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Tokyopop to Close Its U.S. Manga Publishing Offices

By April 16, 2011

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Tokyopop logoThis morning, the big news that rippled through the comics / manga-verse was TokyoPop's announcement that they would be closing up their North American manga publishing operations as of May 31, 2011. Here's the official statement, sent to press outlets on the morning of April 15:

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.

Stu LevyLevy followed up with his letter to fans via Tokyopop.com:

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!).

Details have been a little sketchy about how this announcement will affect current TokyoPop series that are still ongoing, or have one or more volumes left in their run. A TokyoPop spokesperson quoted by Publishers Weekly had this to say:

"Tokyopop will announce the future of specific titles and other releases in the coming weeks."

But to be clear, this closure will likely affect all Tokyopop titles one way or another, and that includes the yaoi manga titles in Tokyopop's BLU Manga imprint, and the manga titles created for TokyoPop, both original creator-driven comics like Dramacon and stories based on licensed movies, games and novels such as the Warcraft graphic novels and the yet-to-be-published Cabin In the Woods graphic novel tie-in to the upcoming MGM movie.

Michelle Smith at Soliloquy in Blue has posted a list of TokyoPop titles that were scheduled for release in the weeks to come, with a wish that many of them will see print.

At Robot 6, Brigid Alverson brought up a valid question: how will change affect the publishing rights for the numerous global manga stories created for Tokyopop, including several unfinished series that have been in publishing limbo for years, like Becky Cloonan's East Coast Rising? So far, there's no definitive answer to these questions, but look for this to be a hot topic in the weeks to come as more details emerge about TokyoPop's withdrawal from the US manga publishing scene.

UPDATE: Becky Cloonan weighs in with her thoughts on her experiences with Tokyopop and her hope that she'll be able to publish and finish East Coast Rising.

UPDATE: Sho Murase speaks out about her experiences with TokyoPop and a few lessons learned along the way. Murase is the creator of Me2 (a planned three-volume series that only saw one volume published by TokyoPop.

There have been signs of trouble at TokyoPop for several months now. In February 2011, there was a major round of layoffs that affected several senior members of the Tokyopop editorial staff, including editors Lillian Diaz-Pryzbyl and Asako Suzuki. In a March 8, 2011 interview with Publishers Weekly, Levy named several factors that contributed to the latest round of downsizing.

Levy blamed the layoffs--he said the staff in question received severance and had left weeks earlier--on the Borders bankruptcy, "they owe us a significant amount of money. We're not a big company and with less cash than we planned, we had to regroup to survive," and said, "We've had to let people go who were very dear to me. This was the hardest part, because these were my friends and collaborators."

More recently, Tokyopop sent a letter to their online community members letting them know that the online blogs/communities section of their sprawling website would be discontinued after the April 26, 2011 relaunch of a "spiffy new stripped down version of the Tokyopop.com website."

Meanwhile, TokyoPop isn't shutting down completely. As the Tokyopop announcement explains,

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.

This essentially means that Tokyopop will continue their publishing operations in Germany, and will continue to pursue and manage their film and television projects in development, including the upcoming Priest movie from Screen Gems, based on Min-woo Hyung's manhwa.

America's Greatest OtakuEarlier in the week, Levy posted a note on his blog on the America's Greatest Otaku TV show website that he plans to spend the next year in Miyagi, Japan, working on a documentary about the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the northeastern Japan in March 2011, and the ongoing recovery efforts.

"For the next year of my life I will be living in Miyagi making a documentary about the tragedy and how the Japanese people are overcoming it and rebuilding their lives. It will be a very challenging and difficult project but I am dedicated to making it happen - and all proceeds from the film will be donated to Miyagi."

Levy was in Tokyo on March 11 when the quake happened. He has since then volunteered to help in the relief efforts in tsunami-devastated areas of Northeastern Japan, and has posted pleas to Tokyopop fans to send artwork and letters of encouragement to students in the affected areas. It seems that he's already begun the process of moving on from the manga publishing world, or at least for now.

