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TOKYOPOP's North American Publishing Division Shuts Down

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Apr 15, 2011 5:16 PM
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TOKYOPOP has announced today the closure of its Los Angeles based North American publishing division on May 31st.

TOKYOPOP’s statement:
For nearly 15 years, TOKYOPOP, led by Stu Levy, its founder, CEO and Chief Creative Officer, has pioneered the English-language manga movement and touched the hearts, minds and souls of enthusiasts worldwide.

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 film and television projects and European operations, including the German publishing program, will not be affected by the Los Angeles office closure. In addition, TOKYOPOP will continue its global rights sales via its office in Hamburg, Germany.


Stu Levy's message:
Dear TOKYOPOP Community:

Way back in 1997, we set out to bring a little-known form of Japanese entertainment to American shores. I originally named our little company “Mixx”, meaning a mix of entertainment, mix of media, and mix of cultures. My dream was to build a bridge between Japan and America, through the incredible stories I discovered as a student in Tokyo.

Starting with just four titles -Parasyte, Ice Blade, Magic Knight Rayearth, and, of course, Sailor Moon- we launched MixxZine, aspiring to introduce comics to girls. These four series laid down the cornerstone for what would eventually become TOKYOPOP and the Manga Revolution.

Over the years, I’ve explored many variations of manga culture –“OEL” manga, “Cine-Manga”, children’s books we called “Manga Chapters”, the Gothic-Lolita Bible, Korean manwha (which we still called “manga” at the time), video game soundtracks, live-action films and documentaries, anime, and various merchandise. Some of it worked, some of it didn’t –but the most enjoyable part of this journey has been the opportunity to work with some of the most talented and creative people I’ve ever met.

Many of you also allowed me the indulgence to not only produce works but also to take a swing at creating some of my own. I’ve learned that it’s much easier to criticize others than it is to create from scratch –but in doing so, I’ve also in the process learned how to better communicate with creators.

Fourteen years later, 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. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished –and the incredible group of passionate fans we’ve served along the way (my fellow revolutionaries!).

For many years Japan has been my second home, and I have devoted much of my career to bringing my love for Japan to the world –and hopefully in my own way, I can give back to the culture that has given me so much joy.

In closing, I simply want to thank all of you –our incredibly talented creators from all over the world, our patient and supportive business partners and customers, our amazingly dedicated TOKYOPOP team– full-timers, part-timers, freelancers and interns, and of course the greatest fans in the entire world. Together, we’ve succeeded in bringing manga to North America and beyond.

Arigatougozaimasu!!

Stu Levy
Founder, TOKYOPOP

Sources: ICv2, TOKYOPOP, Comic Beat
KimuraApr 15, 2011 5:49 PM
p r o f i l e 👀
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Apr 15, 2011 5:23 PM
#2

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Oh man that's tragic. I used to read their titles in the library, similarly to the way people in Japan apparently would read while standing at the stands in convenient stores. Do you know the specific reason for the closure of this office? Was it due to bankruptcy?
Apr 15, 2011 5:25 PM
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After creating America's Greatest Otaku they deserve to shut down.
Ok™
Apr 15, 2011 5:25 PM
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kalamity said:
Do you know the specific reason for the closure of this office? Was it due to bankruptcy?

According to ICv2,
The company fell on hard times in recent years, losing access to important Japanese properties as key supplier Kodansha expanded its relationship with global ally Random House (via Del Rey Manga), eventually opening its own publishing operations here. The bankruptcy of Borders, a key retailer of manga, and the associated disruption of cash flow and likely losses, was undoubtedly a final nail in the company’s coffin.
p r o f i l e 👀
Apr 15, 2011 5:30 PM
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That's too bad. I bought a few of their Sailor Moon mangas back in the day. :(
Apr 15, 2011 5:34 PM
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Well, this explains their extremely slow releases as of late. I hope another company picks up the Aria manga, that's pretty much the only incomplete license TokyoPop held that I needed to complete.
Apr 15, 2011 5:41 PM
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That sucks, but it's not entirely unexpected after they lost all of their Kodansha titles a year and a half ago. I'm kind of surprised they held on as long as they did to be honest.

They might have gone down the crapper over the last few years (translation-wise, the whole business with DJ Milky, and with that horrible tissue-paper quality paper a few years back), but I'll always remember them for translating the series that got me into manga back in the day.

