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Last month, there was both good and bad news for manga fans. Just as a new site aimed at fostering crosscultural connections between manga fans launched, Japan’s Digital Comic Association declared war on foreign sites that offer downloads of unlicensed translations of manga, commonly called scanlations.

In the past, scanlation sites acted as gateways into the otherwise inaccessible universe of Japanese comic book culture. These days, with Japanese publishers, which include big names such as Kodansha and Shogakukan, putting out more translated versions, the scanlators are viewed as drains on potential revenue.

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