Reaction to this news from pundits and fans around the world has ranged from surprise and sadness to anger and anguish. Here's a sampling:

"This fills me with a profound sadness. I have to disagree: The revolution has not been "won"- you just gave up."
- MARIAUR, from the comments on Stu Levy's farewell letter on Tokyopop.com

"And now, in the midst of broadcasting the search for America's Greatest Otaku, that very heart of the "manga revolution" -- the manga itself -- is being ripped out."
- Jason Yadao, Honolulu Star-Advertiser

"Levy had more terrific ideas in a week than I'll have in five years, but it often seemed like good initiatives never got the financial support or managerial oversight they needed in order to succeed.

The TOKYOPOP website is a telling example: at the height of MySpace fever, Levy re-imagined the company's web page as a social network where teenagers could share pictures, discuss manga and anime, and post fan fiction. Yet no one at TOKYOPOP anticipated the need for site moderators to remove copyright-protected material, prevent flame wars, or curate worthwhile content. As a result, the site quickly degenerated into a semi-literate mess, with high school students excoriating their French teachers and sharing tips on where to read illegal scans of favorite manga."
-Kate Dacey, The Manga Critic

"The history of Toykopop is going to be a mixed one, but it did bring together a whole generation of fans and create a market for the material that had never existed before. Let's let Stuart Levy have his moment. He's right: the Manga Revolution was won, and it was Levy's musket that led the charge."
-Heidi McDonald, The Beat

Hetalia Vol. 2"What does this all means for us? It means we will no longer see new volumes of Junjo Romantica, Love Pistols, You Will Drown in Love or new releases like Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi. There are also TOKYOPOP favorites like Hetalia, Togainu no Chi, Silver Diamond and Vassalord (although there is hope Hetalia V3 will still be released in May)."
-Jennifer LeBlanc, The Yaoi Review

"Stu Levy critics: there's more to this than your right to translated manga - like people losing their jobs."
-Helen McCarthy, author of The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga (@tweetheart4711), via Twitter

You can read more news and reactions to the TokyoPop announcement at Anime News Network, Bleeding Cool, Newsarama, The Comics Reporter, and Comics Beat.

UPDATE: More reactions from across the blogosphere:

"Tokyopop was essentially a great comic company with a brilliant staff who loved comics run by a guy who didn't understand or care for comics. I met my best friend and rival there, I got my first editor who actually cared to see me succeed, I made a lot of friends, publishing contacts, gained money and experience, I have love for Tokyopop and none for Stu Levy who squandered a good thing."

- Maximo Lorenzo, creator of Bombos vs. Everything, OHKO, and past Rising Stars of Manga winner, on his DeviantArt journal

"The saddest part is the fate of Tokyopop's pioneering OEL/global manga line. Those were exciting days. Tons of great artists and not-so-great artists (myself included) applied to be part of Tokyopop, and some got jobs. Felipe Smith, Brandon Graham, Maximo Lorenzo, Joanna Estep, and many others.... Unfortunately, none of these OEL properties sold very well, and worse still from Tokyopop's perspective, none of them (except Van Von Hunter) got licensed or developed into any kind of properties.... Now the hype and glitz and glamor has died away, the manga party is over and the guests have left, and all that's left is the diligent artists still drawing in the next room."

(NOTE: Actually, a few TokyoPop original manga properties have been optioned, including The Dreaming by Queenie Chang, but have not made it to the big or small screen yet)

- Jason Thompson, Manga editor for Otaku USA magazine, contributor to Anime News Network and author of King of RPGs, on his LiveJournal

I had a whole lot to say today on the matter on Twitter but for those of you who weren't there to watch the tweet stream roll by, here are a few thoughts:

Clearly, Borders was a key factor in many manga publishers' growth, & it's now a key factor in many publishers' decline.

Where Tokyopop really suffered was when Kodansha hitched its wagon to Del Rey/Random House. a huge loss of major licenses. (including Sailor Moon, Parasyte, Love Hina)

It makes me sad that Tokyopop took a shotgun, rather than targeted approach to new ventures. So many bullets, so few bulls-eyes.

So many missteps in Tokyopop's past, it's almost painful to recall them. the bloated, expensive & hard-to-navigate website is one of 'em.

To be fair, Tokyopop did many, many things right -- that's why they stuck around as long as they did.

A lot of very smart, talented people passed through TokyoPop over the years. At the very least, it gave many people their start in the biz.

Tokyopop's exit from the US manga publishing biz is a sad event for all concerned. Saying stuff like "its about time" is tacky, period.