Also, I really, really hope Petshop of Horrors: Tokyo sold well enough for some other company to pick it up; I've lasted 8 volumes into that in hopes that a certain character will come back, and I'll be darned if they just leave it where it is. Same goes for The Twelve Kingdoms novels, but they lost that license a while ago, and Kodansha's been annoying about it so far. >.>
Apr 15, 2011 5:46 PM
#8
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So this means that all of their ongoing series that they have are no more? Or will other companies pick them up?
Apr 15, 2011 5:47 PM
#9

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That's so sad. Tokyopop was what got me started on manga wayy back in the day. I remembered rushing to the library/bookstore to get the latest volume before my friends. Dream Saga, anyone? Without them, I wouldn't be here. Thanks for all the childhood memories. T_T
Apr 15, 2011 5:54 PM
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So they wont be releasing manga in the US anymore? and if so will someone be taking over the series they started or will i have to look for fan scans and translations for my manga?
Apr 15, 2011 5:55 PM
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B-chan911 said:
So this means that all of their ongoing series that they have are no more? Or will other companies pick them up?

ANN said they'll announce what's happening with those in the next few weeks. Odds are if a series sold well enough, some other publisher'll snatch it up sooner or later.
Apr 15, 2011 5:58 PM

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I thank them for releasing Welcome to the NHK, but detest them for giving up on the novel so easily. Also, the final volume of Peace Maker Kurogane is due out in October. I have been waiting four damn years for Tokyopop to finally release it in English, now this happens. WWWHHHHHYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!
ToukaApr 15, 2011 6:15 PM
I write about manga → morningroo.com
and movies → letterboxd.com/ugla
Apr 15, 2011 6:02 PM

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Damn they had Togainu no Chi and Peace Maker Kurogane does that mean I'll have to import these too?? I hope they have them in Singaporen English or whatever like 07 Ghost?? -__-
"What has two arms, two legs, and is alive? Not your favorite character lol! xD"
Apr 15, 2011 6:10 PM

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Despite the countless screw-ups and poor decisions, they did introduce me to manga via Sailormoon back in the day. 14 years later, I admittedly (and thankfully) don't need them. But still...for that, thanks.
Apr 15, 2011 6:11 PM

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I hope the last volume of Alice in the Country of Hearts still comes out, though it's supposed to be released in July which is fairly soon
Apr 15, 2011 6:13 PM

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nothing of value lost
It doesn't think, it doesn't feel, it doesn't laugh or cry..... All it does from dusk till dawn is make the soldiers die.
Apr 15, 2011 6:18 PM

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Jigero said:
nothing of value lost


Nowdays yes especially after the creation of America's Greatest Otaku, totally uncalled for.


Apr 15, 2011 6:21 PM

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That's what I get for grabbing the 4th Full Metal Panic novel on Monday...

Man that series is never going to end.

Tokyopop has not been that important to me for a while, still I guess it is sad to see them go.
My anime list
Apr 15, 2011 6:23 PM

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Touka said:
I thank them for releasing Welcome to the NHK, but detest them for giving up on the novel so easily. Also, the final volume of Peace Maker Kurogane is due out in October. I have been waiting four damn years for Tokyopop to finally release it in English, now this happens. WWWHHHHHYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!


Agreed man especially since volume 6 of PMK came out in Japan in November last year. I was so excited to see it in English, but now this I'm so pissed right now since I wanted to buy this series along with Togainu no Chi. Now only thing I can hope for is that they have a Singaporean English version somewhere and is available to ship worldwide. T_T
"What has two arms, two legs, and is alive? Not your favorite character lol! xD"
Apr 15, 2011 6:42 PM

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How unfortunate. I can think of at least 5 series I own that will be left unfinished because of this. No more Deadman Wonderland or Trinity Blood for us...I'm saddened.
Apr 15, 2011 6:44 PM

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Well shit. This is bad news, I guess. They're a pretty good chunk of the manga publishers here. But does that mean that the manga that they licensed are no longer licensed in America?
Apr 15, 2011 6:55 PM

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This is good news. Never liked Tokyopop. Won't be sad to see it go.
Apr 15, 2011 7:02 PM

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No more Aria. So devo'd :(
Apr 15, 2011 7:14 PM

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Onibokusu said:
Well, this explains their extremely slow releases as of late. I hope another company picks up the Aria manga, that's pretty much the only incomplete license TokyoPop held that I needed to complete.


