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Takokujin



Joined: 18 Jul 2012
Posts: 266

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:46 pm Reply with quote
I just got back into manga/anime after a hiatus. I'm leaning more to streaming anime (legally) and buying manga. However, I have a huge fear: a) unfinished series and b) the state of the industry. I just bought Twin Spica 1-12 for many reasons, but the biggest reason I bought everything at once was because it's going OOP. Oh, I hate that acronym!

Are the current manga publishers in North America companies that would finish the series they're publishing? Now I'm not one to buy a series that more than likely won't make it, but I don't want to get Tokyopop'd or Bandai'd anytime soon. Do you trust Yen, DMP, Viz, and the other current publishers? I don't want to not support because of fear, but I hate unfinished stuff. If I have to stay up on every volume to dodge the OOP issue, that is fine, but I don't want to get so many volumes in to a series and then have it canceled or the company decided to just stop.

One company I really like is Vertical. Ed actually keeps me up-to-date on what is going OOP and what should be bought when due to a lack of a second printing.

What are your thoughts on the manga industry, particularly the print industry?

I cry inside when I see how small the manga shelf has become at my local BAM.
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SereneChaos



Joined: 14 Oct 2011
Posts: 372
Location: Middle of Nowhere, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:44 pm Reply with quote
The only companies I can know much about are Viz and Yen. Viz won't drop a series if it sells well, so their more popular series are pretty safe to buy. I'm not sure how many series they've dropped before (I only buy One Piece from them), but I know they have dropped some series they were losing money on before. Yen Press is the company I trust most. I don't think Yen has ever dropped a title and their releases are really good quality. If they continued a little know series like Sholder-a-Coffin Kuro even after the author went on a five year hiatus, I think almost all of their titles are safe to buy.

I read most of my manga through the library, so I'm almost never stuck with incomplete series if companies do quit on a title. It's also great for reading completed but OOP series, like Fruits Basket or Jing: King of Bandits.
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classicalzawa
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 19 Jan 2008
Posts: 4681

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:05 pm Reply with quote
I think Vertical is probably the best right now. They will reprint stuff after a while if it's needed, but if it's not going to be re-printed, well they told us back in March Twin Spica was going out of print but clearly said that you'll have a few months to get it. Sure, they'll only print hardcover and special editions once, but look at Ode to Kirihito, got reprinted in two volumes later on. But if they finished a series as (unfortunately) poor selling as Twin Spica, I think they're likely to finish anything. At least depending on their contracts, I know Drops of God's contract is supposed to be weird, like they only got the rights to the first arc? They'll be publishing more, but I think it's supposed to be a later arc or something weird.

Viz...well if it's a popular series, I do trust that it will all come out eventually. If it's a less popular series, I am wary. Gintama is the obvious one, but I was afraid Hikaru no Go might not make it to the end, considering it took them 7 years to put out the whole series (it only ran for about 4.5 years in Japan!). But how were we supposde to know that Gintama of all things would get axed after 23 volumes? We certainly couldn't know that during the release of even the first 10 volumes. I do, at this point, assume that all the Sig titles will be completed in full (since there doesn't seem to be any evidence to the contrary), but it will also take for freakin' ever. Especially if it runs on their website where they translate one chapter of Bokurano a month and they're maybe 30 pages a chapter and 8 chapters a volume.
But then when it comes to OOP stuff, no warning. I can't say this is unusual, Vertical giving us warning is like a breath of fresh air. You'll usually find out when it's too late, the best I can say is that notice if TRSI delists something. If you are lucky, it's not too late to get it from Amazon. I noticed Dr. Slump 9 get delisted and got it at Otakon, months later, it's at least $40 for the volume.

Dark Horse though, I just can't trust them. They decide if they'll sell the next volume based on previous volume sales or something, so then you end up 12 volumes into Eden only for them to stop publishing it. Then release vol 13 years later well after volumes 8 and 9 are impossible to get. Gotta say, not very encouraging for me to start collecting a series when I know I can't get 8 and 9.