Now it's your turn: what do you think about Tokyopop closing the doors on its North American manga publishing operations? Add your comments below.

Image credits: TOKYOPOP, 2008 Hidekaz Himaruya / GENTOSHA COMICS INC.

Comments

April 16, 2011 at 4:22 am
(1) The Yaoi Review says:

I’ve been quite surprised at the anger and hate that seems to be surfacing. I guess because I as a boys’ love fan have already had to deal with it more than a few times and with FAR less notice or detail, I’m just sad and not so much angry. It certainly sucks that we will not see a continuation of the series that we love but I’m not losing my job today so being angry over it isn’t my first reaction. Whether or not Stu Levy has made stupid decisions, it’s his company and his responsibility to let go of a lot of people in a really bad economy. We’re not the ones getting the shaft here. If anyone has a right to be pissed over any decisions he’s made, it’s the employees of TOKYOPOP. The rest of us just need to suck it up and deal with it and remember that when June 1st rolls around, we’ll still have a job to go to.

May 1, 2011 at 6:23 am
(2) zoomzoom says:

Sorry, I disagree. We as buyers got just a big reason to cry about it as the staff. The staff got money for doing their job, we paid money for getting the product.

I think you are right in you’re used to be disappointed like this if you got many titles which were dropped in the middle.

For me it’s like this: I bought a product that was half finished.

Who wants to by a washing machine that keeps rolling but not washing? Or a laptop that runs the system (windows or linux) but never any of the programs? A half product wasn’t the reason why we supported Tokyopop and bought manga from them. Otherwise we wouldn’t have bought anything from them. I’m quite sure many and you would agree here.

I buy a lot of titles. I lost 1/3 of them when they did the first drop, now I’m losing 1/2 of the titles I still buy. I don’t wanna suck it up…

July 30, 2011 at 6:02 am
(3) Blinh says:

Totally agree!!!

April 16, 2011 at 10:21 am
(4) Aaron says:

It’s sad really I have a lot of good memories of Tokyopop if I’m mad at anybody it’s not really the people who ran Tokyopop. You can give it youre best effort and still come up short and the fact that so many people are out of jobs now in this econmy is sad. Personally I would blame Scanlators (allthough their is plenty of blame to go aorund) and the econmey just being lousy that’s what I think but who can really say.

May 1, 2011 at 6:29 am
(5) zoomzoom says:

Oh please don’t please people like us. We got some kind of rules too.

Most of us drop the title when it gets licensed.
Most of us gets really angry when we see titles being dropped by the firms or just put in eternal hiatus.
Most of us don’t like see us spending 10$ on stuff we with out crappy editing skills can do much better for free.
Most of us don’t like shitty translations either, battle royale, battle club or battle vixens anyone?

I am a scanlator but I probably buy a lot more manga than any of you in here. Atm I’m on 47 titles…sorry cut that in half thanks to Tokyopop.

Can you see why I keep supporting scanlations more and more when stuff like this happens? We as mangafans do want to have the end of the manga we are buying…or reading. What other option is there when the title is dropped by the very manga company that licensed it?

April 16, 2011 at 10:34 am
(6) Nikki says:

heartbreaking I am not mad at anyone at this moment what is there to be mad at it is not the fault of the company the economy has a part in it and the fact that borders went bankrupt as stated above …

May 1, 2011 at 6:32 am
(7) zoomzoom says:

True, but if it happens over and over, and you see the company not doing anything when they are losing money. OH and still got lots of money to make documentaries, keep selling manga in Germany, making movies and promote them….then you really start to wonder if the economy was bad or the director got new ideas he wanna try instead.

Licensing new titles and releasing the first volume if you want to shut down isn’t a good idea either. Why not focus on releasing the rest while you tell everyone that you are closing? That way people would find a new job or be able to finish their titles while knowing what the future brings.

April 16, 2011 at 11:15 am
(8) f0calizer says:

Indeed, people are losing their jobs with Tokyopop closing its doors, and we the manga fans have not forgotten them. At the same time, one hopes they’ve already made contingency plans given the very clear signs over the past year that TP was circling the drain. And if somehow the company lulled these employees into a false sense of job security, then even more blame should be heaped upon the executives. The frustration and sadness of fans over the suspension (at best) or the utter disappearance (at worst) of many manga titles translated and published by TP is something the employees themselves would also share, I suspect.

