Well, I’ve been wondering why JManga seemed to be spinning its wheels a bit in terms of new releases, and I got my answer today when the notice was posted on the site that the service was going to be terminated. It is really too bad, because they were a unique outlet for niche manga, but as much as I would like to think that there are thousands upon thousands of North American manga fans wanting to read obscure josei manga and manga about train station bento boxes, maybe there are only about fifty or so people willing to pay for it.
Jmanga gave me review points, which I greatly appreciated. I did sign up and pay for the service at the beginning, but at launch time there wasn’t enough content on there to keep me busy. While I greatly enjoyed the few series from Jmanga I was able to read, it was only in more recent months that they started releasing more titles in the genres I enjoy from publishers like Ohzora and Shueisha. Some people have pointed to a lack of support for iPads as one reason why they didn’t subscribe more to JManga, and the titles I read on JManga I read because I was so interested in them that I was willing to read them in my browser, which isn’t really my preferred viewing methods for digital comics.
Jmanga was an ambitious effort, and it is unfortunate that it is shutting down. I imagine this will have a chilling effect on digital manga distribution in the future. I’ll always be delighted that JManga gave me a chance to read the last volume of a josei series that I thought I’d never get to finish, Walkin’ Butterfly. Jmanga had some fun Harlequin and romance manga, and it enabled me to read Est Em’s manga about Centaur Salarymen. Those were some great reading experiences, and I’ll miss Jmanga for what it was and what it had the potential to be. I’m going to be rereading some of my favorite titles before the site goes dark.