It is 2019, and fans have found dozens of way to consume manga without resorting to illegal measures. Years ago, readers often tapped into piracy websites to get their regular manga fix, but official online catalogs have since given fans legal ways to check on their favorite titles. And according to a new report, it seems another major face of manga piracy is coming to an end.
After all, Manga Rock has said it will shut down its service following an intense period of social media backlash.
As reported by Anime News Network, Manga Rock told J-Cast News it plans on shutting down services at a yet-disclosed date. The website, which famously hosts pirated manga and occasional comics, put out a statement through its parent company Not a Basement Studio.
"As time has passed, we have come to understand the damage being incurred by manga creators and publishers. Moreover, as Manga Rock's popularity increased more and more, the damage also increased. Therefore we are deeply reflecting on our role in accelerating the popularity of scanlations, and we give our heartfelt apologies to the victims, manga creators and publishers," the statement reads.
"As a result, we plan to shut down our scanlation website and app. We also recommend that similar scanlation sites (there are many) shut down as well. We are truly sorry for causing problems for the manga industry."
So far, access to Manga Rock remains available both in browser and via its mobile app. However, the Facebook page for Not a Basement Studio is not longer available. So far, Anime News Network has learned the website is inaccessible to anyone with Japanese or Korean options turned on, but others can access the site without the options enabled.
App StoreでMANGA ROCK というアプリがあります。アップル社がストアに載せているぐらいなので、公式な漫画アプリかと思うかもしれませんが、完全に「違法アグリゲーターサイト」です。
何百人もの日本人漫画家の作品をアップロードし、広告収入を得ています。#漫画— On Takahashi （「イロ鳥」代表：高橋温） (@OnTakahashi) August 27, 2019
So far, manga enthusiasts seem pleased by the site's decision to close, but many remain skeptical if it will come to pass. The decision came shortly after Irodori Comics CEO On Takahashi went viral on social media for criticizing Manga Rock. Sharing his complaints in both English and Japanese, both threads has been shared tens of thousands of times with more creators rallying behind his stance. Now, only time will tell if Manga Rock actually shuts down and closes another chapter on manga piracy for good.
How do you feel about this latest victory against piracy? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!