April 16, 2011 at 12:19 pm
(9) Kayla says:

I was never big fan of Tokyopop or the way they operated- but it is very sad to see them go. As a future translator of Japanese to English documents (media or otherwise) it makes me worry about how much demand there will be fore someone with my skills :/ And it makes me worry about what all of the people out of jobs are going to do- the economy is bad enough already. This whole thing just seems to be a mess for everyone involved :(

April 16, 2011 at 1:04 pm
(10) Neo-Shonen Fujoshi says:

I was a freelance copy editor on more than 40 Tokyopop manga books, so I was involved in at least part of the process there. The Tokyopop staff has always been professional and very good to work with. The last time I was at the Tokyopop office, it was like a ghost town, with a handful of people left where a hundred employees used to be.

I’m not going to judge Stu Levy or anything else about this situation. I’m still trying to process this news and what it means for the industry. Tokyopop is now the third manga publisher I’ve freelanced for that has closed its doors (the others being Broccoli and Aurora). The next time you’re at Borders (if there are any left near you!) or Barnes & Noble, look at the manga aisle and all of the Tokyopop titles that are there. This closure signifies a sea change in the manga industry. I don’t know what will happen after this.

April 27, 2011 at 12:04 am
(11) Amanda says:

Yeah, that’s what really scares me.

May 1, 2011 at 6:37 am
(12) zoomzoom says:

I can tell you the future.

Those people who worked nearly free for Tokyopop will find something better to do, I really pray they will.

The titles will die out. Only a few titles may be continued by other companies, rest will be forgotten. Sux if it’s one of your favorites.

Change in the manga industry…nah. You see Tokyopop just carries on in Germany. The ones being hit are those in America…and those who from europe buy from America since they can’t french or german and their country doesn’t release manga except One Piece and Naruto.

April 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm
(13) Paploo says:

Sad that TP’s gone, and MangaFox is still operational. It’s horrible that manga fans still support businesses like that who steal from artists, and companies like TP that supported countless freelancers, employees and japanese artists are closing shop.

It all got me thinking about the royalties — Tokyopop closing is probably going to cost countless manga artists their royalties as books go out of print, licenses fall into limbo while contracts are sorted out, and future books [and their accompanying advances] that aren’t published because there’s fewer publishers to license then. Some artists will probably be out of thousands of dollars, and some might even be into the tens of thousands for the best selling titles in TP’s catalogue.

Pretty scary stuff to think about for them.

Borders bankruptcy definitely did them in though, and I’m hopeful that other manga companies will survive the storm- it makes Kodansha’s moves with Randomhouse and Vertical a relief in the long run.

May 1, 2011 at 6:42 am
(14) zoomzoom says:

Indeed I find that sad too. Mangafox being online while a company dies. If you ask me then all online readers shouldn’t be allowed to keep more than the first volume (or first chapter if it’s one volume manga title) as to present the title to reader who can then go and buy it.

Heck they are earning money on something that other people did for free, for others to enjoy.

Now that we are with Mangafox, let’s get mangareader, manga toshokan, and the rest online readers too. Let’s not forget NarutoFan who actually takes money for people’s download while the online readers earn on commercial, this dude takes money from readers like was he a licensor.

We should go after the commercial people too. They know something illegal is happening and they still allow it by having them their adds on their site….

April 16, 2011 at 11:12 pm
(15) Roberto Carlos says:

I’m very sad.

And I’m from Brazil. It’s hard import manga, and now this.

I hope someone publish Aria.

April 17, 2011 at 4:59 am
(16) Tyler says:

Does this happen in Japan? What about Europe, or other places around the globe?

Is it really related to people reading scans? Does it really affect sales that much? Or is it general North American distain for make-believe in paper form?

It frightens me, it really does. I’m very sad for the people involved, and I’m sad for the people who love the medium.

May 1, 2011 at 6:45 am
(17) zoomzoom says:

It’s only America, the rest of the globe seems to be fine. Well…it’s only tokyopop, Yen press seems fine.
So someone did something wrong.

