jokes which changes the entire thing completely.
    Everything’s lost in translation, it’s like watching dubbed anime.

  • “[keeping] hot new titles such as Rosario + Vampire from achieving the kind of success that previous Shonen Jump hits have enjoyed.”
    >Implying Rosario+Vampire is something worth buying and not a piece of fanservice shit.

    “Manga readers lack the “collector mentality” of comic book fans and also tend to be both young and tech savvy.”
    It would seem that by “collector mentality” they’re expecting westerners to be retarded otakus who’ll buy whatever shit comes out from a publisher, just like the japs who buy whatever shit comes from Kyoani.

    “Increasingly retailers who saw their once strong anime sales shrink away to nothing are telling ICv2 that manga readers are [b]SAMPLING new series online and only buying their favorite one or two series in printed form[/b].”
    BINGO!

    And sampling is the key, because smart people wouldn’t spend over 500USD on a manga series without previously having a clue if the manga will end up being good or not.
    Unlike the past, when anime/manga was scarce and the anime fans from the west actually HAD TO FEEL LUCKY they were able to buy mediocre manga/anime, now with the scanlations and internet being massive, a part of them have actually become smarter (Also a part of them’ve become increasingly retarded, see moeblob show’s success even in the west).

    Scanlations harm the publishers when the products the publishers sell are just not buy-worthy enough.
    Therefore STOP PUBLISHING SHIT, YOU RETARDED FAGGOTS!!!!! Or at least refrain from whining when your SHIT doesn’t sell as much as you want.

  • Yup yup. Let’s see…recession? Yup. Takes FOREVER to get here? Yup. So much suck is sold here? Hell yup. Can’t find anything besides Naruto and Bleach in stores? Around here…yup.

    But yes, throw that aside and let’s blame the intertubs. Just like music, movie and game sales. Remember how the VCR destroyed the movie theater? Remember how MP3s destroyed the music industry? Wait, it was destroyed before with cassettes and people recording off the radio. Remember how games free of DRM sold better than with DRM?

    No? Blame the intertubs… except for the VCR\cassette thing.

  • perhaps if the publishers picked out better titles and released them faster than scanlators can scanlate, which will require simultaneous release then… some more people will buy the books first instead of reading the scanlations first and not buy the book because they already read it…
    and a drop in the price to like 7-8 bucks a book will help…

  • [quote]The almost total lack of digitally distributed manga capable of competing with such versions by now hardly needs mentioning – strong demand for convenient digital manga is apparently something publishers in both the US and Japan are desperate to ignore.

    Oddly, the report completely fails to mention that there was a major global recession commencing in 2007 – apparently macroeconomic climate has no effect on manga sales worth mentioning, just like in Japan.[/quote]

    O rly? Haven’t we seen this elsewhere? Heh. But indeed, with online availability many hardcore fans can now choose what to buy instead of blindingly buying unknown manga. Digital availability of official releases would be wonderful =/

  • Tokyopop losing their entire Kodansha holding, taking atleast 20 percent of the available titles off the market with it couldn’t have had an effect on the industry either oh wait.

    Less manga is being released to market in N. America. What is coming over isn’t as good as what came over during the boom, and certainly not worth prioritizing over rent and food. Those are the fucking problems, not scanlations.

  • They act like nobody’s ever thought to put a book in their pocket in a book store with no security cameras and just walk out with it. The Internet’s not always to blame. Sometimes ACTUAL thieves are the culprits.

  • A large number of the manga that scan groups do aren’t licensed for sale in the US anyway…

    If they’re saying that 99% of their sales were from naruto, then yes.Maybe it was the scan groups’ fault.

    • I think nearly every manga I read isn’t licensed here.

      But, if it does come out here eventually, I do buy it. Guess that makes me the odd duck liking the book in my hands instead of just on screen.

  • Let’s not forget the US is in a recession, you have bad buisiness practices and manga in the us costs 4x the amount it does in Japan.

    I’ve been buying manga I like recently and reading it online, if it’s declining it sure as hell isn’t my fault.

  • Barbarian of Gor says:

    It’s the ECONOMY, stupid…

    Really, in a economy where anyone (even the “I went through COL-lege for X years…” crowd) can lose their jobs at any time, including for absolutely no fault of their own, then the “Waiting Game” might be too long for any benefits/savings to last…

    Well, if you might move, including to smaller (aka a “Car”) quarters, why have a suitcase full of $10+ each japanese comic books to drag along with you? Or rather, to the shrinking customer base, why add another box/suitcase worth of the same formulaic stories?

    Scanlations, IMO, if anything keep up consumer interest in those who’d otherwise not buy. Myself, I read a lot of manga at a bookstore/coffeshop but have been buying less than usual due to the economic fears we all have. That and most of the “New” stuff coming out is sh-t. The exception is “Vampire Hunter D” which I do buy.

    Here’s my proposal to the producers of Manga:

    1. Put your works available online in English at reasonable rates. No dead trees, no paying for the distributors = the same profits at less price. I’d still pay $5-$7 for “Shonen Ace” if you start translating it:-) But most “Manga Volumes” should be $5 each.

    2. The “Scanslators” have already done 95% of your work for you. They took YOUR manga and scanned, translated, put it online. Just take what they did, double check the “Engrish” and logos, and use it for your own sites. Don’t “Sue” them, they did you work for free, but of course you don’t need to pay them a dime and if they try for money the “You took our intellectual property without permission!” argument applies:-)

    3. Let fans contribute $ for stuff they have already with NO penalties. If you ran a shop, but someone came in and paid you $ for a book they ‘stole’ but you hadn’t noticed it was gone, is it not the best thing to forgive them? In this case, you didn’t even lose physical inventory. The “Theft” if the fan is welcome to “Support the artists they love” becomes a form of free advertising.

    4. You might go after, by filing complaints, sites that host the files, but then have your own alternative ready and waiting. Or with better designed sites, work with them and just start selling the “Newer” volumes on the site, then let the older stuff stay free as ‘advertisement’.

    5. NO DRM. It doesn’t deter the “hackers” by even a second, and most of the stuff out there was literally scanned from paper. A lot of people’s fear right now is they’ll have to move to other and unknown, likely smaller living spaces. However, a stack of SD cards and/or portable HDDs can carry FAR more data than bookshelves full of books. They’ll buy something from you, they’ll have a little bit of data they can carry with them in essentially no space for a long time. That way also, long, LONG after your company breaks up or transforms (new teams, new owners) many times, the stories you worked on will be read by “New” readers. This will influence new generations of artists/writers and at the same time might renew interest enough that an old “IP” could sell new stuff or keep selling if it’s always in the “Files” for other people to download.

    6. Get better artists, even putting up with ‘eccentric’ ones that might not be “Human Factories”. This goes double for “Shonen Jump” but not for “Shonen Ace”. Most Manga artists seem as good or better than American artists, but those kooky European artists that take a year to make a comic that maybe gets published in Heavy Metal could wipe the floor with either of ’em, with the exception of guys like Shirow. (Druuna, SkyDoll, Druillet, Moebius…) I’m sure you can find some (rejected as “very good but too slow”) characters from your job interviews and just say “Try to send us this kooky project you are working on, but work it out as good as you can, and if we publish it we’ll pay you.” That way, you’ll get a pile of “Unique” stuff to put in with the ‘regular’ stuff. It’ll get a fanatic fan following who’ll eagerly wait weird lenghts of time, and spark new sales.

    7. Focus on improving the story. I think the “Same theme with a twist” is done to F*cking death. How many more “School kids in a Ninja magick giant robot kung fu slaughter battle acadamy” do we need to think we are being “Original”? You need to find, not necessarily “Writers” but “Storytellers”.

  • As a non-Japanese, paying consumer, I would much rather wait a year, or more, before getting a translated copy of something.

    I also wish to pay inflated prices; nothing resembling prices in japan.

