Anime & Manga News

TOKYOPOP's North American Publishing Division Shuts Down

by Naruleach
Apr 15, 2011 5:16 PM | 102 Comments
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.


Stu Levy

Sources: ICv2, TOKYOPOP, Comic Beat

20 of 102 Comments Recent Comments

kawaiishit said:
Jigero said:
nothing of value lost

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

This^ Seriously. Tokyopop is shit. But.. still, sad that they're gone. Not by that much, though.

May 27, 2011 7:29 AM by underMebius

I heard these news from the owner f my local manga store, big shock indeed.

I just wish that I can have my copy of Hetalia Axis Powers vol. 1, they had only vol. 2 left and the owner was unsure if his Tokyopop delivery never comes.

May 25, 2011 10:25 AM by Lumikki

It's allways sad when a company like this closes,
but.... what to say, our job as manga readers is to read them elsewhere.
Nothing more.

May 25, 2011 2:57 AM by Catalano

noooo...... now whats going to happen to V.B Rose only 2 more volumes to go!!! i hope someone else finishes this........

May 2, 2011 4:58 PM by mrSmiles

Well, there are some good news in all of this. Quality titles that got trashed might end up published with another company.

I think the biggest loss is that we won't go past volume 4 of the fmp novels now.

May 2, 2011 4:39 PM by Xelzy

Even if you never read ANYTHING that Tokyopop came out with, it's still bad news. Don't act as if this is a good thing that happened. Sure, they might have fucked up... a lot... and sure, they might have done that dreadful thing known as America's Greatest Otaku, but still.

This is bad for the American manga industry. While you might not have bought anything from them, a lot of people did, which brought a hell of a lot more money into publishing more things which you could've been interested in.

While other publishing companies can pick up the pieces, they won't be able to get everything. And someone out there won't be able to get their next volumes that they've been waiting for. As fellow anime and manga fans, I would think that at least YOU guys would be concerned. So take down your bullshit tough guy act.

That is all.

Apr 25, 2011 11:03 AM by ycart59

Admittedly, I'm not too sad. It did get me into manga as the first one I really got into was Fruits Basket back in elementary school. But the other manga that I've bought from them is either already completed or I have no intention of buying more.

EXCEPT for Future Diary. That I'm sad about. I love it. And they have, what? Two left to publish? I'm not sure about 10 but 1-9 are out and I only have 1-5. It's sad as a whole but that's the only thing really bugging me.

Apr 24, 2011 6:57 PM by SpectreHound

meh never cared for tokyopop anyway
they published "Original English manga" so....

Apr 20, 2011 9:25 PM by cardtrick

K that's really coincidental. Seeing as I just bought all seven volumes of Tokyo Mew Mew like three days ago and now I see this. O_o

I am sad no more G&LB. ;_;
S'pose I can just buy the Japanese version but importing things is a pain.

Apr 20, 2011 9:18 AM by SoneAnna

I am sad, in a way. I was there when they first started up and my subscription to MixxZine was the first magazine subscription I ever had, and practically camped the mailman every month for it too. Unfortunately over the past few years, they have been struggling, and it was about time they just let it go and moved on. Anyone who has been a victim to one of their recently stalled/discontinued series can give voice to that.

However, on the good side, I wonder if the license for the majority of their stalled series can now be rescued by other companies. There are a few good ones **COUGHkinonotabiCOUGH** that I would like to continue..... know what, scratch that, 'like to continue' is not the right word. I would cry TEARS OF JOY to get the rest of Kino no Tabi over here to the states.

Apr 18, 2011 7:51 PM by kimmiechan

This is pretty sad, yes - I definitely got started on Tokyopop manga when they started the whole 'manga revolution' back in the day. D:

But to be fair, I thought the quality and pricing of their products were inferior to the competitors that appeared more recently.

Apr 18, 2011 5:28 PM by spicybeefstew

Wait... *glances over at bookshelf*

Ok. Just fucking wonderful.

Someone had better pick my series up or I'll cry. T-T

Apr 18, 2011 5:17 PM by chronarose

AnimeGURU475 said:
This is sad news. Screw you people saying they needed to go out of business.

Tokyopop introduced me to my fav mangas ever, Card Captor Sakura and Love Hina. For that I'll always be greatful.

if only we could rate comments I'd give yours a 5 Star

Apr 18, 2011 4:44 PM by mattskell

wolfboy13 said:
what why,? is there nothing we can do, but waht about Blu manga and the uk, so its only the US but what will happen to Silver Diamond and Kyo kara maih and others, i want to know more i hope thsi is not going to effect the titles maybe UK can keep it up?

Apparently we get them from NA ~ so doubtful.

Apr 18, 2011 10:36 AM by takuku

This is sad news. Screw you people saying they needed to go out of business.

Tokyopop introduced me to my fav mangas ever, Card Captor Sakura and Love Hina. For that I'll always be greatful.

Apr 18, 2011 10:25 AM by AnimeGURU475

what why,? is there nothing we can do, but waht about Blu manga and the uk, so its only the US but what will happen to Silver Diamond and Kyo kara maih and others, i want to know more i hope thsi is not going to effect the titles maybe UK can keep it up?

Apr 18, 2011 9:02 AM by wolfboy13

McRib said:
After creating America's Greatest Otaku they deserve to shut down.

mangaFOX and mangatrade

Apr 18, 2011 8:26 AM by almozayaf

I seriousley want to cry right now, I Love Tokyopop, Their DUBs are Amazing

Apr 17, 2011 9:29 PM by mattskell


I really wanted to buy their stuff (especially Gakuen Alice) but I guess this is not the case....*sigh*

Thank you Tokyopop, for making manga fun for me to read.

Apr 17, 2011 9:05 AM by MomoHime125

Oh dear, there goes my chance of ever owning the FMP and Gosick novels in english >:

Thankfully, I'm not currently collecting any manga they're releasing but there were a couple of incomplete titles (like Aria) that I planned on eventually picking up. Oh well, hopefully someone else will snatch those up >:

Apr 17, 2011 6:27 AM by amayadori