July 27, 2011 at 10:17 am
(18) caLlgirLsberlin says:

I also think, that it will only affect the american market, as it is still available in the EU. For me scans are not that fine, books and newspapers perhaps, but with manga: I like them more in paper form.

April 19, 2011 at 4:28 pm
(19) Cecelia says:

With 6 Blu series titles, 27 suspended TP series titles, and 29 current TP series I’ve been following it will be a major blow to my manga reading.
A major case of mangas-interuptus, especially any titles that only had one or two volumes left to finish. Netcomics and GoComic! zinged me bad enough, but were minor compared to TP.
Finally a new volume of Love Pistols and Junjo Romantica and now they might not see the light of day? Hopefully at least the Blu publications can/will be transfered to June for continuation.
Rant over. But it is a melancholy feeling losing so many of the characters I’ve followed for so long, like a whole bunch of imaginary friends dying.

April 19, 2011 at 8:14 pm
(20) Gr8Sk8r says:

Thanks for GTO it changed my life.

April 19, 2011 at 9:32 pm
(21) J Perry says:

I remember my brother saying that the earthquake in Japan would affect a lot of changes to the anime/manga industry. He said it was likely that b/c of the earthquake, tsunami and now the radiation from the nuclear plants displacing a lot of citizens, we would see a tapering off or even a stopping of any new manga or anime. I cringed when he said this b/c my brother’s predictions are pretty on the mark.

What neither of us imagined is how quickly it would affect us here in the United States. As I look at my shelves full of manga, 1/2 of my collection has TP symbols. Sadly quite a few of those are titles that never got a chance to be finished here in the US b/c they were put on hiatus by TP. I’ve even more saddened when I think that some of my favorite titles are about to follow suit. =_= I honestly hoped and tried to have faith that TP would stick to it…but they didn’t. This is just too sad b/c I’m truly involved in those stories and I’ll never get a chance to find out how they conclude.

May 1, 2011 at 6:47 am
(22) zoomzoom says:

Yes, I’m with you there. I see I’m not the only one who lost 1/2 of their titles because of this.

You see I learned from the first drop they did, I decided to learn japanese. True I may never know the end of the korean titles I bought from them but the japanese I will. Hopefully…

April 20, 2011 at 6:26 pm
(23) beccanlargo says:

I’m with Tokyopop.NO MATTER WHAT! they will always be what I think of when I think English language manga. Everyone at TP’s L.A. branch, we wish you all the best. Everyone I’ve ever talked to at TP has been nothing but helpful & courteous whenever I had a question or comment.Hell, even when I had a problem the were nice! Tokyopop rocks always has (MIXX) always will!

May 1, 2011 at 6:52 am
(24) zoomzoom says:

ahhh… someone who bought 1-2 titles from them. I envy you, I really do. I wish I hadn’t wasted that much on their titles and I would have been saved too.

The only thing I agree on is that they were really nice as the start of their career.
I bought manga when they released Samurai deeper Kyo and GTO…at that time I asked them a question about some other titles and they answered them just a nicely back. That was a feeling of something great. Someone who actually respect their buyers.
Then some years after I asked about their censoring in manga titles and argumented that it was stupid to censor since we aren’t communists. The answer on the forum by their staff was: THEN DON’T BUY IT IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT!
Totally disrespect and I wondered if I would have bought the title if I knew it was going to be censored.

April 20, 2011 at 7:58 pm
(25) manekoneko says:

I am just hearing this news now and I am stunned. Of course, I think of myself first and worry about what I am going to read in the future. It seems that blow after blow has happened to the manga industry. I don’t agree the manga revolution has been won, it seems to be losing from my point of view. I feel sorry too for yet more people losing their jobs in this field, many of whom will probably give up their ideals. Manga in English, even after the economy improves, may be a fond memory at this rate.

April 24, 2011 at 2:29 pm
(26) jenelen says:

It isn’t the first time Tokyopop publication of manga just stopped with one or a few books left in the series. My collections attest to that. They just went on with no response as to what would happen, nothing did.

I really hate that another American business has been lost, not just for the individuals but the economy as well.

I really love manga nd I am no teen.

April 26, 2011 at 1:03 pm
(27) ParkerMMP says:

I understand exactly how you feel. I really enjoy manga and constantly kept up with the updates for new issues coming out but now I’m wondering if I’ll be able to have a complete collection in the future.