    I also just love the fact that Manga hasn’t gotten more and more generic, with less and less innovative and courageous titles.

    Yup, that all sounds about right.

  • Last I checked, most the stuff people like to read scanlated isn’t even released or licensed in the US/EU. So they aren’t losing sales there.

    As for why sales are down, I blame Japan’s lack of quality titles and interesting manga.

    I also think that %20 they lost went back over to American comics.

  • Oh bullshit.

    Companies are always trying to play the victim role, but we are forgetting something here. While I do realize piracy isn’t something positive, people don’t need to have so much pity with these corporations.

    Just think about it, without scanlations and fansubbing, this manga / anime culture wouldn’t even exist outside of Japan. Even Japan made profits out of these fans: there wasn’t even a market for people like that, so they could only win more customers, not lose any.

    Now these corporations blame the very own scanlator, who created this whole friggin’ market. Oh the irony… It’s not like they’ll starve from hunger or anything.

    • It’s disgusting how (any) companies think we, as costumers, owe them any kind of loyalty or sympathy just because one or two of their products became popular or well sought in the past.

      They better give us a quality book worth our money EVERY TIME or else we can just walk away or wait for something better.

  • It seems they’re forgetting that scanlated manga isn’t better only because it’s free, it’s better because you don’t even need to move your ass out of your house, and is usually publishes 1 year before in Japan than in your country. Why wait 1 year to read something you could read today?

  • Oh right. It just has to be the filthy, thieving fan-translator’s fault. That’s the only possible reason manga and anime sales have plummeted since the mid 2000’s, it couldn’t POSSIBLY have ANYTHING to do with publishers’ refusal to adopt new distribution models or get the product to consumers faster. Most of all, it ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, COULD NOT IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM be due to the declining quality of anime and manga titles. The utter refusal to innovate, the pigheaded determination to just recycle the same tired story lines and archetypal characters ad nauseum, the complete lack of anything that isn’t an aggressively juvenile wish fulfillment fantasy marketed towards home bound nerds who want to bang the sisters they don’t have.

    • “Most of all, it ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, COULD NOT IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM be due to the declining quality of anime and manga titles.”

      No doubt at all the whole no story moe shit titles are killing the industry.

      • Absolutely, it’s what drove me away. I’m an old timer, I grew up on gritty ultra-violent cyberpunk anime and I can saw with no resevations that anime was a lot better back then. Then Evangelion came out and it all went to shit. Just one cookie cutter moe show after anothr. Now I mostly read indy comics and watch B-movies. I’m a lot happier for it.

        I occasionally come to this website to watch the anime and manga industry implode like an unending slow-motion train wreck.

        • There is still good stuff, but you have to sift hard. I like some of Bones’ shows these days. I’m from the same era though and I agree – not that Eva made things moe – it turned every new mech show from something fun and exciting into biomechs piloted by psychologically fucked protagonists who want to angst all day. It took a damn long time to come, but I see Gurren Lagann as an apology for that, and I ACCEPT! It was awesome…

          You were probably into classics like BGC, Armitage, Tank Police, Black Magic, and so on, right? Yeah, I miss those… they were once the norm, at least in North America.

  • Yes, surely it’s because people just started making scanlations at the start of 2009, and not a combination of a global economic panic, and the fact that we’re coming closer to having ANY manga of ANY worth translated, so the average quality of a randomly-grabbed manga is sinking through the floor. It doesn’t help either that you can’t be sure what you’re getting is the original material and not in some way redrawn/rewritten, just like scan groups have no reason to do…

    Still, scans aren’t a moral high ground. If you really like a series, you should buy the English, or original Japanese versions – the Japanese ones would directly contribute to the production of more, so you’d have more scans.

    Still, this sounds like the RIAA whining. Blame anything but the product…

  • Yea, lots of things are lost in translation, then yes some of the prices are generally hurting if you enjoy more than one series >< Most series I like are $15 to $20 and that's a good chunk of the rest of my bills when you add to that fact there are several series I'd like to buy every month!

    Then on top of this you get down to a bad business week where you are forced to the choice of, "Do I want some Manga this week? Or do I think I need to actually eat at least one meal a day?" Bad enough making food that's actually more healthy for you is more expensive than junk food. I'm not about to eat McDonalds every day just so I can afford more comic books than I tend to read only a few times at most!

  • id say it’s also a case of kids sitting in the F**KING manga isle and reading whole volumes in the store rather than buying em happens every time i go to the books stores in my area

  • That’s what happens when you take 8 months to put out a graphic novel when a scanlator can have a whole volume out in less than one month. They take too damn long to put out new manga and get the rights to it, which could take over two years. And they wonder why they’re loosing money from it?

    Though, that doesn’t mean scanlations are the best either, Spice and Wolf’s yen press recently released an “uncensored” verison of the manga where you can actually see Horo’s nipples. Why the hell they were censored in the first place, isn’t known. Not to me atleast.. but that’s a story for another time. But then again you get industry leaders who do the opposite, like Viz, which on more than one occasion made stupid edits/censors to various manga (like in full metal alchemist where they censored one person from being pinned to a cross to just a regular slab of concrete.

  • Well, when the US publications learn to publish manga for affordable prices their sales will go up. I mean, how does it make sense for us to pay for 15-20 dollars for one volume of manga printed on crap paper and shitty localization?
    For a fraction of the price I could get a decent book that gives me more bang for my buck.
    Start selling manga for 5 bucks a book and I’m sure many more will be willing to buy manga.

  • Why should the US care? Seems like they’ve been trying to ban stuff like that for quite some time.
    You know what the real crisis is? The selection of manga we get in Canada. There’s always only the ones that span over ten volumes. It took me over a year to find Kannazuki no Miko, just because no store carried small series.

  • Scanlations never affected how much manga I bought, in fact I bought MORE since I knew which titles I liked from the get go.

    What stopped me from buying manga is LACK OF MONEY. The economy is in the drain and licensed manga doesn’t translate to good quality plus those prices? I rather buy the japanese or korean versions with their 3-4 dollar tag thank you.

    The truth is that there’s no jobs, no money, government charges us 10% taxes, what the hell did they expect? instead of blaming scanlations, how about looking at the damn whole situation? what dumbasses.

  • Because Scanlation is a recent phenomenon, right? Damn pirates suddenly jumped in the bandwagon flagshipped with several hardships by the manga companies over countless years and now steal their business! Damn kids and their scanners and (usually better) translation and editing skills! /sarcasm

    Scanlation is as old as the Internet and maybe a bit older and it was, along with fansubbing what brought the once scoffed at “japanese comic books” into market and subculture relevance. Scanlation is today, no worse or better it was 10 years ago, so you can hardly pin the trouble in them, especially since most scanlators only publish stuff that cannot be found in USA. Damn hypocrites trying to find a scapegoat for the failure of their own industry.

  • They could embrace the internet and sell an ebook version at a discount on Amazon.
    Use a relatively open format that can be used by any e-reader vs having it only on swindle I mean kindle.
    Might have to use PDF as epub chokes on image intensive stuff esp if accurate text layout is needed and mobi just sucks.

    As for DRM if they have to use it no call back DRM just stick with a simple key system.
    Invasive DRM esp the type needs an always on internet connection or worse yet that can remotely delete files will backfire badly and people will turn to piracy out of spite see Spore and AC2.

  • I’m gonna go ahead and blame the economy and moe boom in Japan rather than scanslation. Rosario + Vampire is a middle of the road manga and an awful anime. With the amount of fanservice the show has it could never air on American television. The industry observers are just too proud to admit the entire anime industry is in a slump right now due to copycat moe series designed to target a small niche and alienate potential newcomers and the shounen and shoujo mainstream.

  • they should have digital releases too. take one piece. you would have to have like 60 volumes, versus a digital folder. Its a pain in ass needed space for 60 volumes, and thats just ONE manga.

