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Wikipedia

For the film, see Tokyo Pop.

Tokyopop (styled TOKYOPOP; formerly known as Mixx Entertainment) is an American distributor, licensor and publisher of anime, manga, manhwa and Western manga-style works. The German publishing division produces German translations of licensed Japanese properties and original English-language manga, as well as original German-language manga. Tokyopop's US publishing division publishes works in English. Tokyopop has its US headquarters near Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California. Its parent company's offices are in Tokyo, Japan and its sister company's office is in Hamburg, Germany.

Tokyopop
Parent companyPop Media Holdings
StatusActive
Founded1997; 25 years ago (1997)
FounderStuart J. Levy
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationLos Angeles, California
DistributionUnited States (Diamond Book Distributors); Germany
Publication typesManga, Japanese light novels, graphic novels, original English-language manga
Official websitetokyopop.com
The Variety Building, the former location of the Tokyopop headquarters

Contents

Early history

Tokyopop was founded in 1997 by Stuart J. Levy. In the late 1990s, the company's headquarters were in Los Angeles.

While the company was known as Mixx Entertainment, it sold MixxZine, a manga magazine where popular serials like Sailor Moon were published weekly. Mixxzine later became Tokyopop before it was discontinued.[11] Capitalizing on the popularity of Sailor Moon, Mixx also created the magazine, Smile, a magazine that was half girls’ magazine, and half shōjo manga anthology, and also continued the Sailor Moon story after being discontinued in Mixxzine.

Cultural anthropologist Rachel Thorn praised Stu Levy for opening up an untapped market for animation with the publication of Sailor Moon and other. Before Sailor Moon, the belief among entertainment executives was that "girls don't watch cartoons." Due to Sailor Moon’s immense popularity, Tokyopop discontinued the serial from its magazines, and released it separately as its first manga graphic novel. They engineered prominent book distribution via retail stores, standardized book trim size, created a basic industry-wide rating system, and developed the first-ever retail manga displays and introduced the world of graphic novels to an audience of teenage girls. Also, together with Diamond, Tokyopop offered retailers free spinner rack displays for Tokyopop manga, thereby increasing the visibility of the medium in bookstores.

Tokyopop also licensed and distributed Japanese anime. In 1996, Mixx Entertainment acquired the rights to the anime biopic of Japanese poet Kenji Miyazawa, and Stu Levy produced and directed the English version of the anime film, entitled “Spring and Chaos.” The film was directed and scripted by Shoji Kawamori, who created Super Dimensional Fortress Macross and The Vision of Escaflowne. Taste of Cinema ranked “Spring and Chaos” thirteenth in its list of Top “25 Weird Animated Movies That Are Worth Your Time.” From 2000 to 2004, Tokyopop released multiple film and television projects such as Street Fury, which Stu Levy created, GTO (English version for Showtime TV), Rave Master (English version for Cartoon Network's Toonami), and Reign: The Conqueror (English version for Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.) Tokyopop also released English version DVDs for: Initial D, Marmalade Boy, Saint Tail, Samurai Girl: Real Bout High School, Vampire Princess Miyu, Brigadoon, FMW, High School Ghostbusters.

"100% Authentic Manga"

In 2002, Tokyopop launched its line of "100% Authentic Manga", which was printed in the original Japanese right-to-left format and included the original Japanese printed sound effects.

In Japan, most published manga is written to read from right to left, but when an English translation was published in the U.S., however, the common practice was to use computer-reversed or mirror images that allowed the books to read from left to right. As a result, this distorted the artwork. Tokyopop's decision to use the original right-to-left format allowed the artwork to keep its original form and also enabled Tokyopop to release most graphic novel series on a frequency three-to-six times faster than the industry standard at the time. Tokyopop volumes hit the shelves monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly versus the six months or longer typical of competitors. It also allowed Tokyopop to sell books for an industry-leading price point of $9.99 per book, at a time when most competitors charged $12.99 to $16.99 per book.

Tokyopop was the first U.S. publisher to adopt such a sweeping policy. While some Japanese manga artists had required that the English versions of their manga be published from right to left, Tokyopop was the first American publisher to unilaterally announce that it would maintain the original format for all of its future manga titles.

An "authentic manga" how-to guide was included in each graphic novel to keep readers from accidentally reading the final page first, and the authentic manga also featured special packaging.

Rising Stars of Manga

Tokyopop launched their Global Manga publishing program in 2003 via the introduction of its "Rising Stars of Manga" talent competition. The competition called for American manga artists to submit 15-25 page English-language stories of any genre. The top 10 entries, as judged by Tokyopop editors, received cash prizes (between $500 - $2500) and were published in an anthology of the winning works. The grand prize winners were also given the chance to pitch full-length manga projects to Tokyopop for a chance to become professional manga-ka.

Tokyopop launched its first "Rising Stars of Manga" contest on August 15, 2002 and ended it on December 16, 2002, with more than five hundred American artists submitting their 15–25 page, English-language stories.

The 5th Rising Stars of Manga competition added the People's Choice award, where the top-20 finalists had their entire entries judged by the fans on the Tokyopop website. “We are really pleased to open up the Rising Stars judging to the fans," commented Tokyopop editor Rob Valois. "Since so many people have been vocal on the message boards and at industry conventions, we’re offering them all a chance to shape the future of manga. I’m personally excited to see how the fans’ favorite will compare to our own."

Tokyopop held eight Rising Stars of Manga competitions between 2002 and 2008, as well as one in the UK in 2005.

