JManga – A Digital Cautionary Tale

jmangaJManga was the digital comic distribution launched in 2011, seen as a legal alternative to the scanlation community that had dominated much manga reading in English speaking languages, by finding a way to monetise the translation of Japanese comics into English that had, up until that point, not been officially translated.

Although it initially used geolocking devices, these were removed, and it did manage to mix free and paid-for titles, along with interviews and extras not in the original print comics. The cost was also an issue, but that was soon halved, and “pay as you go” options were introduced. iOS and Android apps were launched last October and things seemed to be going well, with the Japanese government sponsoring a manga translation contest.

But today, it all went to hell. JManga has announced that it is shutting down and all content that was available wil soon be unavailable. And at the end of May, all content will be deleted from user’s accounts. And they won’t let you download it.

So right now, customers are trying to take screenshots of everything they can in a mad frenzy. All sorts of solutions are being offered as to what JManga could do, but it seems they are falling on deaf ears. And the likelihood is that much of what is currently offered will never be offered in English again – unless someone else steps up to grab them all.








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