In a move that caught many manga readers off-guard, manga scanlation aggregator site OneManga.com has announced that it will be shutting down as of the end of month, July 31, 2010.
Visitors to One Manga were greeted with a pop-up window that posted this message from "Zabi":
"There is an end to everything, to good things as well."
It pains me to announce that this is the last week of manga reading on One Manga (!!). Manga publishers have recently changed their stance on manga scanlations and made it clear that they no longer approve of it. We have decided to abide by their wishes, and remove all manga content (regardless of licensing status) from the site. The removal of content will happen gradually (so you can at least finish some of the outstanding reading you have), but we expect all content to be gone by early next week (RIP OM July '10).
The message goes on to say that while future plans for One Manga is up in the air, "we have some ideas we would like to try out." It also expresses gratitude to One Manga readers, with the reminder that the One Manga forums will remain live. "Zabi" also encourages readers to "like" them on their new Facebook page.
Needless to say, the One Manga forums lit up with commentors expressing their anger, grief and resignation over the move, generating over 360 posts in less than four hours. Several commentors mentioned that they'll miss how easy One Manga made it for them to read their favorite manga anytime for free. Others railed on the publishers for being "greedy" and not understanding the promotional value that sites like One Manga provide. Still more mentioned that now fans will just have to find other means to read Japanese comics, such as IRC chat or hope that other sites pop up now that One Manga is shutting down.
This move from One Manga is the latest development in an ongoing series of events set off by the recent announcement of a joint U.S. / Japan publishers' coalition against online piracy. Since then, a similar manga scanlation site MangaFox pulled many VIZ Media titles (and later reinstated several). Manga Traders shut down in mid-June. MangaHelpers announced their mid-June shut-down and their plans to create a new legal alternative OpenManga. Other reports have mentioned that Manga Toshokan is also winding down operations.
So what do you think about this recent development in the manga scanlation world? Add your comments below!