TOKYOPOP Is Shutting Down

It’s with a heavy heart that I direct you to this piece at The Beat, which reports that TOKYOPOP is shutting down at the end of May. I have a feeling the worst of the sadness is yet to come, as I start to fully process which beloved series will be left in limbo.

Rather than dwell on that depressing thought, I figured I’d outline what is left on TOKYOPOP’s production calendar through the end of May, according to Amazon. Hopefully we will still get all these books. Maybe we won’t.

(already in stock)
V.B. Rose 12
Silver Diamond 9
Gakuen Alice 16
Ratman 4
The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko 2
Future Diary 10
Karakuri Odette 6 (at least this one got an ending!)
NG Life 9
Shinobi Life 7
Neko Ramen 4
Priest Purgatory (Volume one? There’s another one in May…)

Saving Life 1
Foxy Lady 4 (still says pre-order though its release date has passed)

Hetalia: Axis Powers 3
Maid Sama! 9
.hack//G.U. 4 (novel)
Priest: Purgatory
Happy Cafe 8
Fate/Stay Night 11
Sgt. Frog 21
Maid Shokun 1
Sakura’s Finest 1
Samurai Harem 8
Deadman Wonderland 5
AiON 3
Hanako and the Terror of Allegory 4 (an ending!)
Butterfly 2
Ghostface 1
The Stellar Six of Gingacho 3
Clean Freak, Fully Equipped 2 (another ending!)
The Qwaser of Stigmata 2 (see comments)

Series finales that had been scheduled but will now not materialize include V. B. Rose, Portrait of M & N, Alice in the Country of Hearts, and The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko.

UPDATE: Sean Gaffney of A Case Suitable for Treatment has compiled a similar list, but also rounded up releases that will now never come to pass. You can find his post here.

UPDATE 2: A look at the (extremely depressing) list of removed items at RightStuf suggests that those May titles are not going to be released after all. This means that Karakuri Odette and NG Life were the last series TOKYOPOP actually managed to complete.

UPDATE 3: Several of the releases originally scheduled for early May have begun to appear in comic shops. No Hetalia or Maid Sama!, unfortunately, but we’ll at least get the final volume to Hanako and the Terror of Allegory.

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  1. insaneben says

    I’m shocked and saddened, yet somehow, after hearing this past February that they had laid off long-time stalwarts like Lillian Diaz-Pryzbyl (sp?), and that their publishing staff had been reduced to all of six people, I had a feeling it was only a matter of time before their manga division went belly-up.

    And yet, they said their European manga division will remain operational. Will this mean they’ll continue to publish books and get a third-party to distribute them? Or will this simply be the last domino to fall before Tokyopop devotes its remaining resources to film (and padding Stu Levy’s bank account)? Only time will tell…

    (On a personal note, I’m glad I got the remaining volumes of every other Tokyopop series I wanted… all except for Aria, which, depending on the days and months ahead, may either continue to be published, dropped and rescued by another publisher, or join “Harukaze Bitter Bop” and countless others in licensing limbo. Stay tuned…)

    • I’m not sure exactly what that German office is going to be doing. I had assumed it would just be film-related, but if it meant more English volumes I’d be happy, even though all the American employees are now jobless. I’m selfish like that, I guess.

      The ANN article does have a quote from a PR person that more specifics on future releases will be forthcoming, so perhaps more details on the German arm’s role will be provided then as well.

      You’re luckier than I am on series you were following. I am loathe to even try to count the shoujo series I was following that are now doomed to be terminally unfinished. There must be at least a dozen of them. Plus the few series aimed for a male audience that I liked (the ones without giant bazongas on the cover)…

  2. What makes it utterly shocking to me is the fact that Tokyopop just announced they were retooling their website. I feel like this came completely out of the blue. Should I have expected this? Probably. But it is Tokyopop, and you’d think they’d be able to stick around.

    But as it turns out, it couldn’t overcome their mistakes and the overall state of Manga in America and the economy.

    • Their website announcement was one of the first things I thought of, too! And you’re not alone, because I didn’t expect it, either. I guess the layoffs were a harbinger of trouble to come, plus the comments about Borders owing them massive amounts of money, but I guess I just got so used to TOKYOPOP weathering difficult times that I thought they’d simply do it again.

  3. Wait, Qwaser of Stigmata 2 is already printed (I’ve had it on my shelf since March). The next volume scheduled is vol. 3 in July.

  4. I am never going to get to finish Loveless. I can’t even begin to tell you how horribly frustrated I am with that series right now and then now it’s likely never to be finished! I hope some other companies pick up these titles and I hope the people that lost their jobs find new ones soon!

    • Yeah, there’s a ninth volume of Loveless that was never released here.

      The good news is that it was released in French (you can find it at Amazon Canada here). Actually, of the abandoned TOKYOPOP series, I’ve found several so far that are available en Francais. And Google Translate actually does a pretty good job.

  5. MaybeBlue says

    I really hope other companies pick up these titles. I read so many of them, and I’m not sure what I’d do if I couldn’t get these volumes.

  6. Surullia says

    NOOOOOO!! i pre-ordered Hetalia vol 3 and i was excited for weeks, the day it was gonna be in stores is the day the company shuts down!!(May 31)that’s the story of my life 🙁

    • Michelle says

      I’m pretty surprised they didn’t release it, given the opportunity for profit. I can only assume there was some valid reason they didn’t or couldn’t, but it’s really a shame.

  7. nesstron says

    do you know what is happaning to the manga sgt frog

    • Michelle says

      No, I don’t. The licenses for these series have now reverted to the original Japanese publishers, so it will be up to some other company to step in and rescue a series. So far, that hasn’t happened yet. I’d be willing to bet that the first series we’ll see this happen with is Hetalia, a top seller.

      I don’t know how well Sgt. Frog sold, but I’d guess not too well.

    • According to Midtown Comics, volume 21 of Sgt. Frog is coming out on June 29th through Diamond Distributors. I don’t know if it’ll reach regular retail stores, but you might contact your local comic book shop.


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