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Tokyopop
Type Private
Genre manga, Japanese light novels, graphic novels, Original English-language manga
Founded Los Angeles, California, United States
Founder(s) Stuart J. Levy
Headquarters Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Number of locations 4
Area served North America, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom
Key people Stuart J. Levy, Founder, CEO & CCO 
John Parker , President & COO
Victor Chin, Vice President of Inventory Control
Bill Josey, General Counsel & Vice President, Business Affairs
Mike Kiley, Publisher[1]
Industry publication
Revenue $35 million (2003)[2]
Parent Mixx Entertainment
Website http://www.tokyopop.com

Tokyopop, stylized TOKYOPOP, and formerly known as Mixx, is a distributor, licensor, and publisher of anime, manga, manhwa and Original English-language manga in English, German, and Japanese. Tokyopop is incorporated in Tokyo, Japan, with headquarters in Los Angeles, California and branches in the United Kingdom and Germany. Tokyopop products are available internationally.

Contents

History

Tokyopop was originally founded in 1997 by Stuart J. Levy.[2]

When they were known as Mixx, they sold MixxZine, a manga magazine. Mixx also sold the shōjo manga anthology Smile. Mixxzine later became Tokyopop before it was discontinued. In 2005 Tokyopop began a new, free publication, called Manga (originally Takuhai), to feature their latest releases.

Tokyopop is one of the biggest manga publishers outside of Japan and as such has been attributed with popularizing manhwa in the United States. Tokyopop "published many Korean artists' work, possibly without Western fans even realizing the strips don't come from Japan. Series like King of Hell by Kim Jae-Hwan and Ra In-Soo, and the Gothic vampire tale Model by Lee So-Young are both Korean, but could easily be mistaken for manga."[3]

In March 2006, Tokyopop and HarperCollins Publishers announced a co-publishing agreement in which the sale and distribution rights of some Tokyopop manga and books, under this co-publishing license, are transferred to HarperCollins in mid-June 2006. The agreement also enables Tokyopop to produce Original English-language manga (OEL) adaptations of HarperCollins' books. Meg Cabot's books will be the first to be adapted into the manga format, while another series will be the Warriors series by Erin Hunter.[4] The first line of Tokyopop-HarperCollins OEL manga will be released in 2007 with the goal to publish up to 24 titles each year.[5]

Tokyopop has released several series based on American games, films, and characters, such as Warcraft[6][7], the Kingdom Hearts video game series, and Jim Henson films.[8] They recently released the first volume of a series based on the Hellgate: London video game in April 2008.[9]

2008 restructuring

In June 2008, the company announced that the company was being restructured, with its name being changed to Tokyopop Group, a holding group for several new subsidiaries. The existing Tokyopop operations in the United States will be split into two subsidiaries: Tokyopop, Inc. and Tokyopop Media. Tokyopop, Inc. consists of the company's existing publications business, while Tokyopop Media focuses on the company's digital and comics-to-film works.[10] Tokyopop Media will also manage the Tokypop website, which will continue to promote its publications.[11] According to Tokyopop representative Mike Kiley, the division into two companies will allow the company to "set things up in ways that would very clearly and definitively allow those businesses to focus on what they need to do to succeed. The goals in each company are different and the achievement of those goals is more realistic, more possible if everyone working in each of those companies is very clearly focused."[11]

During the restructure, Tokyopop laid off 39 positions, equating to 35-40% of its total American workforce. Most of the positions cut were those involved in the direct publication of its books.[10][11] The publication output from Tokyopop, Inc. will be scaled back. Tokyopop reported that it would be cutting the volumes released per year by approximately 50%, to an average of 20-22 volumes per month.[12][13][11]

Tokyopop's Japan division will also be split, with one unit operating under Tokyopop Media and the other becoming a subsidiary under the overall Tokyopop Group.[13] In response to Tokyopop's restructuring, declining sales, and losing 20% of its manga market share, Tokyopop UK cut its publication release schedule from approximately 25 volumes a month to 20.[14]

In December 2008, citing "dramatically low sales" in the publishing industry as a whole, Tokyopop, Inc. laid off eight more employees, including three editors, and noted that the company would have to rearrange some of its upcoming publication schedules.[15][16]