  • Awful printing quality
    Censoring
    Super slow release times

    These things play a much bigger role in sale decreases than scanlating. Sucks for them that they can’t compete with the Scanlating scene, I suppose.

  • With how the economy is in the US I think it’s obvious why manga isn’t selling as well as it used to.

    I mean can you eat it? Drink it? Survive on it? No. Last time i heard the unemployment rate was like 9. something percent in the US ffs.

  • I would not believe the numbers gentlemen. There was no independent party gathering up the information. The company did, and they have a motivation to inflate the numbers in order to account for lost sales.

    All I’m saying is, take this with a metric ton of salt.

  • If they brought over the stuff I like and didnt censor it, Id buy it. I was perfectly happy buying each volume of Ecole du Ciel but then they dropped it for whatever reason. Now Im halfway into the story and am too lazy to look it up on scans (otherwise I would.)

    If they want to compete with scanslations they should provide similar levels of quality. Also why I dont buy DVDs. The fonts are ugly, the translations are awkward, and the DVDs are way overpriced for a few episodes. I may be into anime but Im not stupid enough to shell out cash meaninglessly.

  • Reason why their sales is dropping is because they in a sense are very slow scanlators or translators, their quality of their translation is often quite simple and the fact they dont release their manga about 1-2 weeks after the japanese version means that people will go to the internet to find what they are looking for.

  • “manga readers are sampling new series online and only buying their favorite one or two series in printed form”

    Which makes perfect sense. This is exactly why I pirate. I do it to benefit myself (only pay for good stuff), but the industry wants me to buy everything only to benefit itself, so why should I care?

    Japanese readers have access to previews in the form of the magazines where the series are originally serialized, but with the exception of a handful of series that run in Shonen Jump USA (all kiddie stuff) and Yen+, American readers don’t. $10 a volume is a bit much to venture on, especially since it can easilly take more than a volume for a series to take off.

  • More like a failing economy & parents having less spending money for their kids is to blame. Do any of these companies actually believe guilt tripping their fan base is going to boost sales?

    Fucking idiots, they need to address the real issue. The high cost of manga & anime, in a slumming economy. These things are not necessities; they’re entertainment and people aren’t going to splurge for them, when they can barely put food on the table.

  • Yeah, the plunging economy should have NOTHING to do with manga sales! I’m sure people would love to cut of their money from food, clothing, housing, insurance, gas, and other things to get their Naruto fix.

  • Whenever I read scanlations I dream of reading the real thing on dead trees but then I check out the prices and instantly opt to watch fansubbed anime instead because scans are generally low quality and annoying to read but manga costs more than twice as much as I am willing to pay (and even then it would be grossly overpriced).

  • What’s wrong with official mangas?

    They are expensive, quality is not good, they censor and modify content so it differs from the Japanese version and finally, it comes out slow.

    Some scanlations come out within a week of the release.

    Official manga come out years later.

  • This is bullshit, pure and simple.
    If scanlations where the reason why manga is declining, it would have never worked in the first place.
    Scanlations were here a long time before the official content.

    It’s quite the opposite actually. If it wasn’t for scanlations, manga would have never been brought to the US. It would never have been this sucessful, never would have achieved the recognition it has today.

    Kinda sad to see japanese publishing corporations turning into the same crap as MPAA and RIAA.

    Seems greed and power does that. Now that they have enough of that, declining or not, they decided to turn their backs to what lead them there in the first place.

  • Manga prices are crazy! Kids can’t pay $10 a book and adults aren’t interested in them anymore. These days I just download hentai from the internet. It also takes less space than a pile of books.

  • I bought my first manga in a long time last week. They had ( I guess) the complete Azumanga Daioh collection in one huge tome for only $25. I couldn’t resist but get it. I also realized that I can’t and don’t like to read manga on the computer. It’s harder on the eyes and harder to make it the right size and change the page and the quality usually isn’t as good as actual manga. Also, you can’t read it on the shitter, which is half of the time I read manga.

  • “The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it” (John Gilmore)

    The Streisand Effect states that the more you try to take something away, the more sensationalized it becomes…

    …so maybe in reality, the authors are trying to invoke the effect on purpose… so the more their work will be spread far and wide don’t you think?

  • “Manga readers lack the “collector mentality” of comic book fans and also tend to be both young and tech savvy.”

    Bull i am buying both the Higurashi and Mirai Nikki series… Quit being slow and taking 2-3 months to get a book in english and maybe you would make more money….

  • lol those dumbasses. Manga sales along with everything else went down when the economy went bad. Why are they crying foul?!

    Also, note that they got nothing but only crappy moe manga coming out nowadays, who would want to read that? And if they do have action, they somehow make it really really cheezy and stupid. I’m surprised the manga market didn’t disappear at all in the usa/canada.

  • Meltyblood says:

    Ok first off I think the economy plays a big role in why the sales figures have been low.
    Second Fansubs Have always been around even before Anime was introduced to the American market they were harder to find and usually were in irc rooms before widely on the net.
    Third if i really wanted a accurate translation i would actually pay to get the book or DVD.
    Forth retail always had a high markup for these items.
    I have seen anime manga cheaper than what is in the malls or other retail stores. If you go to a Japanese bookstore in NY or any other place they charge by the Yen Price vs US Dollar. Sometimes the Yen is Cheaper than the Dollar.
    So dont give me that bullshit America is capitalist trying to make a quick buck.
    Anime is widely available due to the new technologies in place. And last but not least someone had to of either bought the anime in order to translate it. People took the spare time to translate and encode it.

  • I will say its the cost. Someone compared the Jap and US price, I will do for the Taiwan ver.
    I own a few books of US version Galaxy Angel –
    11 USD each
    Taiwan version (if you can read chinese)
    90NT (thats 5.5 USD)

  • You provide a poor quality product at an inflated price and then wonder why you are losing customers. Duh!

    If the manga publishers want to find who is really at fault in their loss of sales, I suggest that they get a mirror.

  • Neutral_Eyes says:

    Scanlation isn’t to blame, just an answer to the industry’s errors. I only pay around $8 per volume and still don’t find most of them to be worth their cost. Not to mention someone could just as easily walk into a bookstore, sit down, and read an entire new volume without purchasing. Scanlation goes beyond available print or license.

    Deviation from the original work is highest on my list of gripes. Censorship, page and cover quality, and localization ruins a lot of titles. When they say we lack the “collector mentality” I think they mean we’re not otaku impulse buyers. And who can blame us? Distribute something WORTH collecting.

    I like printed media. I don’t read scanlations; I hate reading on a monitor, even if it means I’m not up to date on the latest volume. I’m not going to buy an e-reader either. If it’s too hard for US manga companies to stay afloat with “only” 140 million dollars, get out of the business and let the consumers decide where to go.

  • Oh, look. Self-righteous pirates acting as though they have no effect on the financial state of the industry, blaming everything else in the universe while forgetting the large impact of their own purchases.

    Way to go.

    • Or changing the name from Horo. Those bastards!
      Won’t ever buy. And I was looking forward to that one too :'(

      Please, don’t get me started _again_ on why those japanese fucktards are stupid. (German speaking country, and so on.)
      It’s called and written Horo, just deal with it, bitches.

  • There is nothing wrong with buying just what you want. Hey if you can’t produce something desirable it’s you own fuckin’ problem.

    I have my collector mentality, probably have more than 1500 books by now. However,
    1. Running out of room
    2. It cost about US$8 per book to get amazon japan or bk1 to ship to NA. If I am a collector, do I spend $10 buy some crap translation going the wrong direction or $8 to buy the real thing?

    Manga, along with light novel are suppose to be cheap enough for you to just read and have no hard feeling to throw away or leave it on the train( in japan). It’s also cheap enough to let teens/ children to buy with their allowance. Look what they have done here.

    If in this economy the japanes manga publishers are suffering with their easy to buy price, why should NA market maintain their sale, being hit hardest?