Several Rising Stars of Manga winners went on to publish full-length graphic novels with Tokyopop, including Josh Elder with Mail Order Ninja, M. Alice LeGrow with Bizenghast, Mike Schwark and Ron Kaulfersch with Van Von Hunter, Lindsay Cibos and Jared Hodges with Peach Fuzz, Wes Abbot with Dogby Walks Alone, Felipe Smith with MBQ, Nathan Maurer with Atomic King Daidogan,.[citation needed]

Rise of Tokyopop

Tokyopop became one of the biggest manga publishers outside Japan, and as such, was attributed with popularizing manga in the United States. By 2004, it boasted the largest market share of manga sales in the U.S., reaching as high as 50% of manga exports to the United States, according to Nissei Weekly.

Tokyopop was also instrumental in the introduction of manhwa to western audiences. Brad Brooks and Tim Pilcher, authors of The Essential Guide to World Comics. London, said that 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." In 2005, Tokyopop began a new, free publication called Manga (originally Takuhai) to feature their latest releases.

Tokyopop secured newspaper distribution in the form of Sunday comics, featuring its titles Princess Ai, Mail Order Ninja, Peach Fuzz, and Van Von Hunter.

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, would be transferred to HarperCollins in mid-June 2006. The agreement enabled Tokyopop to produce original English-language (OEL) manga adaptations of HarperCollins' books. Meg Cabot's books were the first to be adapted into the manga format, along with the Warriors series by Erin Hunter. The first line of Tokyopop-HarperCollins OEL manga was released in 2007 with the goal of publishing up to 24 titles each year.

Tokyopop entered a licensing arrangement with Kaplan, a leading provider of educational and training services in 2007, to help students study vocabulary words in preparation for the SATs.

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

Tokyopop also helped to pioneer the Cine-Manga format, a blend of cinematic properties and sequential art that uses imagery from movies and television series. Levy secured licenses to publish Cine-Manga with major entertainment brands including Disney, Nickelodeon, DreamWorks, Paramount, Universal, and the NBA.

2008 restructuring

In June 2008, Tokyopop announced that it was being restructured, with its name being changed to Tokyopop Group, a holding group for several new subsidiaries. The Tokyopop operations in the United States were split into two subsidiaries: Tokyopop, Inc., and Tokyopop Media. Tokyopop, Inc. consisted of the company's existing publications business, while Tokyopop Media focused on the company's digital and comics-to-film works. Tokyopop Media managed the Tokyopop website, which continued to promote its publications. According to representative Mike Kiley, the divisions would 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."

During the restructure, Tokyopop laid off 39 positions, equating to 35%–40% of its American workforce. Most of the positions cut were those involved in the direct publication of its books which resulted in a scale back of publication output from Tokyopop, Inc. Tokyopop reported that it would be cutting the volumes released per year by approximately 50%, to an average of 20–22 volumes per month.

Tokyopop's Japan division was also to be split, with one unit operating under Tokyopop Media and the other becoming a subsidiary under the overall Tokyopop Group. 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.

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.

Loss of Kodansha licenses

Licenses from the Japanese manga publisher Kodansha, historically, were a large part of Tokyopop's catalog. In the years leading up to 2009, the number of Kodansha titles licensed by Tokyopop decreased. The final new Kodansha title was Tokko by Tohru Fujisawa, and the final batch of volumes of Kodansha titles appeared around March 2009. Around that time Kodansha began to consistently give licenses to its manga to competitor Del Rey Manga. Deb Aoki of About.com said "Well, more or less. You get the idea. If you're the type who reads the tea leaves of the manga publishing biz, you kinda sensed that things weren't quite the same as they used to be."

On August 31, 2009, Tokyopop announced Kodansha was allowing all of its licensing agreements with 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 the popular Rave Master, Initial D, GetBackers, and Life series. It would be unable to reprint any previously published volumes, rendering all Kodansha-owned Tokyopop releases out-of-print.

Several other titles licensed and published by Tokyopop, including best sellers Cardcaptor Sakura, Chobits, Clover, and Magic Knight Rayearth, were reacquired by Dark Horse Comics, though two other titles Kodansha licensed to Dark Horse had since transferred to Random House by then. Samurai Deeper Kyo was relicensed by competitor Del Rey Manga, a division of Random House, which published the remaining volumes of the series.

Tokyopop said that it expected the loss of the licenses to have minimal impact on the company economically due to its diversification of their holdings over the last few years, though they acknowledged the loss would hurt fans of the ongoing series who face uncertainty about the completion of those titles from other companies. ICv2 reported that Tokyopop would continue to publish light novels from Kodansha and that Kodansha appeared to be planning to publish its own titles through its partnership with Random House.

Resignations and layoffs

In February 2011, the president and chief operating officer, John Parker, resigned from the company and took the position of vice president of business development for Diamond. This came shortly after Diamond became Tokyopop's new distributor, taking the business from Harper Collins. Tokyopop did not name a replacement for Parker. Parker's departure left only three remaining executives: the founder and CEO, Stuart Levy; Publisher, Mike Kiley; and Vice President of Inventory, Victor Chin.

On March 1, Tokyopop continued to layoff workers, removing many high-profile employees such as long-time manga editors Lilian Diaz-Przyhyl and Troy Lewter. Tokyopop's management also eliminated the position of director of sales operations. In an interview with ICv2, Stuart Levy revealed that the layoffs were due to Borders Group, Tokyopop's largest customer, filing bankruptcy in March 2011, no longer carrying Tokyopop stock, and not paying debts that the company owed to Tokyopop.