Loss of Kodansha licenses

On August 31, 2009, Tokyopop announced that Japanese manga publisher Kodansha was allowing all of its licensing agreements with both the North American and German divisions of Tokyopop to expire for reasons unknown. Due to this loss in licensing, Tokyopop was forced to leave several Kodansha series unfinished, including popular series Rave Master, Initial D, GetBackers, and Life. It also will be unable to reprint any previously published volumes, rendering all Kodansha-owned Tokyopop releases out-of-print.[17] Several other titles licensed and published by Tokyopop, including best sellers Cardcaptor Sakura, Chobits, Clover, and Magic Knight Rayearth, have been reacquired by Dark Horse Comics, though two other titles Kodansha licensed to Dark Horse have since transferred to Random House.[17][18] Samurai Deeper Kyo has been relicensed by competitor Del Rey Manga, a division of Random House, which will published the remaining volumes of the series.[17] Tokyopop notes that they expect the loss of the licenses to have minimal impact on the company economically due to their diversification of their holdings over the last few years, though they acknowledge the loss will hurt fans of the ongoing series who face uncertainty about the completion of those titles from other companies. ICv2 reports that Tokyopop will continue to publish light novels from Kodansha, and that Kodansha appears to be planning to publish its own titles through its partnership with Random House.[19] In an interview with the website Anime Vice, Tokypop Marketing Manager Kasia Piekarz notes that company was not entirely surprised by the move, stating "It wasn't completely unexpected as we haven't licensed anything new from Kodansha in quite some time. What surprised us most was that they cancelled licenses for series that were almost finished, such as Samurai Deeper Kyo and Rave Master. From a fan and collector's perspective, that doesn't make sense to us."[20]

Foreign markets

In summer 2004, Tokyopop founded its first foreign branch in Germany, headquartered in Hamburg. The first manga and manhwa by Tokyopop Germany were published in November 2004, and the first anime in fall 2005.

Also in 2004, Tokyopop set up a London, UK office that mainly imports books from the U.S. and distributes them into bookstores in the United Kingdom. Tokyopop released an anime collection in the United Kingdom market in late 2006, including titles such as Initial D and Great Teacher Onizuka. Vampire Princess Miyu was released on DVD by MVM Entertainment, and channel Toonami aired the first half of Rave Master in early 2005.

Tokyopop also distributes some of their titles to Australia and New Zealand through Funtastic who recently acquired Madman Entertainment. In Greece, Tokyopop-owned properties are licensed by AnubisComics.

Imprints

Blu Manga

Blu Manga is an imprint under which Tokyopop publishes shōnen-ai and yaoi manga titles. The imprint was launched in 2005. Initially, the company denied that it owned Blu, staying it was only distributing for another company. The company also released no editor names nor company contact info, out of fear there would be backlashes and hate mail from "moral crusaders."[21] In 2006, the company confirmed Blu was their own imprint.[22][21] Blu Manga consider that they have "non-girly" branding.[23]

Criticism

Americanization

Fans critical of possible mishandling of the Initial D property, voiced concerns regarding "editorial changes" in the language localization of the manga and anime.[24] The changes included renaming of several characters and the removal of one character's involvement in Enjo kōsai, a practice in Japan where younger women are paid to provide older men with companionship.[24][25] In a letter sent to Anime News Network, Tokyopop responded to the criticisms, noting that they felt the edits were necessary because they were marketing the series to a younger target audience than it was originally designed for in Japan. They also felt that the series would reach a larger audience if it had a broader American appeal.[24]

We also know that we have a responsibility to be true to the spirit of the original Japanese version of Initial D. So, we start having lots of late night sessions about how to present Initial D to the widest possible audience and yet still retain its core essence...We are passionate about anime and manga, and we believe in helping spread the word to as many people as we can.
—Tokyopop Staff, Anime News Network[24]

The company alleviated some of the concerns by noting that the anime series would receive an "unedited, subtitled, Japanese language" DVD release. The manga series remained edited except for the first volume, which was accidentally printed before the editing decisions were made.[24]

There are other criticisms of Tokyopop's editing of manga. The sound effects are often left untranslated, and honorifics are removed.[26] Translations of light novels have been criticized as being "stilted and unnatural to the point of being distracting",[27] and manga texts include "numerous misplaced and dangling modifiers, a couple of verb tense and punctuation errors, and a number of misused words that were probably typos that passed the spellcheck test".[28]