Also BECK, and quite a few others actually.
<---made of awesome!
Apr 15, 2011 7:23 PM

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Apparently they're officially shutting down right after the release of Hetalia's third volume. Is another company planning to pick it up later on?
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Apr 15, 2011 7:24 PM

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memeki said:
ANN said they'll announce what's happening with those in the next few weeks. Odds are if a series sold well enough, some other publisher'll snatch it up sooner or later.


I hope it says something about Alice in the Country of Hearts.. I've been waiting for the final volume.. and it was supposed to come out in July.. xD..
Gah! And I also got the first 6 of Maid Sama from them too.. Sadness.. D;
"I wish, just one more time to hear your voice. One more time, just one more time... Say my name..."
Apr 15, 2011 7:41 PM

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memeki said:
B-chan911 said:
So this means that all of their ongoing series that they have are no more? Or will other companies pick them up?

ANN said they'll announce what's happening with those in the next few weeks. Odds are if a series sold well enough, some other publisher'll snatch it up sooner or later.


If that's the case, I really hope some of the series gets picked up. I would love to buy Welcome to the NHK Vol 1 as well as The Twelve Kingdoms Vol 1, but haven't been able to since they're out of print.

I personally think it's a shame that it's shutting down, even if, as some people have mentioned, they have made some bad decisions.
Apr 15, 2011 7:43 PM

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I gotta admit this is NOT GOOD news...

I usually don't care about ANIME companies going bankrupt or whatever, but MANGA is different.

No, Tokyopop didn't do the best job with the manga they had, but they had a LARGE selection and I read many of the manga they did.

I really hope the other companies VIZ, YEN PRESS, DEL RAY, etc., can pick up the pieces.
Apr 15, 2011 7:51 PM

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This is such bad news =(
TokyoPop had such a selection even if some of them weren't that great. I hope some other companies pick up their series. Especially Alice in the Country of Hearts and Gakuen Alice because I really want to finish those.
Apr 15, 2011 8:05 PM
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:( FMP and 12 Kingdoms. :'(

This is sad news.
Apr 15, 2011 8:09 PM
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Well there goes Deadman Wonderland and Mirai Nikki
Apr 15, 2011 8:12 PM

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McRib said:
After creating America's Greatest Otaku they deserve to shut down.
I lol'd so hard.
I hate you all.
Apr 15, 2011 8:24 PM
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This is rather sad. TP got me into shoujo manga back in the early 2000's. After awhile though, I became less and less of a fan of theirs. I hated the way they did their cover designs with the annoying logo on the side of cover and noticed some editing errors where text would be left out of bubbles. In a way, I'm glad they're gone even though this could really hurt the Industry. I just hope that the other publishing companies will stick around for a very long time. And maybe rescue some of TP's licenses.
Apr 15, 2011 8:31 PM

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This sucks. :( Better hurry and buy all the Tokyopop stuff I'm missing before it's gone forever
Apr 15, 2011 8:34 PM

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Well shit.
Thats sad.
Apr 15, 2011 8:36 PM

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and now theres going to be even less manga in my already manga-less area of the U.S. >.>



"If only if only, the woodpecker cried, the bark on the tree was as soft as the sky" || ♪My mind, heart is broken♫
Apr 15, 2011 8:53 PM
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Yea, it's sad for Tokyopop to go...hopefully the original Japanese companies can be good in N.A. and not have overpriced stuffs....
bla bla bla
The endless debate between fans and haters. At one point, after spending a lot of time on MAL, you just realize it's totally pointless.
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On MAL, everyone who has used the lame rating system becomes a critic and an intellectual by default, haven't you heard?
Apr 15, 2011 9:09 PM

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So I guess Viz Media will now be getting the lion's share of the market. I actually haven't bought any of the Tokyopop mangas, just a few of the light novels... so I guess it doesn't affect me that much. Still, that's a pretty big blow, goes to show where publishing is headed.
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Apr 15, 2011 9:11 PM
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Jigero said:
nothing of value lost