North American publishing shutdown

On April 15, 2011, Tokyopop announced that it would close its Los Angeles, CA–based North American publishing operations on May 31, 2011. According to the release, Tokyopop's film and television projects, as well as European publishing operations and global rights sales, would not be closing. The UK branch would cease to operate after May 31 due to their reliance on the importing of the North American branch's product. Stuart Levy, Tokyopop's founder, released a personal statement reaffirming Tokyopop's role in introducing manga to the mainstream North American audience and thanking fans, creators, and employees for their dedication. On May 24, Tokyopop stated that the manga they licensed would revert to their original owners, who may license the titles to other companies.

New incarnation

In October 2011, Tokyopop's official Twitter account released a message stating that its "ultimate goal is to start publishing manga again."

On December 10, 2012, Tokyopop's website relaunched with a letter from management stating that the company was down to a few select employees who were starting a 'new incarnation' of the company. Partnered with 'Right Stuf on Demand', they began offering ebooks of various titles for which they retained the rights.

Their company blog article stated:

Luckily new technologies that have only very recently become practical are enabling us to re-emerge. Conventional publishing has irrevocably changed, and it is impractical for all but the largest and most established companies to pursue publishing as it has gone on for centuries. But by embracing ebook and print-on-demand technologies, we believe we can move forward and continue to produce some amazing manga as well as bring you Asian Pop Culture in many forms.

A letter from Levy on January 6, 2013 stated:

Digital technology has transformed many industries including publishing. This hit TOKYOPOP very hard since we didn't have ebook rights to most of our series (except OEL). Unfortunately our Japanese licensors did not move fast enough to provide a legitimate alternative to piracy, and piracy shows no mercy. As a result, TOKYOPOP had to shut down its LA office and the licenses to Japanese titles expired, reverting to the Japanese licensors. What that means is TOKYOPOP is evolving as a company. I know many fans would prefer us to return to being a manga publisher like we were for most of our history. However, manga will never disappear – we will do what we can to deliver manga. I plan on experimenting with new ways to bring you Asian pop culture. Please keep an open mind – and give feedback (not just negative when you don't like something but also positive when you like something) so we can tweak our approach.

Throughout the publishing closure, Tokyopop Media remained open for business, continuing its efforts to produce film and TV adaptations of Tokyopop's manga, as well as reinvigorating the Tokyopop YouTube channel, launching several original web series and adding trailers for Japanese film and TV. In 2013, Tokyopop partnered with MondoMedia to release an animated short film based on the Tokyopop manga Riding Shotgun, which was directed by Michael Davis and starred the voices of Yuri Lowenthal and Jessy Schram. The short film garnered over a million views in its first month, and led to an IndieGoGo campaign to finance a full animated series.

In 2015, at Anime Expo and San Diego Comic-Con, Tokyopop announced that it would be relaunching its publishing operations in North America in 2016 and hinted that its first major licensor would be Disney.

In January 2018, Tokyopop announced the release dates for three new properties: Konohana Kitan, Futaribeya: A Room for Two, and Hanger. Additionally, TOKYOPOP initiated "International Woman of Manga" to showcase female manga writers with the publication of five titles: Ocean of Secrets, Goldfisch, Kamo, Undead Messiah, and Sword Princess Amaltea. Tokyopop's "Nightmare Before Christmas: Zero's Journey" was nominated for two 2018 Diamond GEM awards in the categories "2018 Best All Ages Series" and "2018 Licensed TP or HC of the Year".

In 2021, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store restaurants agreed to sell specific Tokyopop Manga by offering Disney’s The Nightmare Before Christmas adaptation by Jun Asuka in its North American in-store gift shops.

Tokyopop Germany

In the summer of 2004, Tokyopop founded its first foreign branch in Germany, incorporated as Tokyopop GmbH and headquartered in Hamburg. The first manga and manhwa by Tokyopop Germany were published in November 2004, and the first anime in the fall of 2005. In 2006, Tokyopop GmbH entered a "strategic partnership" with the Japanese publisher Shueisha, allowing them to publish popular titles such as Death Note and Bleach. The company has also released a number of original German-language manga, including Gothic Sports, winner of a 2007 Sondermann award. Tokyopop GmbH continues to operate as a publisher of German-language manga for the international market after the closure of the US publishing office.

In addition to publishing popular manga titles, Tokyopop GmbH also expanded the market by producing new and exciting cross-media content, including licensing popular video game franchises such as Assassin’s Creed and Zelda and bestselling novels such as James Patterson and Warriors. In 2013, the company launched a prestige project called Manga Library, which adapted classic literary novels into manga.

According to GFK Entertainment, as of 2014 in the core segment of manga, Tokyopop GmbH is currently the second largest provider, with a market share of 27%. Additionally, in the last two years, Tokyopop GmbH had the fastest growth rate out of the big three manga suppliers in the German market, with a growth rate of 29% in 2014. This compares with Egmont Ehapa at 6.5% and Carlsen Verlag at 1.8%.

Other overseas markets

In 2004, Tokyopop set up a division in the United Kingdom based in London that mainly imported books from its original American counterpart and distributed them to bookstores in both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Tokyopop released an anime collection in both countries in late 2006, including titles such as Initial D and Great Teacher Onizuka. Vampire Princess Miyu was released on DVD by MVM Entertainment and the Toonami television channel aired the first half of Rave Master in early 2005. It was announced on the official Tokyopop Facebook page that because the British division mainly imported the North American branch's translated titles, it would become defunct with the only open branch being the German division.

Tokyopop distributed some of its titles to Australia and New Zealand via Madman Entertainment/Funtastic and in Greece, Tokyopop properties were licensed by Anubis Comics. Tokyopop partnered with IDW International in February 2018 to license its original intellectual property (IP) and manga in overseas markets.

