As a freelancer I have a lot of worries about my job security. And a lot of other things. But that’s normal for freelancers, or so I’m told.
What I wish I didn’t have to worry about is my area of specialty potentially becoming obsolete. If I could work solely for manga publishers, I would be one happy freelance editor, so I’d rather pursue those jobs rather than something in another field. Lucky for me, I don’t have to worry as much anymore because my (current and potential) employers are beginning to fight back against the one of the biggest things holding their success back: SCANLATIONS.
Now, I’m not totally against scanlations. As Erica Friedman of Ozaku pointed out scanlations were a solution to a problem. Manga lovers didn’t have enough manga on the market and there were plenty of series that weren’t sure to see a licene. But now, timelier releases, free digital manga and a large, diverse amount of manga titles are more prevalent. Manga aggregators take the top spot on Google instead of the legitimate manga sites and now our solution has turning into a problem, especially since manga doesn’t get taken down when a manga is licensed anymore. I don’t think it takes a genius to figure out that those scanlations are hurting sales when three companies were shut down and another one laid off nearly half of their employees in the last month!
Because of the coalition formed by Japanese and American manga publishers, manga aggregators will hopefully be wiped out or forced to go legitimate, like Manga Helpers is attempting to do. (Honestly, considering their previous forays into legitimacy, I smell BS.) If the coalition is smart enough, they’ll only topple the aggregation sites and maybe a few of the larger scanlation circles that put out new chapters of some of the top licensed titles out there. But there will still be a few small scanlation circles doing the unlicensed or the never-to-be-licensed manga that’s one of the best things about scanlations in the first place: the unique gems that we’ll never see (or won’t see yet) on the bookstore shelves.
And I’ll still have a job because my employer won’t go under from too many fans who love manga too much to pay for it!
For a little bit more on how scanlations hurt not just publishers, but the creators themselves, read this blog post by Helen McCarthy.
Just to keep you updated on what I’ve been working on lately:
Junjo Romantica vol. 12
Karakuri Odette vol. 4
Gakuen Heaven -Endo- Calling You
Kyo Kara Maoh vol. 7
Lagoon Engine vol. 7
I’ll also be in Georgia until next week visiting my boyfriend’s family, so my apologies for late replies to comments or on Twitter. I’ll be busy seeing Atlanta for the first time!