May 1, 2011 at 6:54 am
(28) zoomzoom says:

I totally agree. But the big drop came when they dropped a lot and used the excuse: “We will now work on what we want to work on” …that had a really bad image in my head…

April 26, 2011 at 2:58 pm
(29) Jettneko says:

The first to toll the death knell was ADV in Sept. 2009. Then Aurora Publishing (04/10), CMX & Go Comi died together a month later (05/10), and then Infinity Studios (09/10 but they’d actually been wasting away for more than a year before that so it felt like they were the first to go). And now Tokyopop whose death date will be from 04/11 to 06/11 (which is when they’ll stop releasing manga).

I recently talked to an intern of TP, and she said she knows for sure that they’ll release for the next month or two but after that, who knows? She hopes that one of the other publishers out there will purchase the licenses of the more popular ones at TP so that at least those won’t go into limbo like the rest of the titles at TP have (I find it kinda sad that not even someone who is working there knows any more than any of us, but I do understand she’s only an intern. As far as I can tell, interns are the few that are still there ~Ah the benefits of free labor).

I think all we have now is DarkHorse, DelRey, Viz, EigoMANGA (which features OEM manga), Digital Manga, and the new kid on the block, Yen Press. Only 6 publishers left, and I don’t know how many of them will be able to pick up titles. In fact, I’d be interested to find out how many titles *have* been picked up in the past from the dead companies. Anyone know of any titles that got rescued from dead or dying companies?

May 1, 2011 at 7:00 am
(30) zoomzoom says:

Viz will never die since it’s root are from japan. Though they drop as they want too.
Delrey seems to be dying…not sure though.
Yen Press seems to be having fun.
The OEM and digital ones I will jump over but I will mention sevensea to you since you forgot them.
Darkhorse…ahhh Darkhorse, one of the very old manga releasors and still alive. I like them, yes their manga is a bit more expensive but I get quality and gurantee that my manga will get finished.

The only one you should keep your eye on is Kodansha. Why? since it’s japanese n it’s from them tokyopop and delrey got their licenses from. They have opened in USA now n are releasing some of the titles the others dropped plus some old ones like….Sailor Moon ;)
They will slowly bring more to usa as soon as they become more steady.

May 1, 2011 at 5:24 pm
(31) Jettneko says:

Has Viz dropped titles? I only know about Kaze Hikaru, but now they’ve scheduled Vol. 19 for Aug 2011. I can’t wait! ^_^ They’re the first publisher I’ve seen put a manga on haitus and then actually start it up again.

Del Rey…hmm. They’re still scheduling xxxHolic so IDK??

I love Yen Press! Reasons: 1)they finished all the titles from the defunct Ice Kunion. 2) they use a higher quality paper. 3) full-color glossy inserts! 4) they’ve rescued titles that companies like ADV cast aside (like Yotsuba&!), and that they are publishing OEMs like the amazing Nightschool (OMG so good! you have to buy it & the The Witch & the Wizard). All I can say is Viva la Yen Press!

Never been a fan of yaoi, so I completely forgot about almost all of their publishers. But thanks for pointing it out.

Dark Horse is expensive? I only collect the Bride of the Water God, which only cost $9.95, so I haven’t noticed they’re more expensive.

I will definitely continue to buy from all the publishers I mentioned. Viz is going to be 75% of my collection eventually.

I remember now hearing about Kodansha and I’m actually excited to buy from them esp. since they’ve rescued my fave titles (perhaps there is hope for some of the more popular titles previously owned by TP *prays they’ll pick up V.B. Rose since there’s only 2 volumes left.*)

April 26, 2011 at 6:57 pm
(32) Mark McClain says:

Well this surely stinks. I have been an avid collector of manga fom them and it saddens me that I will not be able to buy any more of their titles but Ce La Vie. I guess this means that more manga will only be available online and for those of us that don’t have a PC will once again get left out in the cold. However, as someone once said, ‘thems the breaks kiddies’.