Kodansha is too new for me to evaluate, but I will say that I'm mad at them for not taking Moyashimon over from DelRey with them. Finally there was a manga for microbiologists and we only get two volumes?!

DMP, I don't have too much by them, but I will say that Flower of Life caused some problems (not for me with my incredible luck of course, hehe). They published vol 1-3 in about a year, then two years later, volume 4 came out with no fanfare whatsoever. Now it's impossibly OOP too. But their kickstarters have meant more Tezuka, that I do approve of!
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Takokujin



Joined: 18 Jul 2012
Posts: 266

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:38 pm Reply with quote
Thanks for your comments. How many incomplete series do you all have? It's such a gamble. What's funny is that the first manga I ever bought was Gunslinger Girl Vol. 1 in 2004. Lo and behold, it's just now seeing justice by Seven Seas in 2012/2013. I think I'm going to do my best to get full series when I can and only go with titles I feel pretty comfortable are going to finish. What a freakin' gamble. Smile
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ZepysGirl



Joined: 14 Jun 2010
Posts: 469
Location: NY, NY

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:19 am Reply with quote
Series being dropped really isn't that common of a thing. Outside of entire companies folding, which you can't rightly predict, companies normally only drop the really under-preforming titles--- and even then that's pretty rare.

To put this into perspective, I have 183 completed series in my collection. I'm currently following 67 more. Out of all the series I collect, only 3 have been dropped by a company that is still in business (Bastard!! [Viz], Reborn! [Viz], and Wolf God [DMP]). Then there are about another... 20 series dropped when a company went out of business (Tokyopop left many holes in my collection. Anime cry). Incomplete series make up a very, very small portion of my collection as a whole--- as they should, unless you happen to have very, very bad luck. Laughing

It's not really a gamble. You can't buy manga assuming that Viz or Yen Press or whoever will go out of business. You just can't. When you take out companies folding, the odds really are in your favor. Most companies finish most series they print. Some do better than others (Vertical & Yen Press), while others do not-as-well (Viz and DMP =_=). I'd suggest just checking online first, making sure the series you want to collect is not one of those rare dropped series.


OOP volumes are a whole 'nother issue, and they're practically impossible to predict as well. The best thing to do is find an early warning sign, like classicalzawa said. I use Amazon; if the shipping time changes to "Ships in 2-4 weeks", then you know something is amiss. Anime hyper Back when I was trying to catch up to current releases, I used the Amazon Wish List feature to organize myself. It helped to highlight which volumes of ongoing series might go or were already OOP.
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RAmmsoldat
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Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 997
Location: North wales coast

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:19 am Reply with quote
If you want to collect manga I say don't fear OOP books but get your head down and slog it out, prioritise the series you want and if you want to start a new series that has a OOP volume check out theavailability of all volumes before you order vol.1.

One thing you can't avoid is volumes going OOP while you are collecting. Id love to get kurosagi corpse delivery vol.5 but its one of those that went OOP just after i started collecting the series and Vertical is the only company that actually communicates with manga readers.

Id love for somone at one of the conventions to get the viz or dark horse reps and ask em why they stay so quiet, its alright asking other folks why but id like a reply off them.
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Ensof



Joined: 19 Jul 2007
Posts: 66
Location: Meifumadō

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:19 am Reply with quote
Altogether, not including Dark Horse titles, I’ve got eight incomplete series sitting on my shelves. Two were victims of Tokyopop’s demise (Future Diary and Your & My Secret, both of which were frustratingly close to completion), one was cancelled by Tokyopop (Life), one disappeared when ADV went under (Cromartie High School), one was dropped by DMP, rescued by Udon and then dropped again (Robot) and three were dropped by Del Rey and haven’t been picked up by Kodansha (Alive, My Heavenly Hocky Club, Suzuka). On the plus side Seven Seas rescued two series that were victims of publishers going under (Blood Alone, Gunslinger Girl). This isn’t too bad a record with a collection of about 900 volumes, unless one counts . . .

