1) Unrelated to the scantalators discussion. But perhaps something to note.

Fans often think that mangakas are making a lot of money. That really depends. There's a huge disparity between mangakas who "make it" and those who don't.
There are two main ways mangakas make money.

First is the "per page" system where they get X per page. Even these are usually just hitting $100 per for the not as famous mangakas.

Now, if your series is a weekly (Like Jump) maybe you can make "$ x 20ish pages x 4" in a month
3) But if your manga is not a weekly series and it's a monthly release of 40 pages or something, then your ability to make money from the per page system is automatically lower.

The other main source of income is the royalty from the sales of Tankoubon.
4) Tankoubon sales are the ones being hit the hardest with scantalation and is the most detrimental to mangakas.

With so much "free manga" out there, it causes the simple economic phenomenon of "free riding". Why pay for a book when you can read it online?
5) One can argue that small manga series that aren't printed in English aren't affected by the piracy, but licensed ones definitely are. The "it's too slow" or "I can't afford it" really gets tiresome as excuses.
6) Because can you really call yourself a fan if you aren't willing to pay for the service of the mangaka?

Unlike YouTube, there aren't any ad incentives for the mangaka to make money "per view". Every scantalation view goes into ad revenue for the hosting sites.
7) all of this leads to "other ways" mangaka can make money.

And that's straight up selling the creative license to their work for an anime, merch, or god forbid, a live action.

But with licensing, mangakas don't actually get a "revenue share".
The licensing fee is, more often than not, a one-off sum of money, and the amount sometimes isn't that impressive.

So a "fan" who reads scans, then buys merch at some con etc, doesn't actually contribute to the mangakas bottomline but is giving money to the license holder.
9) Then why do mangakas license their work?

Two reasons.

First, mangakas are hoping for a residual effect where people who consume the anime/live action will hopefully buy the Tankoubon as well.

Second, if a mangaka can prove their works' popularity, they can negotiate
a higher license fee for future works. This was the case with Sato (Umizaru, Say hello to Black Jack). First movie's license wasn't much, but as it was a big hit, he was able to negotiate a MUCH higher license fee for the second movie.
11) So now, that all sounds rosy.

But what's the reality?

The correlation between Tankoubon sales and licensing isn't as big as many hope to be. Especially with live actions, japan's recent rush of trash quality live actions with idols and Johnny's actors, mean that the
12) target audience isn't "manga readers" but fans of the actor/actress.

Good example will be Gintama. Gintama's anime was very well done and comedic, so a lot of the anime fans went on to buy the manga.

With the live action, it targeted a completely different viewership.
13) who quite frankly couldn't care less of the source material. So the anime Gintama netted Sorachi a big kickback through Tankoubon sales, but Gintama the movie not as much.

Saving grave was that the movie was a surprise hit. So the sequel will mean additional license fees.
14) Sorachi's case with Gintama was actually a lucky situation.

A lot of mangakas aren't as lucky to have their licenses renewed for sequels etc. (there are countless anime gems that ended in just one season).

So Tankoubon sales really are the only forms of royalty payments.
15) Which all leads up to the last part: the cluster fuck that is the Japanese tax code.

The Japanese tax code is really unfriendly to "freelancers" (mangaka included) who work from home.

Most published mangakas aren't always a one-man/woman army.
16)Behind every work is the mangaka and their many assistants who play a very important part in creating the manga. So of course, the mangaka has to try and pay their assistants a living wage (which isn't exactly cheap in Japan).
17) there are also things like health insurance and pension payments that you have to factor into. In Japan, you could be looking at a minimum of $300 a month for a working adult's monthly pension and health insurance plan. And that's not even considering taxes.
18) You also have to consider the location of the "Studio". For a lot of mangakas, their home is often their studio. If you're a highly successful mangaka, maybe you can pay for an office or studio elsewhere, but for the non highrollers, their humble abode is also their office.
19)And this is the tricky part. In Japan, you can't claim your house as an "office cost" unless your floor plans are clearly divided for "office space" and "sleeping space".

That rules out studio rooms. In other words, you need at least a 1bedroom place to claim costs.
20) In places like Tokyo and Osaka, you're looking at maybe $200 or $300 difference minimum in rent each month between a studio room and a one bedroom place.

Because futons can be folded, a lot of single Japanese people live in one room places because it's minimalistic.
21) but that minimalism backfires come tax filing, because that was a potential $10k+ they could have written off as a busienss expense, but actually couldn't.

And for the actual tax filing itself, mangakas have two ways to file their taxes as a sole trader.
22) and one of the methods requires establishing a company (it is costly starting out, and very technical and difficult for a lot of people who just want to draw).

Even then, as "freelancers" there are many business related costs that can't always be written off as sole traders
So what happens? A lot of mangakas and their assistants forgo basic things like healthcare and pension payments in order to keep a roof over their head. Or they actually work part time to try and make a living.

So Yea, there are mangakas out there who are making bank.
But there are many many more, who are often JUST getting by. A mangaka I got to know through work (his work is well known to some) actually makes LESS than I do, and I'm his translator. He's the one making the art, but the way things are designed I live a lot more comfortably.
So this long post isn't me jumping in on the discussion of scantalators turning pro, but hopefully it'll shed a light on the financial situation of a lot of mangakas, whose works we take for granted. Because "fans" loving scans are slowly killing the creators.
Adding to this from yesterday:

Piracy for manga and music can't really be compared. Musicians who have their own YouTube channel etc can somewhat control the distribution of their music. There isn't exactly a "language barrier" for pop music either.
So for a lot of mainstream music, the "exposure through piracy" has more of an impact for musicians as this exposure can lead to different opportunities.

Statistically, popular artists have a Concert/CD sales earning ratio of 70/30. That means, touring a lot = more money.
That's why a lot of artists don't clamp down as hard on YouTube piracy, and even post their music on apps like Spotify and tidal.

The fame and exposure that comes with it often leads to other collabs, more songs, record deals etc. Because a lot of musicians are in the Fame Biz.
More fame will also lead to more performances, invitations and tours to countries they may have never toured before. The exposure can bring a lot of additional benefits for musicians as their revenue source is not solely dependent on the CD sales (it is still important however)
With Mangakas, it's different.
Their royalties from their book sales ARE their bread and butter. There is no equivalent for a "concert" for a mangaka. And there's only so many "licenses" you can sell, unlike a musician who can tour as many times as they want.
So, does exposure have no effect on mangaka? Of course it does. Heavy traffic and social media presence could lead to publishers localizing and distributing the works overseas. But here's the catch.

The overseas market is already saturated with the scans.
Hardcore fans may pay money for the works, but the scans are mostly available for anyone to view. And even if scantalation groups were to drop the project, there is still a time lag between the newly localized volume and the most recent scanned issue.
So if the localized versions don't sell well (since scans are already available), some publishers might even drop the localized sales halfway if projections don't turn out so well.
So with music, maybe you can call yourself a fan by, not buying the CD but going to the concert (as I'm sure the artist would prefer the $100 ticket fee to the $20 album sale). But with mangaka, if you don't buy their works, it's the same as not tipping a street performer.
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