See also


References

  1. ^ "Exec. Team : Introduction". Tokyopop. http://www.tokyopop.com/corporate/about_us/exec._team. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  2. ^ a b Jarvis, Michael (October 26, 2003), "The Godzilla-Sized Appeal of Japan's Pop Culture", Los Angeles Times Magazine: 9, http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/access/430966331.html?dids=430966331:430966331&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Oct+26%2C+2003&author=MICHAEL+T.+JARVIS&pub=Los+Angeles+Times&edition=&startpage=I.9&desc=Metropolis+%2F+Chat+Room%3B+The+Godzilla-Sized+Appeal+of+Japan%27s+Pop+Culture 
  3. ^ Brooks, Brad; Pilcher, Tim (2005). The Essential Guide to World Comics. London: Collins & Brown. ISBN 1-84340-300-5. 
  4. ^ Comic Book Publisher Switches a Deal to HarperCollins - New York Times
  5. ^ Crum, Erin (2006). "HarperCollins Publishers and Tokyopop Announce Innovative Co-Publishing, Sales, and Distribution Agreement". HarperCollins Publishers. http://www.harpercollins.com/press/display.asp?ACT=showid&ID=423. Retrieved 2006-04-10. 
  6. ^ Blizzard: Tokyopop Publishing More Warcraft, StarCraft Manga
  7. ^ TokyoPop to Produce Warcraft Manga Trilogy: News Bulletins - Comics Bulletin
  8. ^ TOKYOPOP :: Leading the Manga Revolution for 10 Years and Beyond! ::
  9. ^ TOKYOPOP :: Leading the Manga Revolution for 10 Years and Beyond! ::
  10. ^ a b "Tokyopop to Restructure Update". Anime News Network. 2008-06-04. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-06-04/tokyopop-to-restructure-update. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Inside the Tokyopop Restructuring". ICv2. 208-06-08. http://icv2.com/articles/news/12707.html. Retrieved 2008-06-09. 
  12. ^ "Tokyopop to Restructure". Anime News Network. 2008-06-03. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-06-03/tokyopop-to-restructure. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  13. ^ a b "Tokyopop Splits into Two Companies". ICv2. 2008-06-03. http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/12677.html. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  14. ^ "Tokyopop to Cut Manga Output in United Kingdom". Anime News Network. 2008-06-12. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-06-12/tokyopop-to-cut-manga-output-in-united-kingdom. Retrieved 2008-06-12. 
  15. ^ "Manga Publisher Tokyopop Lays Off Eight More Staffers". Anime News Network. 2008-12-12. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-12-12/manga-publisher-tokyopop-lays-off-eight-more-staffers. Retrieved 2008-12-12. 
  16. ^ McDonald, Heidi (2008-12-12). "More layoffs at Tokyopop". The Beat: The News Blog of Comics Culture. Publishers Weekly. http://pwbeat.publishersweekly.com/blog/2008/12/12/more-layoffs-at-tokyopop/. Retrieved 2008-12-12. 
  17. ^ a b c "Tokyopop Confirms Its Kodansha Manga Licenses Will End". Anime News Network. August 31, 2009. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2009-08-31/tokyopop-confirms-its-kodansha-manga-licenses-will-end. Retrieved September 1, 2009. 
  18. ^ Aoki, Deb (September 1, 2009). "The Kodansha-TokyoPop Split: Which Manga Are Left in Limbo?". About.com. http://manga.about.com/b/2009/09/01/the-kodansha-tokyopop-split-which-manga-are-left-in-limbo.htm. Retrieved September 1, 2009. 
  19. ^ "No More Kodansha Manga for Tokyopop". ICv2. September 1, 2009. http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/15747.html. Retrieved September 1, 2009. 
  20. ^ Manry, Gia (September 1, 2009). "Tokyopop Talks Kodansha". Anime Vice. http://www.animevice.com/news/tokyopop-talks-kodansha/2288/. Retrieved September 1, 2009. 
  21. ^ a b Brill, Ian; Kai-Ming Cha (October 24, 2006). "New Publishers, More Titles at Yaoi-Con 2006". PW Comics Week (Publishers Weekly). http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6384211.html. Retrieved March 11, 2009. 
  22. ^ "Tokyopop Confirms Blu Label". Anime News Network. 2005-06-08. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2005-06-08/tokyopop-confirms-blu-label. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  23. ^ http://intersections.anu.edu.au/issue20/pagliassotti.htm
  24. ^ a b c d e "Tokyopop Open Letter Regarding Initial D". Anime News Network. 2002-07-13. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2002-07-13/tokyopop-open-letter-regarding-initial-d. Retrieved 2008-04-14. 
  25. ^ "Ask John: Is Edited Anime on American TV a Good Thing?". AnimeNation Blog. AnimeNation. 2003-08-29. http://www.animenation.net/blog/2003/08/29/ask-john-is-edited-anime-on-american-tv-a-good-thing/. Retrieved 2008-04-14. 
  26. ^ Anime/Manga | Mania.com
  27. ^ Anime/Manga | Mania.com
  28. ^ Anime/Manga | Mania.com

External links


Simple English

Tokyopop
Type Private
Industry publication
Genre manga, Japanese light novels, graphic novels, Original English-language manga
Founded Los Angeles, California, United States
Founder(s) Stuart J. Levy
Headquarters Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Number of locations 4
Area served North America, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom
Key people Stuart J. Levy, Founder, CEO & CCO
John Parker, President & COO
Victor Chin, Vice President of Inventory Control
Bill Josey, General Counsel & Vice President, Business Affairs
Mike Kiley, Publisher[1]
Revenue $35 million (2003)
Parent Mixx Entertainment
Website http://www.tokyopop.com

Tokyopop, and formerly known as Mixx, is a distributor, licensor, and publisher of anime, manga, manhwa and Original English-language manga in English, German, and Japanese. Tokyopop has its headquarters in Los Angeles, California and branches in the United Kingdom and Germany. Tokyopop products are available internationally.

References

Other websites








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