Logo for Blu Manga.

Blu Manga

Blu Manga is an imprint under which Tokyopop published shōnen-ai and yaoi manga titles. The imprint was launched in 2005. Initially, the company denied that it owned Blu, stating that it was only distributing for another company. The company released no editor names, nor company contact info out of fear there would be backlash and hate mail from "moral crusaders". In 2006, Tokyopop confirmed Blu was their own imprint. Blu Manga considered that their "non-girly" branding had enabled the imprint, in a genre stereotypically created by women for women, to reach out to a male and gay audience. Early titles published by BLU were Earthian, Love Mode, and Shinobu Kokoro.

Fans critical of possible mishandling of the Initial D property voiced concerns regarding "editorial changes" in the language localization of the manga and anime. 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. 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. In an interview by Anime News Network, Tokyopop staff stated they also felt that the series would reach a larger audience if it had a broader American appeal.

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.

Tokyopop was the first publisher to print manga in its original right-to-left format, pricing it consistently at $9.99 and marketing it as "100% Authentic Manga," which also maintained the original Japanese language sound effects. This helped to make manga much more mainstream.

In 2005, Tokyopop partnered with mainstream teen magazine CosmoGirl to serialize a manga entitled "The Adventures of CG!," drawn by Svetlana Chmakova.

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Tokyopop Article Talk Language Watch Edit For the film see Tokyo Pop Tokyopop styled TOKYOPOP formerly known as Mixx Entertainment is an American distributor licensor and publisher of anime manga manhwa and Western manga style works The German publishing division produces German translations of licensed Japanese properties and original English language manga as well as original German language manga Tokyopop s US publishing division publishes works in English Tokyopop has its US headquarters near Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles California 2 Its parent company s offices are in Tokyo Japan and its sister company s office is in Hamburg Germany TokyopopParent companyPop Media HoldingsStatusActiveFounded1997 25 years ago 1997 FounderStuart J LevyCountry of originUnited StatesHeadquarters locationLos Angeles CaliforniaDistributionUnited States Diamond Book Distributors 1 GermanyPublication typesManga Japanese light novels graphic novels original English language mangaOfficial websitetokyopop wbr comThe Variety Building the former location of the Tokyopop headquarters Contents 1 History 1 1 Early history 1 2 100 Authentic Manga 1 3 Rising Stars of Manga 1 4 Rise of Tokyopop 1 5 2008 restructuring 1 6 Loss of Kodansha licenses 1 7 Resignations and layoffs 1 8 North American publishing shutdown 1 9 New incarnation 2 Foreign markets 2 1 Tokyopop Germany 2 2 Other overseas markets 3 Imprints 3 1 Blu Manga 4 Criticism 5 Right to Left Standard manga 6 Manga in Teen Magazine CosmoGirl 7 See also 8 References 9 External linksHistory EditEarly history Edit Tokyopop was founded in 1997 by Stuart J Levy 3 In the late 1990s the company s headquarters were in Los Angeles 4 While the company was known as Mixx Entertainment it sold MixxZine a manga magazine where popular serials like Sailor Moon were published weekly Mixxzine later became Tokyopop before it was discontinued 11 Capitalizing on the popularity of Sailor Moon Mixx also created the magazine Smile a magazine that was half girls magazine and half shōjo manga anthology and also continued the Sailor Moon story after being discontinued in Mixxzine Cultural anthropologist Rachel Thorn praised Stu Levy for opening up an untapped market for animation with the publication of Sailor Moon and other Before Sailor Moon the belief among entertainment executives was that girls don t watch cartoons 5 Due to Sailor Moon s immense popularity Tokyopop discontinued the serial from its magazines and released it separately as its first manga graphic novel They engineered prominent book distribution via retail stores standardized book trim size created a basic industry wide rating system and developed the first ever retail manga displays and introduced the world of graphic novels to an audience of teenage girls Also together with Diamond Tokyopop offered retailers free spinner rack displays for Tokyopop manga thereby increasing the visibility of the medium in bookstores 6 Tokyopop also licensed and distributed Japanese anime In 1996 Mixx Entertainment acquired the rights to the anime biopic of Japanese poet Kenji Miyazawa and Stu Levy produced and directed the English version of the anime film entitled Spring and Chaos The film was directed and scripted by Shoji Kawamori who created Super Dimensional Fortress Macross and The Vision of Escaflowne 7 Taste of Cinema ranked Spring and Chaos thirteenth in its list of Top 25 Weird Animated Movies That Are Worth Your Time 8 From 2000 to 2004 Tokyopop released multiple film and television projects such as Street Fury which Stu Levy created GTO English version for Showtime TV Rave Master English version for Cartoon Network s Toonami and Reign The Conqueror English version for Cartoon Network s Adult Swim Tokyopop also released English version DVDs for Initial D Marmalade Boy Saint Tail Samurai Girl Real Bout High School Vampire Princess Miyu Brigadoon FMW High School Ghostbusters 9 100 Authentic Manga Edit In 2002 Tokyopop launched its line of 100 Authentic Manga which was printed in the original Japanese right to left format and included the original Japanese printed sound effects In Japan most published manga is written to read from right to left but when an English translation was published in the U S however the common practice was to use computer reversed or mirror images that allowed the books to read from left to right As a result this distorted the artwork 10 Tokyopop s decision to use the original right to left