In a recent issue of Weekly Shounen Jump!
(V. 20), the Editorial Department included a statement
to all their readers addressing their stance on illegal scans, and almost instantly, the popular site Raw Paradise
, which had provided early RAW scans of every JUMP!
series, became a redirect to Shueisha Inc.
, the publishing company behind WSJ. WSJ’s statement reads as follows, translation courtesy of bleachness
To all our readers:
There are now many people unjustly posting copies of manga on the internet. These unjust copies are inconsistent with mangakas' feelings. They are also distorting the authors' intentions of "I want the work to be read this way". The actions of posting these unjust copies on the net, into which the mangakas have poured their hearts, are not only hurting mangakas in real life but are also against the law, even if done in a light-hearted manner. Every time we discover such "unjust copies", we talk to the mangaka and consider every possible countermeasure. But the number of inconsiderate people is great, and at present we cannot deal with all of them. We have a request for all our readers. The unjust internet copies are deeply hurting the manga culture, mangakas' rights, and even mangakas' souls. Please understand once again that all of that is against the law. Also, the mangakas and Shueisha will severely deal with any unjust copies found on the internet. We ask that our readers please continue to support us.
Weekly Shounen Jump editorial department
This message was published in the WSJ issue that went on sale Monday, April 19th, in Japan. However, it was up on the Internet a week prior, when the early RAW scans and spoilers for the chapters came out. Naturally, on the same day that the scanlations came out, people on Twitter were congratulating Kubo Tite for the release of chapter 400 of Bleach
, which hadn’t yet even been officially published in Japan
And therein lies the problem.
NOTE: If you do not understand the spoiler process, please do yourself a favor and view an explanation here
. Basically, thanks to sites like Raw-Paradise.com, Internet fans get RAW chapters and scanlations almost an entire week before most Japanese fans can physically purchase the WSJ magazine.
WSJ isn’t upset with scanlations so much as they are upset with the early RAWs, and really, who can blame them for that? What this has also highlighted, though, is that there is a general misunderstanding prevalent in fandom about what is, and what is not, appropriate to discuss with manga-ka via social networking tools like Twitter. This is most prominently highlighted by fan interaction with the author of Bleach
. Whether this announcement by WSJ was a long-time coming, or whether it was prompted by Kubo himself, remains to be seen, but the fact of the matter is that fans didn’t help
by making assumptions about what was appropriate to tweet to Kubo and then posting whatever they liked. Kubo’s Twitter account is public, and it would be foolish for us to assume that someone from WSJ was not
monitoring the goings-on of said account. More to the point, Kubo himself
has stated several times that there is one thing that he absolutely will not stand for from fandom:
His fans being spoiled by other people.
This has been brought up several times and in several places – basically any forum that discusses Bleach
to some extent probably
discusses Kubo’s Twitter, too, and by now, I would hope it was common knowledge that Kubo attempted to block Twitter users
who were posting Bleach
spoilers because those spoilers upset him. Common sense would then dictate that people not
repeat this same process, correct?
But there seems to be a general lack of common sense present in some fans. And even more fans just don’t have the language or cultural knowledge to determine what is appropriate on their own. Bearing that in mind, this post is meant to serve as a “How-To” guide for communicating with Kubo Tite (and, in some respects, any celebrity, really) via Twitter. It is my hope that this guide not only helps fans have a more enjoyable experience interacting with Kubo, but that it also lessons the frustration that Kubo himself must feel every time he comes across one of those well-intentioned-albeit-inappropriate tweets.( PART 01: Things to RememberCollapse )( PART 02: Fandom DiscussionsCollapse )( PART 03: Getting StartedCollapse )
It’s my hope that with this post we can avoid repetition of some of the more frustrating situations that have popped up recently with more and more people discovering Kubo’s Twitter account and foolishly messaging him something rash in their excitement. Don’t get me wrong – we, as fans of Bleach
, are truly very lucky to have the opportunity to interact with such a great man and such a famous manga-ka. To be honest, I’m thrilled that Kubo decided to get Twitter, because it has really endeared me towards him and given me a greater appreciation of Bleach
- very evident when you compare recent posts in this community with earlier ones. “Knowing” Kubo as a person gives you a greater understanding of his work as an author, and I definitely encourage any and all fans to follow him.
But we also have to realize that Kubo is a professional that will defend his work with everything in him, and that he is also a human being with feelings and thoughts of his own. He can get frustrated; he can get annoyed; he can get upset. But what I want to avoid here is all of those negative feelings growing for his foreign fans at large. In almost every “warning” tweet Kubo has released, he references foreign fans, and foreign fans specifically. I don’t want to think of Kubo gaining a negative impression of us just because of a few bad apples, nor should he be subjected to annoyances just because of unruly fans.
Let’s use common sense. Let’s be polite. Let’s show Kubo that we love Bleach
and we appreciate him, but we can act like rational human beings when we do so.
(Thank you very much to qwirky
for all the betas!)