Deathscythe July 2006
Deathscythe is the founder and former owner of Manga Jouhou, one of the most successful scanlation tracking sites in the mid 2000s. In early 2009, most of Manga Jouhou's staff were gone and the site stood at a standstill. Deathscythe, having lost interest in the scanlation community, handed Manga Jouhou to Firedog and officially retired from the scene.
Deathscythe: Manganews was a project that I wanted to start because I was getting frustrated at trying to find manga. There were sites like Envirosphere.com (which I used to find my anime) but nothing to keep track of manga releases. I decided to take it upon myself to get a group together to do a scanlation tracker of sorts. The main 2 communities that I used to get help were Something Awful Forums (forums.somethingawful.com) and ArsAnime (arsanime.com). During that time, I just made a thread asking people who would be interested in starting a website.
The idea was pitched on January 2nd, 2003, at 21:50 if that matters :P Basically I said: "We need an easier way to find manga," and asked some people for help, pitched some ideas of what we needed, which basically was only half a page. The site was built around those ideas. The site was never intended to get so big as to start doing news updates, it was suppose to just make scanlations easier to get.
Our first webhost was a free host set up by the sADTRW scanlation group. Garamir, Firedog, Ryvius made up most of the group that I found through SA while Fiz was the one we found through ArsAnime. Garamir made a very rough layout for the website and a very, very basic adding system. The original layout was a light brown and white with a picture of Ippo on the front. Fiz took the website and made a layout for it. The Old Jouhou with the gold and green was his doing. The banner as well as all other pieces of the design was also his work....
Deathscythe: Well, since the idea was first pitched in the ADTRW forums (anime forum for Something Awful), the person who was running sADTRW at the time offered free hosting for us. It was hosted there for about 2 months. Afterwards we switched to another host.
Deathscythe: The server went down a lot; the site looked like crap, almost impossible to get anything updated unless you did it yourself. The forums was hosted using phpBB, and theming to match the site was out of the question...umm, we basically had to update it all ourselves, and had to secure affiliates such as Envirosphere to help back us up.
Omanga and Hawks were extremely helpful during this time. This was the time when we got excited about 1,000 views on the website. Love Hina Party and MangaCity sent us a ton of hits during this time too.
Deathscythe: It was originally mangajouhou.com, but while talking with some people from ArsAnime, those people basically made the point of "who the hell would remember a website like Manga Jouhou," and they suggested manganews.net, and the name stuck.
Deathscythe: About a week after mangajouhou.com. It was easier to remember and it said what our site was supposed to be about. Soon we realized more people used manganews.net rather than Jouhou.
Deathscythe: The original staffs was me, who got all the people together; garamir designed the codes and a basic early version; Fiz made the current layout; Firedog and Ryvius helped update the website with releases and manned the IRC channel. As for staff who joined later on, Speck (sometimes go by the name potuke) was part of Jinmen Juushin I believe, he just idled a lot in our channel and helped with a lot of input; Brewthatistrue offered to do website updates and stuff, he basically did all the bug fixes since garamir and Fiz went into hibernation in the beginning.
A bunch of people from sADTRW helped out with the adding and stuff, but basically we sit in about 20 channels each and watched for releases from each channel. As more and more scanlation groups came and gone basically it became unmanageable.
People would complain that we didn't do it fast enough and asked for an account, and soon everyone just sort of added their own stuff. It was mostly the smaller groups. The site has been unchanged since 2003, except for mass releases and the mangaka section.
Deathscythe: Those were designed by hanamichi (used the nick ttyltank for Jouhou) from Ignition-One. Basically we asked for a full website revamp and just got done with the design. The themes appeared I believe about 2 years ago [Editor: this interview took place in 2006], they were just to make it an easier website to look at. That was when we wanted to add in BT tracking, but that never got done. Sorry I'm not making this website very epic :P
Deathscythe: The community was more active; tons of scanlators and translators were reading our forum and chatting in our channel. Everyone generally knew everyone else. The site was the same, still hard to get things done. Behind the scenes it was basically whoever had time to do something did it for the site.
Deathscythe: Haha yeah, phpBB had an exploit that we missed, and our website was hit. Then a witch hunt went around and we hunted the guy down with a few of the other forums he hit, and we submitted info to his ISP etc., and that is when we upgraded to vBulletin. This was around December 2004.
Deathscythe: Basically someone destroyed our forums. Looking around, we found some guy bragging about it on LiveJournal or something and about taking down other websites. I'm not sure how anyone did it but garamir found the IP and ISP of the person who did it. Nothing much happened afterwards, we just went on our way after we sent all that we found out to the other hijacked sites.