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Tokyopop shutting down (USA)

Manga and Anime Addicts

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Apr 15, 2011, 3:34pm Top

Very, very sad news: Tokyopop is shutting down US publishing


Tokyopop wasn't my favorite manga publisher, but they did publish some of my favorite series. Their closing down is huge, and they will be sorely missed.

Apr 15, 2011, 3:38pm Top

yep this is huge.. It isn't my favorite publisher either because of their crappy website and you never know when a series is gonna canceled by them... but still it's sad. Saiyuki Reload 10 will never come out.. *sniff* Also I will miss the 12 Kingdoms-novels. Thank god there is still tokyopop in europe/germany.

Edited: Apr 15, 2011, 4:08pm Top

Well, I guess ARIA will never finish English publication. :(

But except for ARIA, I don't follow or care to follow any Tokyopop publications, so I dunno if I'm particularly bothered, except as an indicator of the business as a whole. I started reading/buying manga in 2009 and never had a good impression of their books... ARIA was the only one that appealed to me enough to buy, and they were so shitty about putting it out, and then the quality of #4 and #5 was disappointing (#6 was improved, though).

ETA: I looked around, and am seeing where maybe they'll still operate in North America, but be based out of Germany entirely? It isn't clear, but that's probably either because the news is so recent or my reading comprehension is kind of sucky right now.

Also, dumbasses, they have "opening 30% off everything!" on their front page for the TokyopopShop, but when you click through, there's no shop available.

Apr 15, 2011, 4:49pm Top

I was sad to hear it, but the way the CEO (Stu Levy) has been running the company, it's hardly a surprise. He can't seem to follow through with any of the great ideas he's had for the company, and when they fired the last editors earlier this year I figured it was only a matter of time before the company went completely belly up.

Apr 16, 2011, 8:08am Top

Pretty much agree with everything that's been said so far. Here's a nice write up about some of the issues by Brigid Alverson over at Comic Book Resources' Robot 6:


Apr 18, 2011, 9:17am Top

I so hope someone else will pick up Aria. That's the only TP title I still collect. Sad news though, I always hate to see a publisher go under or a bookstore close, even if it has been badly run.

Apr 19, 2011, 2:25pm Top

Tokyopop Germany did release the last volume (2in1) this month, thank god. So if you speak german a little bit.. you could import it.

Apr 21, 2011, 6:44am Top

>7 zierli:: Thanks, I'll look into that. I can read German fairly well and it would be a good way to keep practicing.

Edited: Apr 28, 2011, 9:58am Top

I do not keep track of stuff in the manga world and I've been really busy with exams, so this is the first time I hear about it.
Unfortunately all of my manga are in boxes at the moment so it's harder to tell what I'm missing. When I first started to read manga I only read tokyopop, recently I've been reading a lot of shojobeat.

I guess I'll have to try and find all of the volumes I'm missing before I can no longer read them (Mars 4, Fake, ?)

"In an interview with ICv2, Stuart Levy revealed that the layoffs were due to Borders, Tokyopop's largest customer, filing bankruptcy in March 2011, no longer carrying Tokyopop stock, and not paying debts that the company owed to Tokyopop." (wiki)

Apr 30, 2011, 1:15am Top

Most of the series I read from TokyoPop were completed except for Loveless. I loved that series and unless there were only supposed to be 8 volumes, I won't be able to finish it. I'm pretty sure I read that there was a 9th one released in Japan.

Apr 30, 2011, 3:53am Top

It had nothing to do with Stu Levy. What happened to them was bankruptcy...Borders' bankruptcy. Stu Levy has publically said that 3/4 of profit comes from books on the shelf, not internet site purchases. When Borders filed for bankruptcy, they petitioned the court to let them get out of paying their bills. This means that Tokyopop is not going to get paid for all their product. I would guess that they're losing months of payments that they'd been waiting on, plus they're losing future sales for good. This is one giant ka-boom, a disaster that you can't prepare for. I'm so sorry for them.

Apr 30, 2011, 11:38am Top

That's a bit misleading. Why have the other publishers not gone under, then? And why was Tokyopop known to have been greatly reducing their staffing in NA for months now? And what about the various practices of Tokyopop that probably contributed to people not purchasing from them?

Sure, the Borders bankruptcy may have played a part in why they went under now, but it's not the whole reason, and it has nothing to do with why Stu Levy shut down operations entirely instead of selling the publishing division.

Apr 30, 2011, 12:22pm Top

I just saw: Tokyopop books for $3.99 at bookcloseouts.com: http://www.bookcloseouts.com/Store/Browse/TokyoPop/_/N-1z13w4k

Apr 30, 2011, 12:31pm Top



And most of the time when I went into Borders, Tokyopop was on sale, usually for buy 1 get 1 so something along those lines.

Apr 30, 2011, 3:30pm Top

re: 11 "It had nothing to do with Stu Levy. What happened to them was bankruptcy...Borders' bankruptcy."

I doubt this very much. Yes, I agree that they were hit hard by the Borders bankruptcy, and that may indeed by what forced Tokyopop into closure...but only by bumping up the closing date. I think Tokyopop's demise was inevitable the moment it was announced that they had laid off their last full-time editor and PR staff. (http://www.comicsbeat.com/2011/03/01/more-layoffs-at-tokyopop/)
I mean, let's be realistic: how can you put out a quality product consistently when there's no one around to oversee its production?

Is it fair to blame Levy for the company's demise? I think so. I wouldn't say it's *exclusively* his fault, but he hasn't seemed particularly interested in his own company for a while now. He tweeted the comment "Why have I been stuck in such an old-school, out-of-touch industry for so long?! (yes I mean books!)" a few months back, but even before that he always seemed far more interested in the video/film angle of the company rather than the books. America's Greatest Otaku, anyone? I mean, it'd be one thing if the film-license division of the company was actually going anywhere...but I can count on one hand the number of movies they've made in the past decade.


As Johanna at Comics Worth Reading said:
"They were always trying new things — digital releases, print-on-demand, price experimentation, comics adapting sci-fi TV shows. On the one hand, that kept them limber and flexible, able to experiment; on the other, that gave the company of having the business equivalent of attention-deficit disorder, unable to focus, commit to product lines, or follow through in substantial fashion. "

That ADD, it appears to me, came from the top and eventually spread down through all layers of the company.

Apr 30, 2011, 4:16pm Top

Oh, nice Comics Worth Reading link!

Johanna linked to this blog post in that one, which lists all the series that will be left unfinished, and the ones which have books coming out in May (well, probably not - they all got removed from RightStuf's catalogue), if you're interested in seeing the summary list somewhere.

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