The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject
. (September 2012)
Frederik Schodt describes having "dreamed of [manga translation] as far back as 1970 or 1971" . Subsequently, Schodt, Jared Cook, Shinji Sakamoto, and Midori Ueda formed a group named Dadakai. Schodt referred to Dadakai as "really the beginning of manga translation", however described these efforts as "way too early" because they could not get anything published. One of the manga Dadakai licensed was Osamu Tezuka's manga titled "Phoenix", and the translation was later published by Viz Media from 2002 to 2008. The amateur press association (APA) was the first formally organized form of manga scanlation. Their major period of activity occurred during the late 1970s through the early 90's. Scanlation groups began forming in Europe before the United States translating into their respective languages; the largest of which was the French.
Parallel to the increasing growth of the Internet in the late 1990s, people increasingly began to translate manga scripts, soon after which groups began editing those translated scripts onto manga scans. Initially scanlations were distributed using mail, CDs, and emails within anime clubs. By 1998, many free hosting services such as Geocities and Angelfire hosted scanlations, and eventually scanlators congregated to form an IRC channel named #mangascans. In 2000, organized scanlation groups began to emerge. The majority of scanlation groups seemed to uphold an unspoken agreement between them and manga publishers; that when a series is officially licensed, scanlators are expected to police themselves. For instance, when Viz licensed three of the most popular series that Toriyama’s World was scanlating, the website took their scanlations offline. To help kickstart the initial publication of Shounen Jump, Viz Media partnered with several scanlation groups including Toriyama's World to promote the magazine and subsequently received a cut of the revenue through Viz's affiliate program.