NEWS!!!Tokyopop Closing At End of May
Tokyopop has announced that it will close its Los Angeles-based North American publishing operations as of May 31st. The company’s film, TV, and European operations, including its Hamburg, Germany-based publishing and international rights sales will continue.
We’ll report on what that means for the company’s publishing schedule in the U.S. as information becomes available.
Priest, a big budget movie based on the manhwa series by Hyung Min-woo (published by Tokyopop) opens on May 13th (see “A Second Trailer for Priest”).
Tokyopop revolutionized the English-language manga business with its “authentic manga” program in 2002, bringing manga to bookstores and comic stores in a left-to-right trade paperback format similar to the way manga is published in Japan (see “Tokyopop to Publish Manga in Japanese Format”). The new format, coupled with substantial outreach to new customers, especially teen girls in bookstores, brought legions of new fans to manga and comics in North America.
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.
It’s hard to overstate the impact founder Stu Levy and his team, including longtime publisher Mike Kiley and former COO John Parker (who left for Diamond Book Distributors earlier this year, see “Tokyopop Goes to DBD”) had on the acceptance of Japanese pop culture in the U.S. As founder Levy put it in a statement accompanying the announcement (see "Stu Levy's Personal Message"), “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!).”
News: Dark Horse Comics Lays Off 7 Employees
Including editors of Trigun, Gantz, Blade of the Immortal, Star Wars manga
ANN confirmed that the North American publisher Dark Horse Comics laid off seven employees on Tuesday. The Beat website reported that the affected employees included Tim Ervin and David Land, two editors who worked on the manga titles at the company.
Among other titles, Ervin edited Trigun, Gantz, Hellsing, Blade of the Immortal, Oh My Goddess!, Lone Wolf and Cub, Gunsmith Cats, Appleseed, 3x3 Eyes, and Cannon God Exaxxion. Land edited What's Michael?, Drakuun, Star Wars: A New Hope, and the other Star Wars manga adaptations.
Dark Horse Comics had about 100 employees before Tuesday.
News: Fruits Basket's Takaya to Start Liselotte & Witch's Forest
Fantasy is Natsuki Takaya's 2nd manga since Fruits Basket ended in 2006
This year's 10th issue of Hakusensha's Hana to Yume magazine is announcing on Wednesday that Fruits Basket creator Natsuki Takaya will launch a manga series called Liselotte and Witch's Forest (Liselotte to Majo no Mori) in the 12th issue on May 20. The "fantasy of love and courage" centers around Liselotte — a girl who, until now, has lived a different life from others on the very easternmost tip of a country. Takaya will draw the front cover of Hana to Yume's 12th issue as well as a color opening page for the new manga's first 52-page chapter.
Takaya is best known for her 1998-2006 Fruits Basket manga which Tokyopop first published in North America in 2004. Director Akitaro Daichi and Studio DEEN adapted the story into a 2001 television anime series which Funimation began releasing in North America the following year. After Takaya ended Fruits Basket in 2006, she drew Hoshi wa Utau (Twinkle Stars Like Singing A Song) from 2007 until this year.
News: R&B Duo Chemistry (FMA, Gundam UC) to Perform at Otakon
Dance group Synergy to also perform at July 29-31 event in Baltimore
Otakon announced that the R & B duo Chemistry and the dance group Synergy will both perform at this year's July 29-31 event at the Baltimore Convention Center in Maryland. Chemistry will appear in an afternoon concert on Friday, July 29.
Chemistry performed several theme songs for anime, including "Period” for the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood television series and “merry-go-round” for the Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn original video anime series. Other contributions include Astro Boy's "Now or Never" (with m-flo), Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny's "Wings Of Words," Toward the Terra's "This Night," and Antique Bakery's "Life goes on~side K~" and "Life goes on~side D~." Yoshikuni Dōchin and Kaname Kawabata debuted as Chemistry in 2001 with three consecutive #1 singles ("Pieces of a Dream," "Point of No Return," "You Go Your Way"); the two celebrated their 10th anniversary last month with the album Chemistry 2001-2011.
Chemistry collaborated with the dance quartet Synergy on the 2010 single "Shawty" and the upcoming November song "Keep Your Love."
News: Zetsubō, Katteni Kaizō Manga to Swap Magazines Briefly
Kôji Kumeta's comedy manga titles run in rivals Shonen Magazine, Shonen Sunday
The editor of Kôji Kumeta's Joshiraku manga revealed on Thursday that Kumeta's Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei and Katteni Kaizō comedy manga will briefly switch magazines two weeks from now. The publisher Kodansha has been serializing Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei in Weekly Shonen Magazine, and Kodansha's rival Shogakukan serialized Katteni Kaizō in Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine from 1998 to 2004.
However, this year's combined 22nd/23rd issue of Weekly Shonen Magazine will feature a special installment of Katteni Kaizō. Conversely, Weekly Shonen Sunday will run an installment of Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei.
Not coincidentally, the first anime adaptation of Katteni Kaizō will launch on May 25, about one month after the two magazines' collaborative project. Shogakukan has been reprinting the Katteni Kaizō manga in a new edition to mark Kumeta's 20th anniversary as a manga creator. The Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei anime franchise is getting three Blu-ray boxes between March and July.
Del Rey published the eighth volume of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei in North America last November, and Kodansha USA Publishing's Kodansha Comics imprint will take over the series as of the ninth volume in June
News: Viz Confirms Gintama Manga 23 Is Final N. American Volume
Retailers' descriptions call 23rd volume "final"; manga still ongoing in Japan
North American anime and manga distributor Viz Media has confirmed with ANN that volume 23 of Gintama is the last one that the company intends to publish.
Amazon, Anime Castle, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Buy.com, and other retailers list the 23rd volume of Hideaki Sorachi's manga Gintama as the series' "final volume" in North America from Viz Media, even though the manga's Japanese publisher, Shueisha, just released the 39th volume on April 4 in Japan. The 23rd volume will ship in North America on August 2.
The company's Twitter account acknowledged the matter publicly but did not provide further information.
Viz launched the Gintama manga in the United States in 2007. The media distribution site Crunchyroll began streaming the television anime adaptation in 2009, and is currently simulcasting the anime's return to television, which began in Japan on April 4. Sentai Filmworks and Section23 Films are releasing the anime on DVD.
Interest: Ghibli Museum to Unveil Adult-Sized Catbus in June
Spirited Away's restaurant, Howl's Moving Castle's shop, Mononoke's forest also recreated
The Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan will unveil a new special exhibition in June with life-size recreations of famous backgrounds from Ghibli films — including an adult-sized reproduction of the catbus (nekobus) from Hayao Miyasaki's My Neighbor Totoro anime film.
The museum already has a large plush catbus on permanent display, but it is child-sized — only children are allowed to enter the catbus and play in it with piles of plush black "dust bunnies" (makkuro kurosuke) from the film. Similarly, the United States has hosted a travelling exhibition with a plush catbus for children. However, the first room of the Ghibli Museum's new exhibit will have a catbus big enough for adults. From inside the catbus, visitors can see a recreation of the natural landscape seen in My Neighbor Totoro.
Visitors can then "disembark" from the catbus into the exhibit's second room which will have a recreation of the Tokyo-area antique shop from the Whisper of the Heart film. The second room will also have the restaurant that the spirits visited in Spirited Away, as well as the milliner's hat shop where Sophie works in Howl's Moving Castle and the lush forest of the Shishi-Gami in Princess Mononoke.
The "Nekobus kara Mita Fūkei-ten" exhibition will run from June 4, 2011 to May, 2012.Source: Anime News Network & ICv2