  • While the American comic book market continues to expand. Scanlation isnt the problem, considering how American comic books are so heavily scanned. Its the quality of the manga being released. The publishers need to stop pandering to the weaboos and give people an actual reason to read manga, especially when comic books are so popular.

  • Obviously the economy is largely at fault. But I definitely agree that pirating is also a major factor. Pirates have no respect for the time, money, and effort that goes into creating manga. They just expect these people to dedicate their lives doing pro-bono work for them. It’s disgusting.

  • If official US releases were as fast as the Japanese I’m sure there would be a lot more sales. One of the problems is US releases are months or even years behind the Japanese releases and some manga never get licensed, therefore never officially translated.

  • The problem of scans isn’t that you don’t buy mangas you like but that you know what mangas are bad and don’t buy them.
    Without the scans you would have to buy the bad ones too only to realize you don’t like it.

  • with the consideration that fully 99% of manga is unreadable dreck, crap, schiesse, retarded, distilled, packed down, stupidty at best, the lack of sales to a thinking non’fanboy’ audience is not unexpected…

  • I stopped reading manga because the series are like a bajillion volumes long, and it takes forever for the next one to come out. So either it’s one volume at a (very long) time or a complete series that costs an arm and a leg to buy…

  • It was not to long ago some of those companies decided to cancel 50% of what they publish…. Like spring 2009. And they also expected many fans who bought those to automatically buy the other series of them to just get showed in the face for more titles to never be finished released.

    I would not buy an never complete published Manga anymore due this single reason, You cannot trust the publishers at all in this regard.

    Still waiting for Shakuga No Shana Vol 3 of the Visual Novel.

    • I read my first Manga in 2009 online.
      I also bought my first Manga in 2009 online.

      If I read an awesome Manga, I can’t help but buy it. For example I’d love to buy every volume of Unbalance Unbalance, but could only manage to find two. (oh, that’s from korea, sry, but fuck you japan.)

      Now I read the first few chapters of around 50 manga and 90% sucked ass. A few were readable and for exactly two, I felt the urge to buy. Tsukihime and UnbalanceX2.

      It’s pretty difficult to find entertaining Manga… and why buy overpriced, bad translated books I won’t even bother to read, since I don’t like paper all that much?

      On a side note: Anybode opposing piracy gets boycotted, no exceptions!

      PS: Didn’t went according to the keikaku of the industry, now did it?

  • I gave up on American manga long before I really hit my stride on scanlations. The things I do read scanlations for either have never been released in America, have been released but are several years behind their Japanese counterpart (thus I finished what America had to offer long ago and have blown past it), or the American counterpart is severely editted (Naruto as an example, even though I hate it). As far as I can tell, scanlations didn’t cost the manga industry in America anything. If anything, sitting and reading manga in the book store has cost them more potential 1 volume sales than anything.

    Now cap that off with the ridiculous price per volume in America, the horrendous release times (once a month or every few months if there is even a reliable release cycle), and finally no new good series has been put out in years, while boy love has completely dominated the shelves, and American manga releases just aren’t appealing.

  • “only buying their favorite one or two series in printed form.”
    —> out of solidarity.

    Printed Manga are outdated, just go with time. E-book readers are on the rise. Stop dwelling in the past and get over it. Bitches.

    • @Chen-04 21:55

      Current E-book readers are nothing but “fuck-the-customer” machines.

      * Control over content you bought a copy of, does not reside with you, it resides with the companies providing the “services”. Example:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/18/technology/companies/18amazon.html

      “In a move that angered customers and generated waves of online pique, Amazon remotely deleted some digital editions of the books from the Kindle devices of readers who had bought them.”

      * E-book readers typically allow you to download/read one company’s products. Would you buy a car which only runs on “ARCO”-brand gasoline? Of course not! Why would you buy a reader which only works with “Amazon”-brand books, or “Sony”-brand books?

      * If your E-book reader breaks, you’re at the mercy of service provider’s policies. “Oh, you want to re-download copies of the content you already bought onto your replacement E-book reader? Sorry, we don’t allow that.”, or, “We shut down the servers hosting that old content because it cost us too much to run them. Too bad for you.” Example: Microsoft’s “PlaysForSure” music service shut down their servers on August 31, 2008.

      http://diveintomark.org/archives/2008/05/06/the-day-the-music-died

      * The service providers have your purchase history, which they can and will sell to third parties. You didn’t get that job, you didn’t get that loan, your insurance is priced extraordinarily high, and you’re wondering why? Well, it’s because, “Look at this Smith character’s purchase history! He’s a loli-loving, baby-raping, hentai-fapping-to manga fanatic!”

      Everyone in the world is _NOT_ like you, Chen-04. Some of us love physical books and manga, and WANT to have dead-tree copies in our hands.

      Publishers and retailers could cut their costs with a “print-on-demand” service. You go to the “bookstore”, “browse” via an in-store electronic reader, step up to the counter, pass the clerk a piece of paper with the ISBN numbers of the volumes you want, the clerk goes *clickety-click*, and a few moments later the WhizzoMatic 3000 printer/binder unit behind the counter spits out your beautiful color-illustrated books/manga. You pay the clerk, take your stuff, and leave.

      Wins for the publisher:
      + No paper-shipping expenses
      + Increased sales because ALL of their catalog is ALWAYS available. (“Yeah, I want a copy of the Series X tankoubon originally published in 1998. Thanks.”)

      Wins for the bookstore:
      + No expenses shipping back “unsold” copies.
      + No Jan 1st taxes on “unsold inventory”. (This might be a U.S.-specific tax.)

      (end.)

      • I didn’t bother reading everything, cause it sounded kind of familiar.

        Yeah, E-Book-Readers suck right now. But they have the possibility to be the most awesome device in years.

        *Books shall cost 1Cent per page
        *Your E-Book-Reader shall not be allowed to connect to the interwebz (for various reasons)
        **once downloaded books have to be easily downloadable again and again and again and again
        *Books shall be pirated big times – actually, that is already the case but most people don’t realize this (I don’t mean manga)

        “Everyone in the world is _NOT_ like you, Chen-04.”
        Thanks for filling me in on that secret. But I guess my kind is the future. Maybe you just don’t read as much as me, but when you have to give books away, cause you don’t own a fucking library, but only, like a few rooms completely filled with books and hence don’t have any more room it starts to get ugly. Oh, and I just startet last year with manga and am already addicted to buying them. But that won’t solve my roomproblem at all. And to make it even more ridiculous, I don’t even enjoy reading them in paperform. It’s just frustrating, but not as frustrating as hundreds of year old books, that crumble into dust, cause the temperature wasn’t right. Pirating is a lot of fun, I tell you. Possible to avoid all those problems and still get what you want for no money at all. Not that I have moneyproblems, as stated I am addicted to buying manga. I just prefer to read them online.

  • Yeah, of course a global recession had no effect on items with free alternatives. Surprised they’re not blaming libraries too.

    Besides, it’s not if readers in Japan buy the tankouban for every series they read, instead of just those of their favorites. They actually get it in a cheap serialized magazine before, just like they get free broadcast anime before the DVDs.

    TL;DR: People won’t buy what they can’t afford, offer a cheaper version.

    • A good part of the sites do stop and remove the manga that has been licensed, but for the mainstream/popular titles (like Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Skip Beat) are still being scanlated because of how far behind the US are in their English translations. That, or fans are too impatient to wait for the next volume. Especially with the track records (like TokyoPop “releasing the volumes in a similar time frame of the original’s release in Japan”). Then adding in the canceling of titles and being picked up by another company (like Peacemaker and Tactics — two copies of the same volumes).

      But you have to remember, there’s various sites that store the scanlations that they downloaded and re-upload them onto direct download places to share with people. So, finding scanlations for stuff that are out is still easy to find.

  • In the UK manga’s hitting £8.99 per volume now (US$13.80, 1270 yen), so fuck them. That’s more expensive than a paperback novel for something that takes about 30 minutes to read.