format allowed the artwork to keep its original form and also enabled Tokyopop to release most graphic novel series on a frequency three to six times faster than the industry standard at the time Tokyopop volumes hit the shelves monthly bi monthly or quarterly versus the six months or longer typical of competitors It also allowed Tokyopop to sell books for an industry leading price point of 9 99 per book at a time when most competitors charged 12 99 to 16 99 per book 11 Tokyopop was the first U S publisher to adopt such a sweeping policy While some Japanese manga artists had required that the English versions of their manga be published from right to left Tokyopop was the first American publisher to unilaterally announce that it would maintain the original format for all of its future manga titles An authentic manga how to guide was included in each graphic novel to keep readers from accidentally reading the final page first and the authentic manga also featured special packaging Rising Stars of Manga Edit Tokyopop launched their Global Manga publishing program in 2003 via the introduction of its Rising Stars of Manga talent competition 12 The competition called for American manga artists to submit 15 25 page English language stories of any genre The top 10 entries as judged by Tokyopop editors received cash prizes between 500 2500 and were published in an anthology of the winning works The grand prize winners were also given the chance to pitch full length manga projects to Tokyopop for a chance to become professional manga ka Tokyopop launched its first Rising Stars of Manga contest on August 15 2002 and ended it on December 16 2002 13 with more than five hundred American artists submitting their 15 25 page English language stories 14 The 5th Rising Stars of Manga competition added the People s Choice award where the top 20 finalists had their entire entries judged by the fans on the Tokyopop website We are really pleased to open up the Rising Stars judging to the fans commented Tokyopop editor Rob Valois Since so many people have been vocal on the message boards and at industry conventions we re offering them all a chance to shape the future of manga I m personally excited to see how the fans favorite will compare to our own 15 Tokyopop held eight Rising Stars of Manga competitions between 2002 and 2008 as well as one in the UK in 2005 16 Several Rising Stars of Manga winners went on to publish full length graphic novels with Tokyopop including Josh Elder with Mail Order Ninja M Alice LeGrow with Bizenghast Mike Schwark and Ron Kaulfersch with Van Von Hunter Lindsay Cibos and Jared Hodges with Peach Fuzz Wes Abbot with Dogby Walks Alone Felipe Smith with MBQ Nathan Maurer with Atomic King Daidogan citation needed Rise of Tokyopop Edit Tokyopop became one of the biggest manga publishers outside Japan and as such was attributed with popularizing manga in the United States By 2004 it boasted the largest market share of manga sales in the U S reaching as high as 50 of manga exports to the United States according to Nissei Weekly Tokyopop was also instrumental in the introduction of manhwa to western audiences Brad Brooks and Tim Pilcher authors of The Essential Guide to World Comics London said that 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 17 In 2005 Tokyopop began a new free publication called Manga originally Takuhai to feature their latest releases Tokyopop secured newspaper distribution in the form of Sunday comics featuring its titles Princess Ai Mail Order Ninja Peach Fuzz and Van Von Hunter 18 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 would be transferred to HarperCollins in mid June 2006 The agreement enabled Tokyopop to produce original English language OEL manga adaptations of HarperCollins books Meg Cabot s books were the first to be adapted into the manga format along with the Warriors series by Erin Hunter 19 The first line of Tokyopop HarperCollins OEL manga was released in 2007 with the goal of publishing up to 24 titles each year 20 Tokyopop entered a licensing arrangement with Kaplan a leading provider of educational and training services in 2007 21 to help students study vocabulary words in preparation for the SATs 22 Tokyopop has released several series based on American games films and characters such as Warcraft 23 24 the Kingdom Hearts video game series and Jim Henson films 25 They released the first volume of a series based on the Hellgate London video game in April 2008 26 Tokyopop also helped to pioneer the Cine Manga format a blend of cinematic properties and sequential art that uses imagery from movies and television series Levy secured licenses to publish Cine Manga with major entertainment brands including Disney Nickelodeon DreamWorks Paramount Universal and the NBA 27 2008 restructuring Edit In June 2008 Tokyopop announced that it was being restructured with its name being changed to Tokyopop Group a holding group for several new subsidiaries The Tokyopop operations in the United States were split into two subsidiaries Tokyopop Inc and Tokyopop Media Tokyopop Inc consisted of the company s existing publications business while Tokyopop Media focused on the company s digital and comics to film works 28 Tokyopop Media managed the Tokyopop website which continued to promote its publications 29 According to representative Mike Kiley the divisions would 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 29 During the restructure Tokyopop laid off 39 positions equating to 35 40 of its American workforce Most of the positions cut were those involved in the direct publication of its books which resulted in a scale back of publication output from Tokyopop Inc 28 29 Tokyopop reported that it would be cutting the volumes released per year by approximately 50 to an average of 20 22 volumes per month 29 30 31 Tokyopop s Japan division was also to be split with one unit operating under Tokyopop Media and the other becoming a subsidiary under the overall Tokyopop Group 31 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 32 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 33 Loss of Kodansha licenses