QFT. Tokyopop embodied everything wrong with manga publishing outside of Japan.
Apr 15, 2011 9:23 PM
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This sucks. I enjoy reading Dragon Hunter, Ai Yori Aoshi, Chobits, Saiyuki/Reload, Ikki Tousen, Battle Club, and Rozen Maiden. Sad this happened. =(

Can someone explain what the hell is America's Greatest Otaku?
Apr 15, 2011 9:26 PM

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There were some things about Tokyopop that I didn't like, but I did buy some of their releases some time ago, including Tokyo Babylon which is one of my favorite mangas ever, so the news are kinda sad to me.
Apr 15, 2011 10:45 PM

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I always thought they seemed a bit over-stretched, and tried to cover too many kinds of products (their OEL titles, and such). But there were a few series I bought from them. But DN Angel and Immortal Rain are unfinished! I hope more volumes of them will get published someday. :(

Yen Press, Viz, and DMP have some nice titles I'm following, so the world is not over yet.
I am grateful that people often write "bare" when they mean "bear" and vice versa. Because it makes what they said even funnier.
Apr 15, 2011 11:14 PM

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kawaiishit said:
Jigero said:
nothing of value lost


QFT. Tokyopop embodied everything wrong with manga publishing outside of Japan.

Care to explain what you mean by that?
Apr 15, 2011 11:22 PM

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Well, there go my hopes of volume 6-12 of the FMP! light novel.
Apr 16, 2011 12:50 AM

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somehow i feel sad for this... i haven't bought Negima manga recently because of financial constraints... and sometime ago (last year?) i heard news TOKYOPOP will stop releasing Negima... and now, it's all gone...

wait, Gosick light novels are under TOKYOPOP too... oh no...

good bye TOKYOPOP... thank you for the manga i read today...

(looks at Pandora Hearts manga...)

(Yen Press? ok, still safe...)
Apr 16, 2011 12:53 AM

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After blowing a lot of money on America's Greatest Otaku, no wonder they were low on funds. I kinda figured they would be shutting down soon with the layoffs and noticeable quality in editing dropping. Looking back at the last few volumes of Maid-sama, there quite a few mistakes where letters were switch to make the words unreadable. I don't know how those didn't get caught before the books got printed.

I am going to miss that they really were the only one that left the honorifics in the translations. That made it feel much closer compared to the japanese version.

Hopefully someone else will pick up Maid-sama, since that was the only regular one that I've bought from them the past year. Now this makes me wonder if Amazon will be sending me a notice saying my pre-order of Volume 9 was canceled(since it's supposed to be released the day Tokyopop shuts down).
tangytangerineApr 16, 2011 12:57 AM
Apr 16, 2011 3:11 AM

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>.< tokyopop wasnt that bad they did some ok cleans and translations but ive avoided TP when ever it was possible

I signed my screen and now its all smeary "When you meet your God tell him to leave me alone."

check out my bloghttp://corpse69.wordpress.com/

fix MAL already
Apr 16, 2011 3:24 AM
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McRib said:
After creating America's Greatest Otaku they deserve to shut down.
Jigero said:
nothing of value lost
Hoppy said:
Nowdays yes especially after the creation of America's Greatest Otaku, totally uncalled for.
buwie said:
This is good news. Never liked Tokyopop. Won't be sad to see it go.
kawaiishit said:
QFT. Tokyopop embodied everything wrong with manga publishing outside of Japan.
Seriously... like, seriously?
Apr 16, 2011 3:25 AM

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Deadman Wonderland.. Alice in the Country of Hearts..
I wanted to continue reading The Stellar Six of Gingacho, Happy Cafe and Eensy Weensy Monster, too. I also own the first four volumes of Togainu no Chi, but I don't really care about finishing that one.

No, but seriously, Deadman Wonderland. I was so excited to buy the other volumes, but I guess if they won't continue to publish it there's no point in spending money for a series that will never be fully translated. Ugh, mangafox and mangatraders, here I come.
Apr 16, 2011 6:32 AM

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Eensy Weensy Monster is all out. It's only two volumes and can be easily bought on Amazon. I never saw it in bookstores, but I had bought them off amazon.

I wonder what gonna happen to Gakuen Alice and Twelve Kingdoms. Ugh. Not to mention Portrait of M&N; only two volumes left for that one. I know they announced a print on demand for volume 5, but I don't know if they're still going to continue that. *sigh*
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