Since Tokyopop shuttered its US operations in 2011, there have been periodic rumors about the company’s “return,” usually prompted by a press release announcing a new partnership between Tokyopop and a movie studio, or an interview with Tokyopop founder Stu Levy. And while it’s true that Tokyopop reinstated its cine-manga program in 2016, the company hasn’t done much in the way of licensing in the last seven years. That may be changing, however. In a recent interview with ICv2, Levy revealed the company’s plans to publish three Gentosha titles, Hanger, Konohana Kitan, and Futaribeya, and suggested that they may try their hand at “collectible” editions of “great” manga that bigger players such as VIZ, Kodansha, and Yen Press aren’t publishing.
Not everyone has greeted this news as a positive development. Nick Rowe noted that Levy has made similar promises about the company’s rebirth in other interviews:
All I see in these snippets is Stu admitting what his angle/gimmick is for TP V2.0. The fact that he’s so focused on BL and Yuri should be another red flag, because if he starts making money off those fans it’ll turn into abusing their buying power very quickly.
— Nick Rowe (@SPD4649) March 2, 2018
Rowe’s comments are worth a read, as they neatly summarize why a lot of readers — myself included — are skeptical that Tokyopop can find a niche for itself in the current market, especially now that Kodansha has firmly established itself as a major player in the US. File this under Wait and See.
What were the top manga franchises of Fall 2017? According to ICv2, AKIRA was number #1, followed by a slew of VIZ titles old — One Piece — and new — My Hero Academia, Tokyo Ghoul. ICv2 rankings “reflect sales in all channels” from September to December 2017. [ICv2]
The February 2018 NPD Bookscan numbers have just been released, and My Hero Academia, Black Panther, and RWBY are among the month’s top-performing titles. [ICv2]
MANGA NEWS AND COMMENTARY
Are grandmothers the new vampires? A wave of manga about women in their 70s and 80s “have hit a chord with readers of all ages” in Japan, depicting older heroines in a “free, positive, even adventurous and romantic” light. [Nikkei Asian Review]
There’s a Princess Leia manga in the works. [IGN]
Also in the pipeline are three new series from Shonen Jump superstars Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto), Tite Kubo (Bleach), and Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro (Toriko). [Crunchyroll]
Seven Seas’ monthly reader survey for March is now live. [GoManga]
City, Cutie Honey A-Go-Go, and Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War are just a few of the new series arriving in stores this month. Brigid Alverson has the full scoop on these titles as well as the latest volumes of long-running favorites. [B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog]
If you’ve been on the fence about Delicious in Dungeon, let Twitter taste-maker Minovsky persuade you to give this weird, delightful series a try. [@MinovskyArticle]
Paging avid Shonen Jump readers! Bookmark the Black Manga Critic’s YouTube channel for great commentary on the magazine’s most popular series, from My Hero Academia to The Promised Neverland and One Piece. [The Black Manga Critic]
Early stills from the live-action adaptation of Gengoroh Tagame’s My Brother’s Husband suggest the series will be remarkably faithful to its source material. [Otaku USA]
Speaking of live adaptations, 20th Century Fox has pushed the released date for Alita: Battle Angel to December 21, 2018, where it will square off with Aquaman and yet another Sherlock Holmes film, this one starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as Holmes & Watson. [The Hollywood Reporter]