April 27, 2011 at 12:01 am
(33) Amanda says:

I am very sad to hear this. I’ve been on TokyoPop’s mailing list for so many years, and have a huge collection of their printed manga’s. First Shojo Beat ended ( a wonderful magazine, and website, with manga, craft idea’s, update, recipes, the works! It is hard enough finding a lot of this information when you live so far from Japan, and it feels like there is little to offer in our country in finding that kind of information and stories. Will this make it that much harder to get manga? To get more great ideas and such from Japanese culture? Is this going to be the beginning of the end of the influence we had begun to feel strongly for the last decade? I for one still want to know I can purchase manga and not have to search the web in hopes that someone will translate it.

To that end, I am very sorry to see you go TokyoPop, just as Shojo Beat has left (though to this day I know not why). I hope the artists and those who worked there will make it through. I’ll miss you.

April 28, 2011 at 4:12 pm
(34) Sklyer says:

I like many others, will miss Tokyopop. I have two of the series they published and love another they published, and though they are ones that are completed, I still will have to find all the volumes for them. It saddens me that I will most likely after I buy, or possibly, find the remaining volumes of the series, never buy another Tokyopop book again… I wish the employees of Tokyopop well. As far as the debate on the war… I think it was furthered by Tokyopop, but it is up to us as the fans to continue. It is up to the fans to ultimately win. Maybe someday Tokoyopop will make a comeback in the American market, as for now, thank you for all that you did. We as fans may not always show it, but we where and are very thankful for all the awesome manga’s you brought to the US =)

May 4, 2011 at 3:13 am
(35) Miyu says:

I’m feel sad about this, but not angry. What is there to be angry at? I feel sad because the manga being sold in America just got cut down quite a bit. Don’t get me wrong, i am grateful for the manga sellers in america, it’s just tp had all of the series im trying to get all of the books of. I hope that someday they will be able to build out again and come back to america.

May 6, 2011 at 2:56 pm
(36) Random says:

I just heard about this today, how sad. I havent kept up with TP in the last few years because I frankly didn’t have any disposable cash lol The last titles I got from them were Realbout Highschool , otherwise I’d read them at borders. I figured something like this would happen though once Borders started shutting down, I think there’s only one left in my area. Sad to see them go though, I feel bad not only for the workers there but for all the artists as well. Where will they go now? I suppose now a days if you honestly want to be a cartoonist in this world today, it’ll have to be a work of pure love and love alone, cuz I have a feeling it won’t be paying the bills for a long time.

May 19, 2011 at 9:16 pm
(37) Darmlongsack says:

Great just FUCKING GREAT well there Goes the REVOLUTION……NOW WHo is gonna Re-Lead the Revolution? Tp was THE SOURCE For ALL and MOST OF MY MANAG COLLECSHON!!!!!! *sigh* Well NO NEED To Get Emotional But we must ALSO Take into Consideratio nwhat the HELL REALLY IS GOING ON!!!!! *sigh* ….. “Every Moment Defines a Person, a Man, a Woman, a Child. It just Depoends on which Momentr We WANT TO BE DEFINE AS. What do you Want to be DEFINE AS?” – Darmlongsack.

May 22, 2011 at 3:49 am
(38) Nanashi says:

It’s never a good sign when one of the largest providers of manga has to shut its doors. Hopefully, they will be considerate enough to allow others to continue publishing series rather than allowing them to be permanently discontinued. That would be too great a loss.

May 24, 2011 at 10:06 pm
(39) PANG says:

im very upset right now because it just bothers me that there are not even finsh and TOKYOPOP is shuting without even finishing the mangas. im more sad than mad. i really hope you finish most of the manga at least.

June 6, 2011 at 8:33 pm
(40) Margarita says:

I cant believe that Tokypop is closind down!!!!!!!Hello what does that mean for us readers?Will our favorite manga still be release?Are will it not!???I hope Maid Sama by Hiro Fujiwara still gets release!!!!!!!!????!!!!!!!Its one of my favorite Manga’s EVER!!!!!!!!!!

June 12, 2011 at 12:17 pm
(41) MarieAnimeFreak says:

I can’t believe it :( why?????

June 14, 2011 at 10:25 am
(42) KiwiOtaku says:

It is unfortunate for the workers in the American branch of Tokyopo, the mangakas whose mangas they publish and their consumers that this has happened. I believe that the economic downturn is a contributor and recognize that scanlation aggregator sites are also to blame.

