The Early Years

In July of 2006, lwerndly publicly released his personal AniDB client, AniDB Monitor giving AniDB members the ability to automatically hash their files for comparison, add them to their AniDB Mylist and allowed users to update their episode watched states with ease. Development on predecessor however halted shortly after AniDB Monitor’s initial release having reached the initial goals of the program. Development on AniDB Monitor would remain dormant until 2008 when a user on the MediaPortal forums announced they had begun working on an anime plugin simply known as My Anime. Demand for such a plugin to allow users to view and watch their anime collection was high and many users followed development on the plugin, however for unknown reasons the original developer abandoned the project to the dismay of many and once again the MediaPortal community was left without a suitable anime plugin. lwerndly, who had also been following the development of the plugin announced he was going to develop his own plugin and using AniDB Monitor as a base was able to quickly produce a release. On February 13th, 2008 the MediaPortal plugin My Anime was released to the public, this also signified the start of what would later become the JMM Suite.

The plugin quickly become popular and with feature requests and bug reports coming in. Development continued forward with various parts being updated or rewritten as time went on eventually leading to the release of My Anime 2on June 2nd, 2009 containing a lot of improvements and additions over it’s predecessor. Like usual development continued on and as My Anime 2's popularity continued to grow it slowly started to outgrow being just a MediaPortal plugin and the idea of My Anime becoming something more started to transition to reality.

The JMM Suite

As development continued on My Anime 2 and the plugin became more and more popular, the focus started to shift from a collection manager to a content consumer. Additionally, the ability to have access to a user's anime collection outside of MediaPortal was becoming more requested as users wanted a database that didn't rely on MediaPortal. At the time, there was no centralized database so developing a plugin for another program or even a standalone program would require it’s own database and a way to share data between the two. To avoid this and to allow any program or plugin access to the database, it was decided that all server functionality would be moved out of My Anime 3 and into it’s own then unnamed program. However with the project now growing, a new name to encompass the current My Anime 2 plugin and the then unnamed server program was needed, the name Otaku Media Manager was selected and development on the standalone server program pressed forward.

With My Anime 3's release on April 19th, 2012, users were introduced to early builds of what would later become Shoko Server and Shoko Desktop. As development continued on the three items and with the addition of a Plex plugin, a new name was decided on that better reflected the programs new direction, Japanese Media Manager. Development continued on with new features being added and new members joining the team culminating in a Kodi plugin being developed and the start of some of the heavier tasks on the ever growing to-do list.

Shoko Image 1

Shoko

Due to personal reasons, lwerndly had decided to take less active role with the project and gave leadership to MaxPiva and Elemental Crisis. With a revitalized effort, the still JMM team added new members and began working on some of the bigger issues such as SQLite speed and more importantly Linux Support. It was also decided that a new name was needed as the original name was causing confusion on what exactly JMM did and did not do. The common misconception was that because of the name, users assumed JMM supported other types of Japanese media such as Manga and/or J-Drama which was never the original intended goal. In fact, originally name of the program was Anime Media Manager but was only changed to Japanese Media Manager when one of the original staff members wanted to include support for manga. Due to personal circumstances, that staff member was never able to add support for it. After a long discussion on name choices, da3dsoul suggested the name Shoko which ended up being the only name the entire staff was able to agree on.