The Economy of Shared Interest

Posted: April 24, 2016 by Arushi in Thoughts
Tags: , , ,

Today (and a few days ago) I was explaining manga and anime to my husband. Since he was entirely unaware, there was a lot to tell.

Manga basically are Japanese comic books. They come for all ages and are basically a particular form of storytelling. There’s others as well. Manhwa are Korean for example.

Anime is a term that loosely refers to Japanese animation shows, movies etc. A lot of them are based off of manga and sometimes it can even go the other way around.

This is an exceptional form of storytelling. The author is not limited by anything and imagination is the only limit. When being drawn, anything can come to life, with the author being able to expand even the reader’s imagination. With expressions aiding words and vice versa. Some of them are equally appealing to a younger and an older audience. One of the most famous one’s in One Piece. While I know the story of a 17 year old becoming pirate king in a fantasy world only a bit similar to ours would appeal to most kids – some of the themes and scenarios would hook adults as well.

I could go on talking about my favorite mangas and animes. I have a lot. There is also a color coded spreadsheet somewhere. But that is not what this post is about.

I love manga. I love anime. But a lot of them are not available in English. In fact, even for some really successful ones, it might take a long while before they’re  translated and released. Not to mention, they might not be available in my country. (Sadly, I really have seen very little manga in bookstores here in India.)

But for most, a new chapter comes out every week. Anyone who has ever followed anything, knows just how terrible it is to wait for something after you know its out. And this is where the fans come in. Manga is scanned, translated, cleaned and put up on a large number of websites – hosted for free – within a few days of release. The scanslators are not making money, not charging anything, but are simply helping something they love reach others so that they may also enjoy it. Anime is subbed by fan teams for free and made available online.

And once it does get licensed in English, or becomes available through official channels in the language of the region (believe me, people do read this all over the world) then the websites take them down. The motive is not to cheat the author or the company or production house or basically anyone out of money. The motive is to share something you love with others, even if they are strangers.

We want the author to make money. After all, we do love their work and want them to keep doing it. But this way, we’re (and I do use this term loosely as I am truly unskilled so cannot scanslate or sub) able to ensure, if only a little, that someone who may not have access to the official releases can also enjoy these brilliant works of art.

There is something for everyone 🙂 So go try.


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