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MangaNovel generated some favorable buzz early on, but its horrible scanlation interface (a hard-to-use, windows-only program that had to be downloaded and installed on one's own computer), badly-implemented discussion forums, and total lack of famous series displeased many people who tried to use the site.
I got to interview one of the chief officers of MangaNovel last year for PW’s Comics Week and while the project was intriguing I never thought it was going to take off unless it got the support of Japanese publishers. MangaNovel launched in late 2007 with comics that previously failed for Mainichi Shinbun’s English website. They also had a number of old random josei, cycling and pet manga from yanki and sci-fi manga publisher Shonen Gahosha (publishers of Excel Saga, Trigun, and Hellsing). Along with a lone Media Factory title, MangaNovel began to distribute a number of full color projects of their own for free. Promises to reach out to other pubs apparently failed as none of them bit on the idea. Plans to extend their software to Macs and to the iPhone/iTouch also never transpired. --EdChav writing for MangaCast
A contest to scanlate part of Pharaoh no Haka and win an iPod Touch saw so few entries that the deadline had to be extended multiple times over the course of several months. Eventually, the site closed without most scanlators, scanlation readers, and manga fans ever having heard of it.
The only lasting effect of the site was to inspire a scanlation team to take on Pharaoh no Haka as a project.
Series Formerly Available on MN
As the quote above indicates, MangaNovel mostly had obscure series in unpopular genres from an obscure (in English) publisher. These included:
- Koromo Monogatari
- Welcome to the My Friend Animal Hospital
- I Fell In Love With You Under The Sacred Fig
- MangaNovel official site
- Publishers Weekly article from November 13th, 2007
- A blog post discussing the reasons the site closed
- MangaCast MangaScope ~ December 21, 2008