First Generation: The Classical Era

A Slow Shift in Power

Between 2002 and 2003, the scanlation scene began to change. Bigger groups like Toriyama's World and MangaProject stagnated and lost their dominance, while many smaller groups headed by younger people rapidly broke into the scene. Toriyama's World's releases grew so infrequent that the group had its own entry on Urban Dictionary.

Keeping track of all the different scanlation projects became troublesome as more and more groups were formed. By 2002, directory websites like Noated and Majstorsky Comics had become popular for keeping track of such things.


Noated, a large resource site founded by Typus to archive manga (msearch) and anime (aesearch), was the most popular site for finding scanlations. Noated was updated frequently and had an active community. The fastest way for groups to get word out about their website or new projects was to add the information to Noated. Noated helped bring in hits for groups when a new manga chapter was released, and if an update reached Noated's frontpage, the group would experience a huge surge in traffic. For a time, Noated was one of the only reliable places one could go to for a list of websites with scanlation downloads, and the "Rate our site at's Manga Search engine" button could be found on almost every scanlator's website.

The scanlation landscape began to change in 2003. As Noated became inactive, services provided by Noated were replaced by a new generation of scanlation release aggregation and database sites, namely DailyManga, Manga Jouhou, and later MangaUpdates. These sites offered comprehensive databases on scanlators and their projects and reported new releases on a daily basis. In the years to come, these sites became the center of attention as the community grew. The emergence of these release-reporting community sites marked the beginning of the second generation of scanlation.