Tuesday 31 May 2011

Goodbye, Tokyopop, Goodbye

31 May 2011. If you don’t know what happens today, then to be quite honest I’m not too surprised. Unless like me, you keep up with things to do with manga, in which case something quite significant happens today. Tokyopop, one of the publishers that brings us some great manga, will close its North American office today….
So what’s the big deal? Whenever a small manga publisher goes bust, it normally won’t be any big deal. But Tokyopop is one of the largest and most common publishers we see out there

Closing announcement goes “Today, we are sad to inform our loyal community of manga fans, our passionate creators of manga content, our business and retail partners, and other stakeholders who have supported us through the years that as of May 31, 2011, TOKYOPOP is closing its Los Angeles-based North American publishing operations.”
Tokyopop’s founder Stu Levy says “I'm laying down my guns. Together, our community has fought the good fight, and, as a result, the Manga Revolution has been won –manga has become a ubiquitous part of global pop culture.” The full statement is below in a spoiler tag because its quite long.

Only the North American office will be shutting. The office in Germany will carry on, and so will its film division. The office in Germany will still handle liscencing rights for Tokyopop. I don’t know
So what will be going? A list of some of some manga produced by Tokyopop….

- Sailor Moon
- Fruits Basket
- Battle Royale
- Love Hina
- Hetalia Axis Powers
- Alice in the Country of Hearts
- Bizenghast
- Chibi Vampire
- D.N.angel
- .hack// *insert series name here*
- Maid Sama!
- Pet Shop of Horrors
- Priest
- Tokyo Mew Mew
- Trinity Blood
- The Gothic Lolita bibles
- Vampire Kisses
- And theres a lot more…

What do we think will happen? Well, seeing as we don’t know if the Germans will publish manga in English, so we have to go from there. Let’s assume that the German’s will produce manga in English. The cost of manga, being imported from Germany, will (for the Americans at least) go up (before they didn’t have to import it). No idea what that will do to the price of manga in England seeing as it’s already imported.
Now let’s assume that the Germans don’t publish manga in English. Then what will we do? We’re hoping that somebody else will obtain the English rights to some of these titles, especially the more popular ones like Hetalia once they realise that they are goldmines and to licence them is a great investment.
Now let’s assume Tokyopop refuse to sell the licenses. In which case we will not be getting any manga from some amazing series and therefore we will have lost a whole host of great manga.

Other people’s opinions? Well, Luvable Nutcase says something like “I suppose that the manga that is completed will be released and the ones that aren’t will be picked up by someone else. I’m going to miss the Gothic Lolita bibles, they never released number six did they…AAH! Who’s going to translate Hetalia???. The GOOD news is that its only the American office that’s shutting so likely it will still be released but will be expensive. Since manga is such a huge moneymaker in the US, they wont THINK about shutting it down completely.”
Amamizu says”Tokyopop doesn’t have a reputation for treating artists/creators well so I’m not sure I feel too bad for them shutting down.”
Maryspam/Mimz (depending on how nice we’re feeling on the day we contact her) says “I wanted to read that manga….now I have nothing to look forward to.”
Iza says “I think its *censored, profanity*”

Nina and Katy say ”Well we still have anime of various things and the stuff that we wanted to read most of it we’ve read. Hetalia will probably get picked up by someone else (Viz media, Yen Press, Dark Horse and others : TIP- Pick it up! It’s a goldmine!!) and some other popular titles may or may get picked up. We’ll be sad to see Fruits Basket and Alice in the Country of Hearts go, and Chibi Vampire we got through anyway. Maid-sama! We would have liked to read (we liked Ouran and Maid-sama is in a similar genre), but most now we probably won’t. In conclusion, we think that Tokyopop have a great selection of manga and we're pretty disappointed that they're going".

And where will this leave us in the world of manga? Well, we still have Viz Media (you may know it by its imprints Shojo Beat and Shounen Jump, and these guys are responsible for Death Note, Naruto, Bleach, Vampire Knight, Nana, Godchild and other things. We have Yen Press responsible for Black Butler, Bamboo Blade, Pandora Hearts, Haruhi, Soul Eater and a lot more. We have Dark Horse manga responsible for Reiko the Zombie Shop, Mail, The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service and some other things.
So yes, there will still be some manga out there, and some pretty good manga at that. But we’ll still miss Tokyopop, and all the great titles it brought us.


  1. I am so tragically crushed by this - one of my favorite manga series is Saiyuki, and it's just ramping up for a new series, and now the publisher is withdrawing! I'm going to have to get some new manga to console me.


Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

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