  • i dont trust don’t trust publishers anymore with some of them dropping a series halfway or in some cases never publish the last volume.

    im looking at you dark horse and tokyopop

    still waiting for demon flowers 5 and the rest of reiko the zombie shop. now i have 2 incomplete series in my bookcase. thanks assholes

  • People don’t have as much spending money nowadays. It’s that simple. But the various impacted industries are still going to appeal to the governments and try to get laws passed that rape us all in the ass. Then, when sales still haven’t increased, they’re going to do it again. It’s honestly up to you to make sure that people who care about internet freedom are in power.

  • Don’t got much to say. I was thinking that people online rely reading manga on the internet too much than don’t go out of their way to buy it. And all the translators and the staff on Onemanga and mangahelper who puts manga on the internet told them many times to support the manga by buying it.

  • Kind of expected. Let’s take a look at the price with naruto.
    JP manga = 420yen = 4.5$ / 50vol. = 225$
    US manga = 8-10$ / 50vol. = 400-500$
    Why buy overpriced manga when you can have them free ? Why !

    • So the series doesn’t just END, that’s why. There are places now like Kinokuniya that will import Japanese manga for little. You may not be able to read it, but you can read scanlations of it. Scanlations don’t send the message that they should keep a series going though.

    • You also have to factor that a lot of other costs are factored into the manga distributed in the West: Licensing costs, editing costs, translation costs, and distribution costs.

      In addition, there isn’t as large a market for it in the West as there is in Japan. There’s demand, but not as much, and as a result the price goes up so the companies that bring and distribute manga to the West can generate a profit, and continue to bring newer series into the market while maintaining work on on-going ones.

      • I understand the licensing, but people are editing and translating for free to get out all these scanlations that they want to blame for their poor business. If these people are willing to do it for free and do it faster, it says something. Also, tankoubon have to be distributed too, there are extra charges tacked on to its price as well.

        I purchase my manga as tankoubon from a local Japanese bookstore, even with the added cost of it being shipped from Japan to the states it is STILL cheaper than purchasing the English versions which are often censored.

        I don’t expect to pay the exact same price, but paying double is ridiculous. And the last time I went to a bookstore with English manga, it was so flooded with throwaway titles that I had never even heard of that I understand why people give up on buying it. There was too much to sift through and too little quality. Combined with the price and the recession, I don’t have the money to waste finding the good stuff anymore. And yes, I do feel like it is a waste now.

  • No mention of us being in the largest depression ever since the Great Depression of the 1930s…
    And here I thought paying $10 for a manga was cheap with all that disposable income we Americans have.

    Wait, what’s that? You mean to tell me the average American household saves only $392 per year? Oh damn…

    http://www.doctorhousingbubble.com/american-savings-americans-save-an-average-of-392-per-year-total-consumer-debt-is-over-25-trillion-the-dark-knight-of-debt/

  • UncommonOtaku says:

    Hardly the cause is due to scantilations, rather the tough global ecconomy because of the financial fiascos in the last few years.
    With vendors becoming more and more scarce, its difficult for fans and collectors to buy what we desire and covet.
    Also, the fact that there are bogus retailer and websites, does not contribute to giving the industry a favorable impression to old timers and new fans.
    Whom hasn't been burned with outstanding invoices or ripped off with badly copied/pirated media? I've made purchases of what I was led to believe was original copies, but as it turned out on many occasions were no less than bad copies of dvd's and ost cd's.
    There are the fakes that have seemingly interesting websites, that claim to have extensive inventory, but in fact the inventory they claim to have are no less than mere listings. With absolutely no intention of fulfilling purchases, because they have no actual address to write to let alone bring legal action to in the case of people being robbed outright.
    Is it any wonder that fans or collectors are having more difficulty finding what we want. If every other retailer is a fake?
    How do we determine who is legit and who is a scam?
    Also, there are the vendors that have put out crappy translations that ruin a perfectly good title. If something is ruined because of bad translations, it won't get a reprieve unless someone else attempts to make right that which was wronged in the first place, and it often ends up with the fan subbers who are dedicated to making a correct version. Long after a release or debut, its the scantilators who put out corrected versions that redeem a title – though its long after the novelty wears off, the availability of copies are scarce simply because the title is out of print.
    Then where are we left, but to resort to dedicated fans who put out something to keep it alive among the other fans. If the original release or publication is left lacking.
    0.o*!!

  • UncommonOtaku says:

    Also the outlets have lately been reduced in the domestic market, how can we find what we enjoy if the vendors no loger carry the product. Or if the vendors have up and gone out of business?

    Crappy Translations also contribute to a title that fails to sell, abroad.

    Also, with the recent global ecconomics taking a nose dive, its gotten more expensive to indulge for the collector let alone the fans of specific titles.

    Scantilations may have contributed somewhat, but I doubt that its the most significant attribute because of the difficulty of obtaining that which western otaku desire.

    A number of the retailers aren’t actually dependable, there are a lot of scammers & bougus websites, that have ripped off beginner collectors.

    Myself included. I’ve got old invoices that have not been fulfilled.

  • I’ve quit reading manga mostly out of concern for space. I am a complete retard for One Piece and other manga of that ilk, but after dozens and dozens of volumes, I just don’t have room.

  • “Increasingly retailers who saw their once strong anime sales shrink away to nothing are telling ICv2 that manga readers are sampling new series online and only buying their favorite one or two series in printed form.”

    Guilty of this I admit, can’t see anything wrong with it though, seeing how I often have to order my manga from oversees ( adding to the price ).

    Also, I won’t buy manga that’s neverending ( naruto, bleach, HxH, etc. )…

  • The reason I don’t read US manga is that they are so far behind ….Also I would never buy manga cause I don’t have the space to put the volumes buying one or two would seem stupid without the whole collection…Oh well I bought a manga app on my iPod soo that’s my way of spending on manga I guess lol.

  • I’m not sure I would pin the blame entirely on scanlations. I think quality is an issue as well. I can’t speak from any great authority on this as I’ve only just purchased my first manga, a copy of Spice & Wolf Vol.1 as published by Yen Press. But the quality of this book is substantially lacking compared to the scanlations I can find freely available on the Internet.

    Having also purchased one of the mangazines Spice & Wolf is serialized in, Dengeki Maoh, I notice the substantial difference in page size. Dengeki Maoh has the same page size as an American comic book, where Yen Press’ release is pocket novel sized and on the same paper type as well.

    If these are norms throughout the industry, I can see why people would just grab the superior scanlation.

  • As I was reading I was thinking, global economic meltdown has nothing to do with reduced sales, but then I see it was covered at the end.

    Its always going to happen when you can get it for free online, well – until they totally regulate the internet (and yes, they are trying – just look up the ACTA and the rothschild cybersecurity act)

    and I don’t think the prices for manga are all that bad – but I don’t know how much they go for in Japan.

    • tl;dr – some important stuff about legal treaties. please google the DEBill and ACTA it’s useful.

      hmm on the case of filesharing and internet file sharing:

      don’t forget the digital economy bill and the Dangerous Cartoon act in britain – the dangerous cartoon act – digital pictures or physical possession of lolishoter or anything below 18 in a sexual depiction will get you jailed for 3 years and put on the sex offenders list – so byebye hentai, ecchi, anime, manga.

      and ireland is on the 3 strikes bandwagon – eircom\

      but ACTA is the baddest fox around – 37 countries – possibly 2 billion people may get their internets cut. They are releasing the Wellington Meeting’s notes next week. NExt meeting is in switzerland in june. Japan is a strong supporter. and remember they wanted to spend $10 bn yen on “promoting” content overseas. Give me SUBS. NOT DUBS.

      they need to make an online legal alternative to mangafox and crunchyroll that is available in ALL THE COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD – not just the us and canada. And legalise our yaoi, yuri and smut – we need some relief damn it. When are they gonna learn the difference between fact and fiction?