Edit Licenses from the Japanese manga publisher Kodansha historically were a large part of Tokyopop s catalog In the years leading up to 2009 the number of Kodansha titles licensed by Tokyopop decreased The final new Kodansha title was Tokko by Tohru Fujisawa and the final batch of volumes of Kodansha titles appeared around March 2009 Around that time Kodansha began to consistently give licenses to its manga to competitor Del Rey Manga Deb Aoki of About com said Well more or less You get the idea If you re the type who reads the tea leaves of the manga publishing biz you kinda sensed that things weren t quite the same as they used to be 34 On August 31 2009 Tokyopop announced Kodansha was allowing all of its licensing agreements with 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 the popular Rave Master Initial D GetBackers and Life series It would be unable to reprint any previously published volumes rendering all Kodansha owned Tokyopop releases out of print 35 Several other titles licensed and published by Tokyopop including best sellers Cardcaptor Sakura Chobits Clover and Magic Knight Rayearth were reacquired by Dark Horse Comics though two other titles Kodansha licensed to Dark Horse had since transferred to Random House by then 34 35 Samurai Deeper Kyo was relicensed by competitor Del Rey Manga a division of Random House which published the remaining volumes of the series 35 Tokyopop said that it expected the loss of the licenses to have minimal impact on the company economically due to its diversification of their holdings over the last few years though they acknowledged the loss would hurt fans of the ongoing series who face uncertainty about the completion of those titles from other companies ICv2 reported that Tokyopop would continue to publish light novels from Kodansha and that Kodansha appeared to be planning to publish its own titles through its partnership with Random House 36 Resignations and layoffs Edit In February 2011 the president and chief operating officer John Parker resigned from the company and took the position of vice president of business development for Diamond This came shortly after Diamond became Tokyopop s new distributor taking the business from Harper Collins Tokyopop did not name a replacement for Parker Parker s departure left only three remaining executives the founder and CEO Stuart Levy Publisher Mike Kiley and Vice President of Inventory Victor Chin On March 1 Tokyopop continued to layoff workers removing many high profile employees such as long time manga editors Lilian Diaz Przyhyl and Troy Lewter Tokyopop s management also eliminated the position of director of sales operations In an interview with ICv2 Stuart Levy revealed that the layoffs were due to Borders Group Tokyopop s largest customer filing bankruptcy in March 2011 no longer carrying Tokyopop stock and not paying debts that the company owed to Tokyopop 37 North American publishing shutdown Edit On April 15 2011 Tokyopop announced that it would close its Los Angeles CA based North American publishing operations on May 31 2011 According to the release Tokyopop s film and television projects as well as European publishing operations and global rights sales would not be closing The UK branch would cease to operate after May 31 due to their reliance on the importing of the North American branch s product Stuart Levy Tokyopop s founder released a personal statement reaffirming Tokyopop s role in introducing manga to the mainstream North American audience and thanking fans creators and employees for their dedication 38 On May 24 Tokyopop stated that the manga they licensed would revert to their original owners who may license the titles to other companies 39 New incarnation Edit In October 2011 Tokyopop s official Twitter account released a message stating that its ultimate goal is to start publishing manga again 40 On December 10 2012 Tokyopop s website relaunched with a letter from management stating that the company was down to a few select employees who were starting a new incarnation of the company Partnered with Right Stuf on Demand they began offering ebooks of various titles for which they retained the rights 41 Their company blog article stated Luckily new technologies that have only very recently become practical are enabling us to re emerge Conventional publishing has irrevocably changed and it is impractical for all but the largest and most established companies to pursue publishing as it has gone on for centuries But by embracing ebook and print on demand technologies we believe we can move forward and continue to produce some amazing manga as well as bring you Asian Pop Culture in many forms 42 A letter from Levy on January 6 2013 stated Digital technology has transformed many industries including publishing This hit TOKYOPOP very hard since we didn t have ebook rights to most of our series except OEL Unfortunately our Japanese licensors did not move fast enough to provide a legitimate alternative to piracy and piracy shows no mercy As a result TOKYOPOP had to shut down its LA office and the licenses to Japanese titles expired reverting to the Japanese licensors What that means is TOKYOPOP is evolving as a company I know many fans would prefer us to return to being a manga publisher like we were for most of our history However manga will never disappear we will do what we can to deliver manga I plan on experimenting with new ways to bring you Asian pop culture Please keep an open mind and give feedback not just negative when you don t like something but also positive when you like something so we can tweak our approach 43 Throughout the publishing closure Tokyopop Media remained open for business continuing its efforts to produce film and TV adaptations of Tokyopop s manga as well as reinvigorating the Tokyopop YouTube channel launching several original web series and adding trailers for Japanese film and TV In 2013 Tokyopop partnered with MondoMedia to release an animated short film based on the Tokyopop manga Riding Shotgun 44 which was directed by Michael Davis and starred the voices of Yuri Lowenthal and Jessy Schram The short