But I also have to admit that I am one of those people who read manga from sites such as mangafox and mangareaders. A part of me is ashamed of doing this but then again it’s basically the only practical thing I can do. Tokyopop and I’m sure many other big Western publishers have a habit of buying the licenses of mangas and only publishing the really mainstream ones like Naruto or Bleach at a decent pace while being far more sporadic with other series. They also tend to drop series that aren’t as popular and this leaves people who have spent alot of money in buying their mangas an unfinished collection after months if not years of investment.

This is why I go to scanlators more often than not, to be able to enjoy manga without months or years of absence between volumes, I mean if a bunch of teenagers living in 4 different countries can form a scanlation group and translate manga chapters in a week for free why can’t a big company with PAID translators like Tokyopop? Hell I’ve seen better translations of manga by scanlators than I have in the “official” translations!

June 14, 2011 at 10:26 am
(43) KiwiOtaku says:

Continued from my previous post:

Also I live in NZ so it’s even harder to get anything OTHER than Naruto/Bleach/One Piece here than it is in the states, and even those mainstream ones take forever to arrive on my shores.
I remember some snobby conformists scoffed at me once and said “Why don’t you buy them from Amazon or other online manga shops then?” well the answer to that is I don’t want to spend 30 US dollars on international shipping for a manga that has already cost me $20 US. over 50 bucks (after currency exchange) for one flipping manga volume!? Then there’s the chance it won’t even arrive to my mailbox since it has to travel halfway around the world.

Ultimately I blame corporate decisions of companies like Tokyopop for their downfalls. Too many fingers in too many pies and then you don’t even finish eating them. scanlator groups only appeared because the people were unhappy with the current situation. It’s a bit like bootlegging during the US prohibition. Make it hard for people to get what they want to consume and someone’s gonna provide an easier way.

June 30, 2011 at 10:54 pm
(44) Dangeruese says:

I mostly rent manga from the library but like others here I too tire of the sporadic release dates so I search the online free websites like mangafox and mangareader for manga that has been discontinued or left in limbo. Tokyopop has been dropping more and more titles for months. First it was Rebirth, then Loveless and the Chronicles of the Cursed Sword. Then I hear that Rave Master was dropped to be, THANK GOD, picked up by Kondasha/DelRey. Face it folks, this was a long time coming. Tokyopop’s website was a mass of forum messages asking why volumes were not being released of manga that people loved. I myself saw them when I had the patience to use their website which was poorly designed and slowed my computer’s internet because of the website’s design. I would spend 3minutes waiting for 1 page to load when I tried to navigate it. For now I will scour DelRey, Viz and Yen Press’s websites for Tokyopop titles and in the meantime there is mangafox and manga reader when I have run out of manga to read the library. I can always rely on Viz to release a new volume every other month on most of the titles. For anyone interested I am debating starting a group on Facebook to allow fellow manga lovers to keep track of what happens to our favorite Tokyopop titles.

August 8, 2011 at 2:05 am
(45) Nerual says:

This is truly saddening, and I can’t really be mad at anyone specific for this. But it is sad to think of all the series that will now never be finished. All the years waiting between volumes of loved manga’s and we will never know what happens. I hope all those who worked at Tokyopop are not unemployed long. I hope this will not be the end, for it looks very bleak at present.

August 11, 2011 at 8:18 am
(46) MimmyCheese says:

Well who’s gonna translate our manga now? ;___;

August 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm
(47) Rosa says:

I loved TokyoPop. I read my first manga published by them nearly 6 years ago! When the “New Type USA” magazine died off, then ADV Manga/Films, then Broccoli, I was reakky sad. :( Then ToykoPop surprises with their US closing! I own so many TokyoPop titles! Even if it was a bit amatuerish, I highly enjoyed the English-language “Bizenghast.” (I have the art book and the novel, too) It only had one more volume to go! …This makes me sad.

January 11, 2012 at 8:47 am
(48) DnangelLover says:

I cannot, I will not accept that Tokyopop is shutting its doors. Tokyopop was the one company that totally took my normal turn for the worse life, into a life I never could have imagined. 5 years ago was that time. I read DNAngel non-stop. Than I got into more and more, and the things that aren’t finished, well I can’t stand that. Well to the point, in my eyes, Tokyopop isn’t just a publisher. It’s the one thing, that had seriously taken my life to the fullest. So I say that Tokyopop should stay.

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