Dark Horse: four series they cancelled (Museum of Terror, Reiko the Zombie Shop, Satsuma Gishiden, Shadow Star; five if you include The Legend of Mother Sarah) and three others (Translucent, Eden, MPD Psycho) that look dead in the water. DH never seem to make official announcements about cancellations until well after the fact. To add to the confusion they do sometimes bring a series out of hiatus. The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, for example, was looking a bit dicey for a while, but after nearly two years they recently released volume 12, and volume 13 is scheduled for release before the end of the year. Probably the most exasperating thing is that they have no compunction about dropping even short series. For example, they released only three out of five volumes of Satsuma Gishiden, and five out of seven volumes of Cannon God Exaxxion. I’m not sure how badly these series sold – maybe very badly – but cancelling so many is a pretty sure way to lose the trust of readers. To be fair Dark Horse have of late improved their sales with a smaller catalogue of titles, only a handful licensed in the last 3-4 years. So recent licenses (such as Gate 7), and older series that have been released regularly for years (such as Oh My Goddess!), might be a relatively safe bet. Caveat emptor, though.

Regardless of the publisher, collecting series as they come out is always risky. I suppose the most sensible thing from a reader’s perspective is to only collect completed series, as usually only the longest have volumes that go OOP while they’re still going. However, too many readers not buying series while they’re being released increases the risk of them being cancelled. Personally if I like a series I pick it up regardless of whether it’s ongoing or not, and just hope for the best.
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Alan45
Village ElderVillage Elder


Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 2922
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:25 am Reply with quote
The problem is that the only way you can be sure a series will be completed is to wait until it is all published. This has a couple of drawbacks, if it is more than a few volumes long, some may be hard or expensive to get. In addition if too many people wait it may never get completely published due to lack of demand.

If you buy volumes as they come out you don't have to worry about them going out of print. In addition you get to enjoy the ride. There are several titles that were never completed that I would not have been willing to miss even if I had known the future.

Basically there are no guarantees, some series are not complete even if you read Japanese. Appleseed is a good example, it is a fun series even if incomplete.

For the record, I have 120 series listed as incomplete due to cancellation or the company going out of business.
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st_owly
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 20 May 2008
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Location: Edinburgh, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:39 am Reply with quote
I don't have that many cancelled series compared to the amount of complete ones I have. I have Nodame Cantabile from Del Rey, Maid-sama and The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko from Tokyopop, and Pure Heart from DMP/June that I remember off the top of my head.

As others have said, random OOP volumes are far more of a problem than discontinued series. I would love to own Basara, for example, but volumes 19 and 20 are so legendarily OOP that I'm not going to even bother trying.
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Alan45
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Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 2922
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:48 am Reply with quote
@ st owly
I'm not familiar with Basara, but I would suggest that a title that has run 20 or more volumes will be episodic or will have a series of arcs. You probably would have fun just reading the first 18 volumes.
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Takokujin



Joined: 18 Jul 2012
Posts: 266

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:29 am Reply with quote
Thanks for all your input.

I'm currently seeking Kurosagi Vol. 5 as well. It looks like used is the way to go here. Vol. 2 looks to be out as well. The series looks cool, but I may have to pass it up.
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RAmmsoldat
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Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 997
Location: North wales coast

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:35 pm Reply with quote
Well I've been trying to get a used copy, there was 2 on ebay the other week and i lost on both auctions
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Takokujin



Joined: 18 Jul 2012
Posts: 266

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:41 pm Reply with quote
RAmmsoldat wrote:
Well I've been trying to get a used copy, there was 2 on ebay the other week and i lost on both auctions


Go with Amazon!
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archaron
Bargain HunterBargain Hunter


Joined: 10 Oct 2006
Posts: 1017

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:55 pm Reply with quote
How much is volume 5 going for anyway? Got mine a few years ago for a couple of dollars. It sure is surprising how fast some titles go out of print.
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Takokujin



Joined: 18 Jul 2012
Posts: 266

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:58 pm Reply with quote
I think I found a good condition used book for $5 on Amazon.
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