Happy Monday BaddaBing BaddaBlog readers! This is Manga (And Also Anime) Monday, the place were we dive head first into the deep and sorted world of Anime and Manga. It dawned on me recently that, despite the name of the article, there has not been a post about manga in quite some time. So today this post will focus mostly on the manga scene in the west.
(In Japanese Kanji, the symbol above reads manga.)
In America, reading manga is very much an online activity. While some bookstores do carry manga, they usually only carry the most popular series and only in their collected formats. This situation, while economical for the store selling the manga, has two problems. The first issue is that by only selling popular series, it becomes very difficult for an individual to read a more obscure piece of work. The second problem is that, by only selling the collection of chapters, readers have to wait potentially months before they can read new, weekly released chapters. The way most manga is sold is that a particular series releases around one chapter a week. This chapter is in a magazine along with other chapters from other series. However, every few months all of most recent chapters are compiled, the art is touched up, some bonus stuff is put in, and it is released in a collected set called a volume. Both of these problems can be alleviated by reading manga online.
However some issues arise with this as well. You see, manga creators and publishers do not want people to purchase the weekly version of a series. It’s more profitable for them if people buy the volume, so they rarely publish the weekly chapters online in English. This has lead to numerous fan communities translating series and placing them online on their own sites. Seriously, google “Read manga” and the entire front page will be filled with sites that are technically illegally translating and releasing manga. While some publishers have realized that they can still make some money by releasing the weekly chapters in English, they cannot match the speed with which fan communities are releasing their own translated versions.
This situation has led to both good and bad developments. The good part of this situation is that deeply devoted communities have been created making it incredibly easy to find people online to talk to regarding a series. It is also now possible to read essentially any manga series over the internet. However, the trade off is that the creates of those series do not receive any funds from people reading their works on fan sites.
That is more or less the current state of reading manga in the west. Tell me how you feel about it in the comments down below and maybe hit the like button while you’re there. As always, you can subscribe to BaddaBing BaddaBlog via the upper right tab. You could also follow the 4B Facebook page, or follow me on Twitter; I’m @LucasDeRuyter. Thank you so much for reading and you can expect the next post to come out on Wednesday (for real this time, I totally promise).