film garnered over a million views in its first month and led to an IndieGoGo campaign to finance a full animated series In 2015 at Anime Expo and San Diego Comic Con Tokyopop announced that it would be relaunching its publishing operations in North America in 2016 and hinted that its first major licensor would be Disney 45 46 In January 2018 Tokyopop announced the release dates for three new properties Konohana Kitan Futaribeya A Room for Two and Hanger 47 Additionally TOKYOPOP initiated International Woman of Manga to showcase female manga writers with the publication of five titles Ocean of Secrets Goldfisch Kamo Undead Messiah and Sword Princess Amaltea 48 Tokyopop s Nightmare Before Christmas Zero s Journey was nominated for two 2018 Diamond GEM awards in the categories 2018 Best All Ages Series and 2018 Licensed TP or HC of the Year 49 50 In 2021 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store restaurants agreed to sell specific Tokyopop Manga by offering Disney s The Nightmare Before Christmas adaptation by Jun Asuka in its North American in store gift shops 51 52 Foreign markets EditTokyopop Germany Edit In the summer of 2004 Tokyopop founded its first foreign branch in Germany incorporated as Tokyopop GmbH and headquartered in Hamburg The first manga and manhwa by Tokyopop Germany were published in November 2004 and the first anime in the fall of 2005 In 2006 Tokyopop GmbH entered a strategic partnership with the Japanese publisher Shueisha allowing them to publish popular titles such as Death Note and Bleach 53 The company has also released a number of original German language manga including Gothic Sports winner of a 2007 Sondermann award 54 Tokyopop GmbH continues to operate as a publisher of German language manga for the international market after the closure of the US publishing office In addition to publishing popular manga titles Tokyopop GmbH also expanded the market by producing new and exciting cross media content including licensing popular video game franchises such as Assassin s Creed and Zelda and bestselling novels such as James Patterson and Warriors In 2013 the company launched a prestige project called Manga Library which adapted classic literary novels into manga According to GFK Entertainment as of 2014 in the core segment of manga Tokyopop GmbH is currently the second largest provider with a market share of 27 Additionally in the last two years Tokyopop GmbH had the fastest growth rate out of the big three manga suppliers in the German market with a growth rate of 29 in 2014 This compares with Egmont Ehapa at 6 5 and Carlsen Verlag at 1 8 55 Other overseas markets Edit In 2004 Tokyopop set up a division in the United Kingdom based in London that mainly imported books from its original American counterpart and distributed them to bookstores in both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland Tokyopop released an anime collection in both countries in late 2006 including titles such as Initial D and Great Teacher Onizuka Vampire Princess Miyu was released on DVD by MVM Entertainment and the Toonami television channel aired the first half of Rave Master in early 2005 It was announced on the official Tokyopop Facebook page that because the British division mainly imported the North American branch s translated titles it would become defunct with the only open branch being the German division Tokyopop distributed some of its titles to Australia and New Zealand via Madman Entertainment Funtastic and in Greece Tokyopop properties were licensed by Anubis Comics Tokyopop partnered with IDW International in February 2018 to license its original intellectual property IP and manga in overseas markets 56 Imprints Edit Logo for Blu Manga Blu Manga Edit Blu Manga is an imprint under which Tokyopop published shōnen ai and yaoi manga titles The imprint was launched in 2005 Initially the company denied that it owned Blu stating that it was only distributing for another company The company released no editor names nor company contact info out of fear there would be backlash and hate mail from moral crusaders 57 In 2006 Tokyopop confirmed Blu was their own imprint 57 58 Blu Manga considered that their non girly branding had enabled the imprint in a genre stereotypically created by women for women to reach out to a male and gay audience 59 Early titles published by BLU were Earthian Love Mode and Shinobu Kokoro 60 Criticism EditFans critical of possible mishandling of the Initial D property voiced concerns regarding editorial changes in the language localization of the manga and anime 61 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 61 62 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 In an interview by Anime News Network Tokyopop staff stated they also felt that the series would reach a larger audience if it had a broader American appeal 61 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 61 Right to Left Standard manga EditTokyopop was the first publisher to print manga in its original right to left format pricing it consistently at 9 99 and marketing it as 100 Authentic Manga which also maintained the original Japanese language sound effects This helped to make manga much more mainstream 63 Manga in Teen Magazine CosmoGirl EditIn 2005 Tokyopop partnered with mainstream teen magazine CosmoGirl to serialize a manga entitled The Adventures of CG drawn by Svetlana Chmakova 64 65 See also Edit Greater Los Angeles portal Companies portal Anime and manga portal List of Tokyopop publicationsReferences Edit Our Publishers LET S GET IN TOUCH Tokypo Retrieved on March 15 2018 TOKYOPOP U S A 5200 W Century Blvd Suite 705 Los Angeles CA 90045 USA Jarvis Michael 2003 10 26 The Godzilla Sized Appeal of Japan s Pop Culture Los Angeles Times p 9 MIXX S SAILOR MOON MANGA IS THE NUMBER 1 GRAPHIC NOVEL OR TRADE PAPERBACK IN AMERICA Mixx Entertainment June 18 1999 Retrieved on August 21 2011 Mixx Entertainment Inc 746 W Adams Blvd Los Angeles CA 90089 7727 Matt Thorn s Blog Archived from the original on 2012 08 24 TOKYOPOP Diamond Offer Free Spinner Rack Display through October 31 www diamondcomics com Retrieved 2015 