I’ve seen a post floating around on the difference between the MangaStream and YonkouProd translations of Chapter 521. Figured I’d shine a bit of light on the websites themselves and on… some bigger issues in this fandom. Those issues are important, so this post isn’t going under a cut. Sorry. You need to read this if you weren’t aware of these issues already.
YonkouProd: A newer website as far as translations go. I haven’t been reading them for a long time, so I don’t trust them as well.
MangaStream: A more experienced manga website. They’ve been around for years, and while they’re known for fluffing up the translations with flowery prose, they’re generally pretty reliable. They have a large team of hardworking translators. This most recent chapter, for example, had a team of 7 people involved working on stuff from framing to translations to scans.
MangaPanda is pretty much obsolete at this point, so those are the two main competitors. I’d take both translating teams with a grain of salt, however, and there are some very good reasons for that.
MangaStream and YonkouProductions are the manga industry’s equivalent of the art thieves and reposters that people complain about here on Tumblr.
You may remember the days when Fairy Tail chapters came out on Fridays, way back to the GMG arc. For a good amount of time, they switched to Mondays, and now that YonkouProd has found a way to get earlier scans, they’ve inched back to Saturdays. People bitched and moaned when Fairy Tail’s release schedule scooted back three days, but there was a reason for that.
In Japan, Fairy Tail chapters come out on Wednesdays (Tuesday night for us). People in this fandom seem to understand this, as the general consensus is that it’s impolite to Tweet Mashima before the chapter comes out in Japan. For some reason, however, people cannot seem to understand that America and other English-speaking countries do not get the scans early because they are special.
The scans only come out early online because people take them illegally and repost them without giving Mashima proper credit.
As I’ve said time and time again, Mashima does not write Fairy Tail out of the goodness of his heart. Fairy Tail is his job. It is his source of income. I know there are authors and artists out there that realize how it feels to see your art reposted and given no credit on other sites! I’m not going to minimize that, but please realize that for Mashima, it’s not just people stealing his work. It’s people stealing the work and him losing money for it.
I’m sure you understand why this is an issue. So… what can you do? I’m sure you still want to read Fairy Tail, but where can you go to get it legally?
Circling back to your initial complaints… there’s a website where you can read it legally and get higher-quality, more accurate scans! It’s called Crunchyroll. I’ve given you the link. Yeah, there’s a fee of $6.95 a month, but you don’t just get Fairy Tail. They have a variety of manga and anime and pay every single creator for their work to the best of my knowledge. I believe you can read the most recent chapters of Fairy Tail for free. Don’t quote me there.
If you can’t afford to pay that, I can’t stop you from reading Fairy Tail. I just can’t. I can hope that you buy the official merchandise or the volumes from stores or something, but I can’t force you to do that, either.
I can ask you to stop bitching about the illegal scans that you get for free, though. Knock that shit off. Have some respect.
Give Mashima the credit for his manga that you would want for your fanart, and for the love of all things holy, stop expecting the word of God to come down from illegal manga sites. They’re going to be inaccurate and lower-quality, and as long as you continue to read them for free without giving Mashima his dues, they’re going to stay that way.