    • Marine-RX179 says:

      “and I don’t think the prices for manga are all that bad – but I don’t know how much they go for in Japan.”

      US is charging around $10 per volume of manga right? It’s around £7 over here at UK.

      As for Japan’s (as well as Taiwan’s/Hong Kong’s) brand new manga price, the price is half of what US and UK are charging us.

      A few weeks ago when I was in Hong Kong, I bought some good condition 2nd hand manga: the entire 22 volumes of Detective Academy Q manga for a mere $32. Inukami entire 6 volumes for just around $19.50, as well as Shugo Chara volume 1-10 for just $28.

      • [url=http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d10423.pdf]Intellectual Property: Observations on Efforts to Quantify the Economic Effects of Counterfeit and Pirated Goods[/url]

        You know what I find rather amusing? Reports published by the MAFIAA and it’s associates tend to paint a rather gloomy picture.

        Many billions of dollars and millions of jobs are to be lost in the immediate future unless the world is turned into a 24/7 surveillance society.

        However, independent reports don’t do this. Why do you think that is?

        [url=http://torrentfreak.com/is-piracy-really-killing-the-music-industry-no-100418/]Is Piracy Really Killing The Music Industry? No![/url]

    • Because it is the best group to blame. Who will defend them? Can they present a united front to contest the accusations? Does it look better to put the blame on those “shady interweb types” rather than in their own inability to put out quality manga and keep themselves of flooding the market?

    • *Also the exorbitant price of manga in the USA is to blame, I guess.*

      well well, a dollar or more compared to US-made comics…
      if we where so lucky over here -_-”
      they complained about the same thing over here to (scanlationons and fansubs) but when you think over it price might be the biggest fault over here i Norway and rest of scandinavia…
      ordenary pocket from european or US 45nok(7,5$) Tokyopop & VIZ manga 95->125nok(16->21,5$)
      and that is the manga… Anime is like “wow….”
      brand new movie that just have gotten out on DVD is like 150nok… a old Anime release like Magic Knight Rayearth is like 300nok for each DVD… (150nok is 25,5 dollar 300nok is then 51dollar for each DVD that has 4-5 episodes…)

      and it dosent help that the translation sucks bigtime one the cheaper scandinavian translated manga’s…

      • Well, im paying 13$ (10€) for every Berserk Max Volume (And i currently have 14 Volumes) and yet the price did never change over here, but for that price, im getting at least 400 pages (Right to Left).
        But reading scans on the PC or having the Manga at Hand makes really a difference.

    • Honestly, if it wasn’t for the scan-groups out there on the internet, I wouldn’t have amassed my manga collection to several bookshelves today, it would probably just be a handful of mangas with maybe one or 2 volumes not the entire series.

      But even then I still keep my downloaded scan-group copies just because in the even that the translated mangas I buy are missing some content, have some panels redone/cencored randomly or are just horribly translated in some parts compared to the online scans.

    • I’d say the garbage that gets licensed vs. picking up manga of higher quality for U.S. Distribution is partially to blame. I’d say a large amount of the “scanlations” they want to blame are not even titles licensed or distributed commercially in the U.S. to begin with.

      If they increased the quality of their titles, the quality of their translations without over blaring cultural compensation that effects story lines, and released titles digitally as well as physically at a consumable pace instead of having several month voids of publication I’m sure they would see a massive in crease in sales.

      The fact they can’t comprehend the obvious is most amazing.

    • Klingengeist says:

      Yeah, same in europe too. Greedy bastards!

      Also to compare mangas prices with regular comics:
      Captn America -> 2.97€
      RoLW Chronicles of the Heroic Knight -> 6,15€
      Both are nearly the same size and pagecount with Captn America being fully colored.

    • SanCom Citizen says:

      I’m still skeptical of the report by ICv2(because they generally report more about the sales of comics than manga but I guess its true). :/

      The problem here guys lies within the facts:

      1. ———As Artifact stated, Manga hasn’t gone digital. Marvel, Disney, Dark Horse comics, etc have gone there and are available in various platforms(PC, PSP(PSN Comic Store), Iphone/Ipad……you get the point.

      2. ———-Let’s face it, the economy has burned up our pockets. Even if you have a good job, and/or is rich, you still can help but think you’d spend $10.99 for a manga $111.99(estimate) for just 10 mangas,

      3. ———–“””Manga readers lack the “collector mentality”.””” There’s a reason behind this too(aside from the price). Poor translations, slow releases(as everyone has stated before), and the lack of manga…..IN COLOR! (Why you think that the comic-book fans have the “Colloctor mentality”, because nearly most of their favorite comics(Ironman, Spiderman, Etc) in color!

      Perhaps, if Manga fans had alternative way of purchasing their medium(whether traditional, digitial, or in color), all Manga not just in the USA but around the world would feel their collection has more VALUE!

      4.———–Manga AND anime are virtually absent from the media(aside from your usual “Top Ten of NY Times list, etc). There isn’t enough advertisement on the part of the publishers(which are struggling financially and that includes funimation).

      5.———–INVESTMENT/CAPTIAL- The publishers here(in North America), and around the world NEED the HELP of the Japanese Manga/Anime companies in Japan. There isn’t enough investment for the Manga lincesors/Companies that reside outside of Japan. If major manga distributors like Tokyopop, Viz Media, Yen Press, or Del Ray were allowed to fail, manga/anime as we know it will cease in popularity in America(and the likes of Marvel, DC, Disney, etc will continue to rein because they are already well established in this country).

      This will also have a chilling effect on the Japan’s otaku, and medium itself because the Japanese companies cannot rely on the Japanese Otaku alone to carry the legacy of Anime and Manga. Before you know it, low-budget anime films involving your mega-average lame guy with his moe harem will become a prevalent fact(as its happening right now).

      6.-(EMPHASIS and MARKETING)—–My final statement I have got to say on this issue is….Japan, as nation enriched with culture and greatness, please realize that Anime/Manga is no longer a Japanese medium, but a GLOBAL market. It is consumed by HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of people across the planet.

      My suggestion….start MARKETING/RELEASING more and more of your products(without giving a damn about how controversial your product may be in the West)! And by all means, try diversifying the settings of your anime/manga. Try diversifying the characters of your anime/manga more. By all means make it take place in a different part of Asia/Europe/North-South America/Middle East/Africa, etc.

      Japan, we casual and dedicated fans of your medium, are SUPPORT YOUR MEDIUM IN ENTRYWAY, NO MATTER HOW CONTROVERSIAL! LEND US A HAND, AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE EXISTANCE OF YOUR FANS THAT ARE SCATTERED ACROSS THE GLOBE!

      • For 3 it’s not just color, though. I mean, where are all the special editions, limited-time offers, bundled stuff, and other incentives to collect? Just releasing a vanilla manga isn’t going to inspire a collector’s mentality, you need to tap into basic human psychology first. But hey, it’s easier to whine about it then actually try.

    • yeah overpriced and shitty quality , for example i cant watch dubed anime because voice acting is so atrocious . Fan subs make shit loads of mistakes , but hey if you learned enough japanese its fine any way . So what do those companies do when their sales go down ?
      do they improve quality of their work ? No they bitch and whine about free distribution rather trying to compete with higher quality .

      • Thing is, even speedsubs tend to be as good or better than the official subs, and quality groups will often do a MUCH better job, some even provide several versions of subs (with honorrifics and without, more literal vs more localized, etc). So when the fansubbers are putting more ass into it, the fanbase gets disillusioned.

        There’s little stopping licensers from coming up with a hiring model for fansubbers, except they have their heads so far up their asses they would rather pretend then do their jobs. I’m quite sure that a lot of speedsubbers would love to be paid for a day’s work, as long as they get group recognition.

