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NEWS: Tokyopop Lay Offs


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B33



Joined: 17 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:29 pm Reply with quote
Meh... I am not really a fan of Tokyopop. I'm not really interested in the titles they release(except .Hack//) and I don't like their schedule. (Note: Their better then CPM, but not as good as Dark Horse). I find it interesting they layed a few people off. Wonder if this is just the begining...
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Tempest
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:42 pm Reply with quote
daggerbob wrote:
Could be the start of fall-out from the Musicland fiasco. Tokyopop and other manga publishers took a blood bath on losses from them since they have not been paid for a while and will probably never see a cent from Musicland anyway.


Actually, Tokyopop and the other manga publishers haven't been affected nearly as bad as the anime companies.

Musicland bought all its manga thorugh Ingram Books, and Ingram isn't going bankrupt.

So while Ingram might not get paid for a very long time, if ever, it still has to pay Tokyopop.

-t
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apple pro



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 8:34 pm Reply with quote
i don't hate OEL but listening to mangacast (podcast), the guys made a interesting point:

we don't buy manga just for the stories. we love authentic manga because it has it's own unique charm. the hype from japan, the fan subs, the joy of seeing it licenced... it all comes together to what we currently witness at out local bookstore. an entire shelf packed with just manga.


OEL is fine and I don't read it nor disparage it but... it's not the sameas authentic manga. for Tokyo Pop to bet the farm on this stuff... good luck. (please just let me have my ai yori aoshi and beck and I don't care about the rest)
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gaven83



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:57 am Reply with quote
Tokyopop's emphasis on OEL manga has really been forced upon them. They have significantly reduced options when it comes to Japanese manga because Shueisha & Shogakukan will only deal with Viz and Del Rey has an exclusive contract with Kodansha. That severely reduces the amount of titles that Tokyopop can even consider licensing. Their embracing of OEL manga is a survival mechanism rather than a deliberate marketing strategy. As for the layoffs, I can't say I didn't see this coming based on the limited licensing options they have for the future.
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wisdom_of_trees



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:57 am Reply with quote
OEL is just another format of Manga. It's good art and interesting stories that sell me; not authenticity.
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apple pro



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:28 am Reply with quote
wisdom_of_trees wrote:
OEL is just another format of Manga. It's good art and interesting stories that sell me; not authenticity.


i think that's cool. to me OEL is more closer to american comics than it is to authentic japanese manga. so you can check out a lot of interesting stories out there because you're not stuck on the "authenticity" factor.

i am though, so i've got tons of manga coming from del rey and viz i like! Laughing (And Beck from TP!)
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mufurc



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:26 am Reply with quote
We can argue about definitions of "manga" on and forth, but for me, what OEL I have seen wasn't the same as Japanese manga (just like the Korean manhwa I've seen). Even if the art, the characters and the story are great, there's just something missing. Which wouldn't be a bad thing, by itself, but sadly the missing thing, whatever it is, also prevents me from enjoying them.

Maybe it's that they're too self-conscious (at least the ones I've seen). I think OEL would be better if they were just comics, instead of trying to be "manga."
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Patachu
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:51 am Reply with quote
mufurc wrote:
We can argue about definitions of "manga" on and forth, but for me, what OEL I have seen wasn't the same as Japanese manga (just like the Korean manhwa I've seen). Even if the art, the characters and the story are great, there's just something missing.


Maybe the fact that people don't dress up as them and the lack of pubescent fangirls claiming possession and glomping rights to their favorite OEL character? Rolling Eyes
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apple pro



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:59 am Reply with quote
mufurc wrote:
We can argue about definitions of "manga" on and forth, but for me, what OEL I have seen wasn't the same as Japanese manga (just like the Korean manhwa I've seen). Even if the art, the characters and the story are great, there's just something missing. Which wouldn't be a bad thing, by itself, but sadly the missing thing, whatever it is, also prevents me from enjoying them.

Maybe it's that they're too self-conscious (at least the ones I've seen). I think OEL would be better if they were just comics, instead of trying to be "manga."


I agree with you. something is missing!

i don't own any manhwa or oel because of it. i'm not doubting the quality — authentic manga posesses an intangible quality.
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CCSYueh



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:05 pm Reply with quote
But a few of us like manwha. Yes, there's a dif, but at some point one also realizes there's an awful lot of really, really, reeeaalllly pointless manga making it over. Time was I bought pretty much all of Tokyopop's titles & gave them at least 2 or 3 volumes to get going. Then EVERYONE got into manga & there's just no way to keep up so, yeah, even if one had the cash to keep up, there's also the time to keep up.
Clamp is great, of course. There are some manga-ka's I seem to enjoy all their stuff, but others, it's pretty obvious why this or that IS their biggest title. I love Flame of Recca, but 2 volumes of Mar hit me as just another shonen title like all the others. I enjoy DNAngel, but Rizelmine had no real saving grave for me. Not all manga is great art/great storytelling. Yes, it has that Japanese feel to it, but manga is an industry. The artists are earning their living. It's not all inspired-some of it's filler.
Manwha has a different feel. If you don't like it, ok, but don't dismiss it as an inferior product. Many of my favorite titles are manwha. When Rebirth started, it felt like Angel meets Dark Schneider, but it's one of my favorite titles now. If it hadn't started when it did, I probably wouldn't have picked it up because I don't blindly pick up all the Tokyopop titles anymore. Dragon Hunter & Chronicles of the Cursed Sword-I don't know what it is about them, but I just can't stop reading tghem. They aren't incredible, but I want to know what happens to the characters, so I keep buying them, even with the 3-month release schedule Tokyopop has always used on manwha. King of Hell has it's dull moments, but the good ones are great enough to keep me reading(I loved the Where's Waldo with the lead)-I think I was hooked by the guy Majeh (a grim reaper-type) was picking up flipped him off within the first 5 pages in Vol 1. Island was very cool & a serial killer as one of the leads was good. Threads of Time is incredible & Eternity is also very interesting. I would love to see Mazca vol 2 someday (yeah, it's CPM). Demon Diary was great & Angel Diary Vol 1 was also very good.
At least Tokyopop hasn't hit ADV level. I don't even pay attention to their manga line anymore since there's no guarantee we'll ever see any of it ever again(Tactics, Your & My Secret, Quantum Mistake...)
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Keonyn
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:32 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
i don't own any manhwa or oel because of it. i'm not doubting the quality — authentic manga posesses an intangible quality.


