Anime Reel – Anime & Manga TV News

Tokyopop US Operations Shutting Down

Posted on: April 15, 2011

Tokyopop, a pioneer in the manga translation/adaptation market, announced today that they are shutting down their US publishing operations. Founded in 1997, they started off as Mixx and published MixxZine, which included the popular Sailor Moon and Magic Knight RayEarth comics.

MixxZine issue 3. If it wasnt already a collectors item...

Later they changed their name to Tokyopop, and expanded into publishing standalone manga paperbacks. They’ve had a checkered history with fans, but the main draw was always the content. Titles like Fruits Basket, Cowboy Bebop, and Cardcaptor Sakura were brought over and translated (some would say adapted) for English-speaking audiences.

Fruits Basket, one of Tokyopops most popular titles.

They had a penchant for branching out into new areas. They started publishing original English-language manga-style comics. They published Korean manhwa. They even started a reality show called “America’s Greatest Otaku” (streaming on Hulu).

However, earlier this year, it became clear that Tokyopop’s days were numbered. They laid off most of the editorial and management staff in February and March. Much of this was put into motion by Borders’ bankruptcy and liquidation in February, as a major retail partner was now gone.

Outspoken founder Stu Levy posted a note on the Tokyopop website recounting the company’s history (from his perspective). The Germany-based publishing operations will remain, as well as the film and TV divisions.

Will we remember Tokyopop fondly? What do you think?

2 Responses to "Tokyopop US Operations Shutting Down"

It’s a bittersweet goodbye – my first volumes of manga were from Tokyopop, along with most of my favorite series. But, on the flip side, TP hasn’t been good in a long while in my opinion.

That said, I’m still sad to see ’em go.

I officially lost what little respect I had for Tokyo-pop when that “America’s Greatest Otaku” thing was announced. It seems rather silly to glorify American “otaku” culture; especially when the term “American otaku” is a contradiction, and a large one at that.

So, as much as I enjoyed (some of) their contributions to the comic industry, I’m not sad to see them go. Out with the old, in with the new, as they say.

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