        • Kamakama…

          A scene from Naruto, clearly eating rice balls:
          “These doughnuts are really good!” (dub)
          “These rice balls are really good!” (sub)

          If they can’t put in the effort to translate what is ON THE SCREEN accurately, well, a picture is worth a thousand words in either language. I have listened to interviews with some American voice actors who will listen to the Japanese version for both tone and content before doing their recordings because executives “Macekre” everything and they feel BAD for the fans.

          Besides, most weeaboos, otakus, wapanese, and whatever you’ll call them, know smatterings of phrases in Japanese, at least the basic greetings, honourifics, and some common words.

          Plus, there’s a total obvious disconnect sometimes. Go rent or buy the English “Samurai Deeper Kyo”. Put on English dubs AND English subs. The official subs follow the Japanese story, but you’re getting two different stories at once, and more than one character’s gender is switched in the dub. (And that’s an official sub, so they could have made the effort to make the dub slightly closer!)

        • Endersgame says:

          I know I would love to get paid to do editing on an official release, but no like you said they have there heads so far up their asses it’s a wonder they even know what anime/manga is. On another note why do they blame online free distribution when I could just go to the public library and get it for free there too, and I’m sure they only buy 6 or 7 copies but hundreds of people watch/read each copy, how does that not hurt them too? O_o

        • Manga in Panama is certainly more expensive than in the US. I could buy tankoubon for 60-70% the price they sell it here back when I went on a trip to California. And it used to be even more expensive in Panama (and almost nonexistant) before the sudden anime/manga boom that occurred after they started airing shows like FMA in national TV like Channel 9.

          Anyways the tankoubon they sell here are usually US imports so it’s to be expected.

        • That’s 6-7x the original Japanese price for most series.
          It’s bad enough with American manga being 4-5x the original Japanese price…

          Unfortunately, for price, it’s hard for manga to compete in the American market, so the prices must be raised.
          If they were as cheap as they needed to be for an increase in sales, the companies would be losing more money than they are today.
          ‘Tis a sad fact.

    • Complete, utter and total bullshit.

      Mangascans and fansubs were around years ago.
      They were around before the market in the US grew.
      If what they say is true it shouldn’t have grown in the first place.

      The publishers are too dumb to sell what is wanted:
      Fast releases in good quality for a good price.

      • Before the market in the US grew you used to have to send a donation to the funsub group who would then send you a VHS cassette in the post. Producing a duplicate of a fansub required the group to do a complete tape to tape copy which took as long as the run time of the anime. It was an extremely small number of people who were involved in the fansub community then but now anyone can just click on a link and download a full series in no time.

        It’s your argument that’s bullshit, not theirs. Scum like you always use the “if publishers sold something good people would buy it”. If publishers produced the best anime/manga ever created you’d still pirate it.

        • I download a crapload of anime and manga. But I also buy a lot of it too. I don’t like watching anime on my computer screen, so if I can get the legal copy from Big Lots or RightStuf.com, I do. But I don’t pay more than 5 bucks per DVD, since that’s all I believe an anime DVD is worth.

          As for manga, I do download scanlations. I also buy manga, but I ONLY buy manga that has completed it’s run in japan or has a regular release schedule. If I see a title has gone on hiatus in Japan, I don’t touch it. Hiatus really means that the title will be abandoned by the author, not just a short break. If there’s a hiatus, it means you can’t count on the author to finish the story. I already got burned on a couple manga that I bought like that. I bought volume 1 of Foxy Lady over a year ago. I’m still waiting for the second volume to be released. I e-mailed the American publisher of it, and they never responded. I also bought 2 volumes of Nephlym (I think that’s how it’s spelled). Volume 3 is MIA in the US.

          That’s another reason I don’t like to buy too much manga. A US publisher will stop publishing in the middle of a series if they don’t like the sales figures. While a scanlation group may stop in the middle as well, at least I haven’t wasted my money.

          Plus, the only place I buy manga from is Borders/Waldenbooks. They put out good coupons (anywhere from 25-40% off a single item). But Waldenbooks is the only one of those I have near me, and it has a really small selection compared to a Borders store. There’s a Books-a-Million across the street, but the only way you get any coupons from them is to PAY to join this club of theirs.

          I PREFER the books themselves, because I use them as reading material when I have to go to the doctor. I’m disabled, so I go to a lot of doctors. That’s another reason I can’t buy much. I have to survive on $845/mo.

          So their reason is BS. There’s other reasons why people won’t buy. The price ($10-15 bucks a copy) is too high. Distribution isn’t reliable in the US and the authors in japan are also unreliable. Manga is censored or changed by US publishers.

          Unfortunately the publishers always ignore their own faults and focus on problems that have very little to do with their own ills.

        • > mass distribution was totally impractical

          and since it was so hard there was practically no advertising because only few chosen ones knew about its existence. They couldn’t profit from it even if they wanted. It was mostly just a general animation with a few titles from Orient.

        • You seem to have misinterpreted what I was saying. I was responding to anaon 21:47 who essentially said that fansubs/scanulations can’t causing reductions in sales because they were around before the market in the US grew.

          The point I was making is that the fansub community was very small then and mass distribution was totally impractical, so fansubs had no impact on sales then. However, fansubs do have a massive impact on sales now since people just pirate anime instead of buying it.

        • That is a bad comparison. Why? Because not everyone knew or was able to put subtitles on a VHS. You are comparing also a time where the internet and media players on computers were not wide spread.

          Let’s compare the 1970 anime model in the US to that of the 2010. Surely there is a good comparison right? =_=

      • You forgot to mention true to the original material and UNCENSORED.
        Even if I had the money to waste on manga localizations, I wouldn’t because they can’t be trusted to be accurate. It’s so pathetic that you can trust fan translations over “official” ones.

        • Exactly. Most localized manga I actually bought (German here, my manga-shelf is about half-half official German and English translations, if you don’t count the untranslated doujins), range from ‘oh that’s sorta okay-ish’ to ‘whatisthisIdon’teven’.

          In general, pretty unacceptable for the rather high pricetag. It’s ridiculous that scanlation groups offer uncensored, considerably better-looking (cleaned, well edited) and well-translated true-to-the-original versions while the ones you can buy in stores are so horrid in comparison.

          It’s sorta like you want to get apples. And one guy is giving away apples he stole elsewhere for free, while another guy sells apples he grew himself that are moldy, stink and are inedible, and the latter guy then complains that the former is stealing his business (which he is, to some degree) when he doesn’t have any product he could sell to begin with.

          When you have to pick between morally dubious, but free and good, and ethically technically right, but horrid, unusable and overpriced, the latter isn’t really an option and more or less either forces you to accept the former or not peruse the stuff at all.

        • @Bepop
          Try living in a non-English/American-speaking country…

          I decided to actually buy a DVD-box last year, not really reading the details properly. Turned out English subs had been removed, somewhat. The local language sub had been translated from English instead of directly from Japanese.
          My lacking skills in Japanese let me recognize certain phrases, for which I’m thankful. In some cases I could translate back to English and understand what the Japanese sentence had been. Generally, it was crap. In some cases close to Backstroke of the West.

          I’ve yet to watch the second DVD…

        • They’re alienating their fanbase by serving the “mainstream” whom they assume can’t appreciate this foreign japanese culture.

          These fans are the ones that formed the market for these companies and serve as their marketing tool by advertising via word of mouth.

      • Come to the typical high school and see. Teenagers that talk about anime and manga all the time typically get it from all the scanlation sites online. Nonne of the anime “fans” in my high school even buy it, they all steal because they say they don’t know where to buy it at. That is bullshit, they know, they are just cheap.

      • They were around, but they were not popular culture. The scanlation and fansub communities really only became what they are now around the turn of the millennium, and while they had steady growth in popularity, it was not until around 2005 that there was a major boom in the distribution of scanlations and fansubs online, with the advent of speedscan and speedsub groups, and large archival sites rather than just distribution from individual websites or IRC channels.