11 25 Spring and Chaos TOKYOPOP tokyopop com Retrieved 2015 11 27 25 Weird Animated Movies That Are Worth Your Time Taste Of Cinema Movie Reviews and Classic Movie Lists Retrieved 2015 11 27 Stuart J Levy IMDb Retrieved 2015 11 27 Tokyopop Commits to Unflopped Manga Anime News Network Retrieved 2015 11 25 TokyoPop delivers authentic Manga to fans with original right to left format Comic Book Resources 4 February 2002 Retrieved 2015 11 25 McLean Tom October 26 2007 Profile Stu Levy Variety Tokyopop Announces Rising Stars of Manga Competition Anime News Network Retrieved 2015 11 25 Tokyopop launches 2nd Manga Contest Anime News Network Retrieved 2015 11 25 TOKYOPOP Kicks Off Rising Stars Of Manga Animation Magazine December 2004 Retrieved 2015 11 25 Rising Stars of UK Anime News Network Retrieved 2015 11 25 Brooks Brad Pilcher Tim 2005 10 28 The Essential Guide to World Comics London Collins amp Brown ISBN 1 84340 300 5 Manga Hits the Funny Pages icv2 com Retrieved 2022 06 06 Wyatt Edward 2006 03 28 Comic Book Publisher Switches a Deal to HarperCollins The New York Times Retrieved 2010 05 25 Crum Erin 2006 03 27 HarperCollins Publishers and Tokyopop Announce Innovative Co Publishing Sales and Distribution Agreement HarperCollins Publishers Archived from the original on 2011 04 26 Retrieved 2006 04 10 KABOOM SLAM and ARRGH Supplemented By ERADICATE RELINQUISH and ILLUMINATE Kaplan Retrieved 2022 05 24 Staff C B R 2007 05 31 Kaplan and Tokyopop Introduce Vocab Building Manga Series CBR Retrieved 2022 05 24 Fahey Mike 2008 04 17 Tokyopop Publishing More Warcraft StarCraft Manga Kotaku Archived from the original on 2012 07 11 Patty Shawn 2004 08 05 TokyoPop to Produce Warcraft Manga Trilogy ComicsBulletin Book Info Return to Labyrinth Volume 1 Tokyopop Archived from the original on 2009 08 24 Book Info Hellgate London Volume 1 Tokyopop permanent dead link ICv2 Tokyopop Does Nickelodeon icv2 com Retrieved 2015 11 25 a b Tokyopop to Restructure Update Anime News Network 2008 06 04 Retrieved 2008 06 04 a b c d Inside the Tokyopop Restructuring ICv2 2008 06 08 Retrieved 2008 06 09 Tokyopop to Restructure Anime News Network 2008 06 03 Retrieved 2008 06 03 a b Tokyopop Splits into Two Companies ICv2 2008 06 03 Retrieved 2008 06 03 Tokyopop to Cut Manga Output in United Kingdom Anime News Network 2008 06 12 Retrieved 2008 06 12 Manga Publisher Tokyopop Lays Off Eight More Staffers Anime News Network 2008 12 12 Retrieved 2008 12 12 a b Aoki Deb 2009 09 01 The Kodansha TokyoPop Split Which Manga Are Left in Limbo About com Retrieved 2009 09 01 a b c Tokyopop Confirms Its Kodansha Manga Licenses Will End Anime News Network 2009 08 31 Retrieved 2009 09 01 No More Kodansha Manga for Tokyopop ICv2 2009 09 01 Retrieved 2009 09 01 Tokyopop discusses the consequence of Borders bankruptcy on publishers Asia Pacific Arts March 7 2011 Archived from the original on 2014 09 12 Retrieved 2011 03 09 End of an era Tokyopop shutting down Comics Beat 2011 04 15 Archived from the original on 2012 03 06 Tokyopop Japanese manga licenses to revert to owners Anime News Network 2011 05 24 Retrieved 2011 12 07 Tokyopop Confirms Intent to Publish Manga Again Anime News Network Retrieved 2015 12 13 Web Relaunch is a GO TOKYOPOP tokyopop com Archived from the original on 2015 12 31 Retrieved 2015 12 13 wptokyopop 2012 12 10 Web Relaunch is a GO TokyoPop Archived from the original on 2015 07 10 Retrieved 2015 07 08 wptokyopop 2013 01 03 Happy New Year and New Site TokyoPop Archived from the original on 2015 07 10 Retrieved 2015 07 08 Riding Shotgun Tokyopop Plans Manga Publishing Relaunch More Projects Anime News Network Retrieved 2015 11 25 Tokyopop Hints at Possible Manga Collaborations With Disney Anime News Network Retrieved 2015 11 25 Tokyopop Reveals its First Wave of Japanese Manga Licenses Anime News Network Retrieved 2018 02 05 TOKYOPOP PLANS INTERNATIONAL WOMEN OF MANGA PUSH ICv2 Retrieved 5 March 2018 2018 DIAMOND GEM Award Nominees Newsarama Retrieved 15 January 2019 Tokyopop s The Nightmare Before Christmas Zero s Journey Nominated for Diamond Gem Awards Anime News Network Retrieved 15 January 2019 TOKYOPOP Announces Collaboration With Cracker Barrel to Offer Disney Manga in Country Store The Mary Sue 2021 10 22 Retrieved 2022 05 26 Chris Arrant 2021 10 27 Cracker Barrel will start selling comics well one this holiday season gamesradar Retrieved 2022 05 26 Tokyopop GmbH Der Verlag in German Tokyopop GmbH Archived from the original on 2011 07 19 Retrieved 6 May 2011 Ponel Valerie Sondermann Award 2007 Goethe Institut Kanada Retrieved 6 May 2011 Manga Eigenproduktionen Teil 2 Tokyopop www comic report de Retrieved 2015 11 25 IDW To Represent TOKYOPOP s International Licensing Deals NewsaRama Retrieved 9 February 2018 a b Brill Ian Cha Kai Ming 2006 10 24 New Publishers More Titles at Yaoi Con 2006 PW Comics Week Publishers Weekly Archived from the original on 2006 11 08 Retrieved 2015 07 08 Tokyopop Confirms Blu Label Anime News Network 2005 06 08 Retrieved 2009 03 11 Intersections GloBLisation and Hybridisation Publishers Strategies for Bringing Boys Love to the United States Intersections anu edu au Retrieved 2011 12 07 The Advocate Google Books Here 2005 11 22 Retrieved 2011 12 07 a b c d Tokyopop Open Letter Regarding Initial D Anime News Network 2002 07 13 Retrieved 2008 04 14 Ask John Is Edited Anime on American TV a Good Thing AnimeNation Blog AnimeNation 2003 08 29 Archived from the original on 2009 02 26 Retrieved 2008 04 14 Reid Calvin Stu Levy and the Rise and Fall of Tokyopop PublishersWeekly com Retrieved 2022 05 09 Tokyopop and CosmoGirl Present the Adventures of CG Anime News Network Retrieved 2022 06 06 Manga in CosmoGIRL icv2 com Retrieved 2022 06 06 External links EditOfficial website Tokyopop at the Wayback Machine archive index Official website in German Mixx Entertainment at the Wayback Machine archive index Blu Manga imprint Official site at the Wayback Machine archive index Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Tokyopop amp oldid 1092600480, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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