Hi everyone! I just discovered a new site a little bit ago called JManga where (to put it bluntly) you can read e-manga online.
I have to admit, I've got mixed emotions about this. Offhand I'm going to say that I'm really irritated that you can't download any of the manga you purchase. You can only view it via the website, which takes away the whole convenience factor. Even if they release an app there's still the whole inconvenience of knowing that you're reliant on the website being up and being in an area where you can access the app/website.
The cool factor lies in the titles the site has to offer. JManga brings in some titles that have never been officially released in the US as well as titles by defunct publishers such as CMX. Some of the bigger titles are limited to 1-2 chapters, possibly because many of the bigger publishers are offering their titles via similar storefronts. I was more excited to see how many different series they have and the variety.There's a lot of selection, although I was slightly disappointed to see that there's listings for manga that aren't available on the site. (My pulse quickened to see a Higurashi manga listed, only to get let down when there wasn't even so much as a preview available.)
Here's something that might put a damper on some of the excitement, though: while the site does list industry heavyweights such as Naruto and Haruhi Suzumiya, most of these pages only have preview chapters available... if they have anything listed at all. This might be due to many of these publishers moving towards similar business models as JManga and preferring to keep their manga on their personal sites. It's just a little frustrating to see so many of these series come up and end up being previews only. The previews are all free, but it's still frustrating nonetheless.
The translation is a little on the wonky side. It works and won't leave you wondering what they were trying to get across, but it just doesn't flow like some of the other translations out there. I don't see this being a big problem and I figure that as the company's translators get more comfortable with translations it'll become a little more smooth. Right now though, the translations come across as a little too overly literal at times or like the translator isn't entirely comfortable with the English language jut yet.
JManga's final point worth mentioning is that you pay via "points" rather than a set price point, which seems a little unnecessary to me. For $10 you get 1000 points so I can't help but wonder why they don't just list it at its dollar equivalent. I doubt that this will really irk people as much as that there's no way to just purchase points when you choose. To purchase manga you have to submit a credit card and have a monthly subscription. You can cancel anytime you choose, but it just seems a little overly complicated to have to constantly have to sign up and cancel if you're the type that doesn't really want to make purchases each month. The points last for about a year after they're applied to the account and you do get bonus points (these only last for 3 months), but I'd rather have the option of applying points without having to go the subscription route. On a plus side, if you're a subscriber who plans on reading a lot of manga there is the option of buying more points per month.
Overall I'm just a little underwhelmed by this site. I love that you can preview things for free but so far there's not a huge amount of wow factor to this site and not being able to buy points without a subscription is incredibly irritating. It's worth keeping an eye on since I like the idea of a company that brings over titles that might not otherwise have been picked up.