        This boom happened in large part due to the arrival of the Naruto and Bleach animes in the West, which were unheard of to most Western fans before. Due to their popularity in Japan and in the pirate community, a simple Google search of either would immediately present hundreds of options for download sites; essentially a giant neon sign saying “Hey, you can get all the free anime and manga you want online”.

    • Manga price is not that bad if you compare then to how much comics costs but it is a shock if you buy more than one every now and then.

      Biggest culprit are print quality in some titles, poor translation (even deviations from the original story) AND censoring the art.

      HATE the last one; Tenjou Tenge was butchered over the States. They did everything they could to clean the art and reveled in it.Only to capitulate partly in later episodes since the level of violence increased exponentially and the title had to go mature anyway. Never bought an issue of the US release until the last few.

      • >print quality in some titles, poor translation (even deviations from the original story) AND censoring the art.

        How come no one understands that this shit can deter a manga reader from buying licensed titles? Seriously who’s gonna spend 10-13 bucks for a shit book?

        • If I’ve read a better version online, there’s no way I’m going to spend money to pay some licensing group to make its poorly translated and heavily westernized version. If I want to support the mangaka, I’ll import the originals. Sure I can’t read them, but it’s not like I’m purchasing them to read anyways, I’ve already done that.

      • “Biggest culprit are print quality in some titles, poor translation (even deviations from the original story) AND censoring the art.”

        For some reason, these companies either don’t think that raping manga like that affects their sales or they just don’t want to admit it that it does. This is the biggest reason why I prefer scanlations and can never trust official translations.

        Also, a lot of the manga that I read are unlicensed so I couldn’t give much support to the US manga industry even if I want to. Plus most of the licensed manga that I read usually have pretty shitty official releases (they either have bad translations, are censored, or both) and I wouldn’t want to support those releases.

      • We are discussing non-adult manga here, eh?
        I don`t download much general manga, i say i probably buy 2-4 times more than i dl.
        But it`s another story with hentai tankobon`s: i buy from Amazon Japan a stash of it 5-7 times a year, maybe 12-20 books each occasion for about 1000 yen each. The other way to read h-manga has much bigger numbers in my case.
        Now to the point: why don`t publishers in west sell h-manga tankobon`s as well? If price for one tankobon was, say around 15 USD, i would buy 5-10 times more annually, normal manga as now but more h-manga than i purchase from Amazon or when it was possible earlier, Hobby Japan too.
        Western publishers in their false shyness lose huge sums of money, and then complain.

    • Economy? Affecting manga sales? now you just crazy why would less money = less manga cleary the report is seeing into the depths of money storage in order of importance (manga at the top of course)then Rent,Food,Cloths

      • “Economy? Affecting manga sales?”

        I consider closing the Waldenbooks, practically the only bookstore within fair range and the only place that sells manga, is an example of economy affecting my buying any form of literature.

        • Yes a Waldenbooks I frequented for manga has also closed. Another thing I would like to point out is how book stores now have chairs and cafes for browsers to read in. In college I was to poor to buy anything anyway so I and my friends would sit and read not buy, and this was in ’07.

        • I am from Brazil, and just add to the injury, one manga volume here cost around 6 dollars. And our taxes are HIGHER, many mangas actually have better versions than US(the paper, few colored pages, translations, etc), so saying manga is not overpriced in US is fucking bullshit!

        • I got some Railgun manga here recently for abour ¥550

          about US$6 with the current exchange rate (about 90-92 yen per $)

          I buy manga I like, and doujin too (which they also blame for sales issues). Typically I get fan art books or other things which sell really cheap most of the time for most groups (more famous groups charge more)

          So yes here in Japan typically things are cheaper, weekly/monthly mags are cheaper ($3-10$) but thats also because periodicals seem to be more common here as they used to be back in the states…

          The publishers really do need to get a clue to why old business practices don`t work as well in this “new economy”. Its why many of them are going under but the ones that do get it have taken off one by one the past 20 years of good e-business. It would be nice to be the “google” or “Microsoft” of the manga world.

        • Complete bullshit Anon. Manga in Japan is about 400 Yen, roughly anywhere from 3-4 dollars per volume. In the U.S. manga are usually about $10 per volume. More than double the fucking price.

        • Manga =/= regular novels.
          Not to mention, they have to translate it when they bring it over, so that’s one of the reasons it’s priced higher here than in Japan. That being said, you’d hate Japan too, because some of the manga there is just as expensive as the manga here is. Even when you put the yen to the dollar, it’s around the same price as manga is here (or at least, until the past year here when everyone started hiking their prices back up ). If you have problems with the fact that manga is priced higher than books, and refuse to buy it when you’ll buy shit lit like Brent Weeks, then I don’t know what to say to you.

        • Thats ok.

          Anyway, if I didn’t have scanlation, I wouldn’t buy manga. Manga is EXPENSIVE. Theres a book called Way of the Shadows, by Brent Weeks. It is, 10 dollars canadian roughly after tax. SIX HUNDRED FIFTY PAGES. For 10 dollars. Now, One Piece, Volume 34. 13 dollars, then tax. For about 220 pages. That, is SHIT. More manga would be bought if it was priced better.

        • ssshh, we like our free manga, so keep that to yourself :P. Besides, by looking at what NA companies do to manga/anime when they translate and alter them now, i don’t want to imagine how butchered anything might become if they licensed everything. They royally fucked countless animes when dubbing them and making them appropriate for NA viewers, so hell no, i don’t want those money grubbing assholes having access to everything.

          Besides, i highly doubt the fact that scanlations and fansubs are truely what are sinking their sales…just a thought, maybe its our shitty world economy atm?

        • If there were a way to LEGALLY get current releases digitally and online, then I would be willing to pay for it. I’m not willing to wait weeks or months for the distributors to compile the chapters into tankoubons when I have trouble waiting on a week-to-week (or month-to-month) basis for my favorite manga. Also, I really don’t want to devote physical space to manga when I’d rather use that space for something else.

          Viz and other manga distributors should allow you to have an online account with them that allows you to purchase chapters to view on their own manga reader. If they could provide that service, translate and release chapters within a week of them being released in Japan (ideally 1-3 days), and I could trust that they would NEVER EDIT CONTENT that might not be suitable for some audiences, THEN I would buy manga.

          I’ve considered sending them an e-mail about it, but when has that ever done anything?

        • I support piracy because I generally want to lessen the quantity of media available today. To hell with all this repeateness. Less movies, less anime, less games and less manga should improve the quality and originality of each given title. And how should I help authors to stop working in the field? By not buying their work of corse.

        • You’d think that the US corporate license leeches would learn from scanlators and subbers that they need to translate better and actually put some effort into it. That’s not even mentioning the ridiculous things they have done in DVDs and Dubbings.

          I remember in You’re Under Arrest they did some annoying crap. When you watched the Subtitled version, every ‘break’ and inbetween episodes, they’d have the US dubbers give some nonsense on how they are ‘XXX’ in it. I didn’t watch the dubbing because it was that bad and now I have to deal with him during breaks? Who wants commercials in a DVD they bought? They didn’t do it in ‘Friends’…

        • Some scanlations are NOT SOLD IN THE US. So it’s rather difficult to buy things which aren’t sold here. That’s not even including poor translations and recession.

          Anyone want a Starcraft or anime channel on 24/7?

        • Darkrockslizer says:

          Most of the people find out about manga [b]from scanlations[/b] so this is utter bs.

          Without scans, there wouldn’t be enough popularity for comic sellers to consider bringing manga overseas in the first place!!

        • The pool was not empty it was full of pig manure.
          But the economy is to blame the last time this happened was in the 1970s and guess what sales of many items plummeted.
          These guys are as clueless as the RIAA and MPAA.

  • Some of you really need to read the article before commenting, instead of just the headline. Everyone here telling them how they’re so wrong and it’s actually price and the economy that’s causing it, despite them citing price and a major reason pirating has gone up.