Now, it’s not really any secret that I dig me some anime. I have watched quite a few (though not as many as I would like). And like most otaku, that means I have also delved quite a bit into the world of manga. I have amassed a nice collection of manga. Unfortunately, I have some collections that I don’t know if they will ever be complete.
They lured me in with a great and interesting story and characters that I cared about. Then, almost out of nowhere, Tokyopop publishing in the US pulled its plug and was no longer going to release any more manga. That happened in 2011.
And that’s a shame, because there are some pretty awesome manga titles out there that I have no idea if they’ve been picked up by another US manga publisher and if I’ll ever see them re-released. Some of those titles are incredibly popular.
The only title that I’m completely aware was picked up is Loveless. It was picked up by Viz and they’ve decided to re-release the 9 volumes that have already been released by Tokyopop as omnibus manga (3 volumes in 1). I’m very glad to hear that. I really like Loveless, while the storyline is fairly unorthodox and could be considered borderline illegal, the story itself is wonderful as is the artwork.
Tokyopop also held the manga license for Axis Powers Hetalia (or Hetalia: Axis Powers). I love Hetalia for its ability to teach the basics of the history involved with the different countries involved in World War II. It even enlightened people to the existence of the Principality of Sealand. Making the different countries in to people and creating a more child-friendly approach to teaching history is actually a great idea. Thankfully, Hetalia didn’t wind up in limbo. It’s being released by Right Stuf.
Then there’s the wonderful fantasy manga 07-Ghost. A series that I started getting into thanks to watching the anime series. I truly appreciate the depth they have given Teito’s story. As I continued to read the story, I wanted to know more about the world, about the ghosts and what actually happens. It’s incredibly well-written. I was also afraid that this title would also wind up in limbo. Thankfully, Viz swooped in again to pick up the license and is releasing 07-Ghost (Tokyopop only released 3 volumes before folding).
And then there’s one of my favorite warped and incredibly interesting series, Deadman Wonderland. The story of a child imprisoned for a crime he never committed and learning of a special ability he had. Of course, this is a grossly understated version of the plot. Deadman Wonderland is so much more than that. It’s a story that I would like to see more about. Only 51 volumes of the story have been released before the manga-ka (artist) took a sabbatical. Of the 11 volumes of the series that have been released in Japan, Tokyopop managed to release only 5. To this day, it doesn’t seem that anyone has picked up this license. That’s a shame because the series is amazing. It’s well worth reading. It goes far beyond what was shown in the anime.
There are a lot more titles that are out there, and if you used to read a specific title that was released by Tokyopop and was midway through the storyline, it might be worth checking out if the title has been re-licensed by another publisher.
So, if Tokyopop is no longer publishing, how is it that they’re still producing e-mail newsletters?
Tokyopop has been reborn by the Nerdist. I’m glad that of the new largely online networks, one decided to pick up Tokyopop and continue it as a place for news about interesting anime-related happenings (or at least that’s my understanding of it). To see what Tokyopop’s been up to lately, click here.
While I’m glad to see that Tokyopop still exists somewhere in the US; I am still saddened that they had to shut down their US publishing. They held the license to some pretty amazing titles (like Trinity Blood, Gravitation and Marmalade Boy). It saddens me to think that some of their more classic titles might not see the light of day in the US again. I’m not 100% sure that’s the case, but if it is, that’s quite sad. Hopefully a lot of the great titles they were bringing us will once again see the light of the US day.