I don't really buy that myself, something is good or bad, interesting or not, geography doesn't really play any part in that. Besides, by that argument anything authentic has an intangible quality, such as authentic manwha or OEL.

Personally I just gauge the quality of something by its individual merits and not by the location it came from or the civil status of its creator.
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Tentopet



Joined: 27 Jan 2006
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Location: Denver

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:17 pm Reply with quote
Keonyn wrote:
Besides, by that argument anything authentic has an intangible quality, such as authentic manwha or OEL.


Lol that's a great point. That said, obviously different countries have different cultures, and that's gonna show itself somehow in the artistic things they do. I don't think manga made in America by people born and raised in America will EVER have the exact tone as Japanese manga. I think Americans in general are a lot more...how do I say this...direct? in the way they speak, write, and apparently, create comics. That said, I don't think this is a bad thing at all (as well as Australian manga having an Australian flare or English manga having an English flare). Since when did Japan have the only cool culture in the world? And I think much of OEL manga has a whoooole lot more in common with MANGA than with superhero or indie comics. In my eyes, it's almost just a different genre WITHIN manga. I read mostly shoujo--that doesn't mean I'm upset it's in the same book section with every other genre of manga. I can find it just the same.

And here's the thing: If manga and anime are to remain popular in the States, it's INEVITABLE we will start to see people on this side creating it, with their own twist. There's really no way around that. People will grow up with it, and be inspired to make their own. And it won't be something wannabe, any more than a kid in Japan who wants to draw manga. It'll just be what they've been exposed to.

And eventually, it will become popular. If it doesn't, that'll only be an indication that anime and manga will fizzle out in the States. It'll only show that manga is a novelty, and that it cannot be ingrained into our lives because it's sooooo Japanese that we don't actually understand it. That it only crossed the ocean because it was cool.

So seeing OEL as a threat or business suicide, to me, isn't very realistic. You have no clue if TP's done layoffs before. You have no clue if VIZ has done it, or any other company that doesn't publish OEL manga. Something tells me this sort of thing doesn't often leak to anime news sites.

You like manga because in some sense it really speaks to you unlike anything else. I think these OEL creators have felt that in some sense or another, and so it would only make sense that they'd incorporate those parts that really speak to them. Perhaps those parts are different from the parts that touch you, and this is why you think they're missing that "something". And perhaps it's because they're still trying to pinpoint exactly what it is that's inspired them. And I don't think that's an impossible thing to figure out.

That said, I'm one of said creators, so you can take what I say with a big fat grain of salt.


Last edited by Tentopet on Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:42 pm; edited 2 times in total
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lantis



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:37 pm Reply with quote
[quote="kusanagi-sama]Actually, they will get paid, Ingram is the one who distributed manga to Musicland, and Ingram is still responsible for paying companies even during Musicland's bankruptcy.[/quote]

Actually I will say both yes and no to this. Ingram already took back all inventory from Musicland. Ingram could then return all of it to the publisher and then they would only owe the publisher the stuff that was sold and not paid for by Musicland. This could still create a lot of pain for Tokyopop and Viz. For someone like Del Rey they probably wouldn't even notice.
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Ztarr



Joined: 15 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:53 pm Reply with quote
That's one thing I don't like about Tokyopop: calling non-japanese manga "OEL" and calling manga from Japan "100% authentic"...

Don't forget that American companies like TokyoPop and Viz only translate manga that has been successful in Japan...so as a North American reader, all the tons and tons of crappy manga in Japan gets filtered out through the American licensing companies...and doesn't reach your local bookstore shelf.

But so called "OEL" manga hasn't been published/distributed by major companies for very long now...there hasn't been a hugely popular manga made by a westerner so far...except for maybe MegaTokyo (which has more of a webcomic-based fan following anyway).

It's a little unfair to judge manga based on its origin; the titles out their right now aren't lower-quality because they're in English...they just haven't made a big impact on a lot of readers. Someday there will be an english title that makes it big and readers go crazy over it...it just hasn't happened yet.

I think there is some validity to the statement that Tokyopop's english titles do look a little too American-comic-ish. There is a lot more to drawing manga than just big shinny eyes...that's the "something missing" factor...we haven't seen very many artists that truely bring all features of manga together.

....that doesn't mean that being Japanese is a requirement to make good manga.
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Deacon Blues



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:14 pm Reply with quote
Ztarr wrote:
That's one thing I don't like about Tokyopop: calling non-japanese manga "OEL" and calling manga from Japan "100% authentic"...

Don't forget that American companies like TokyoPop and Viz only translate manga that has been successful in Japan...so as a North American reader, all the tons and tons of crappy manga in Japan gets filtered out through the American licensing companies...and doesn't reach your local bookstore shelf.


I wouldn't even lump Tokyopop in the same mixture as Viz. Viz actually keeps things on the line of what the original Japanese where as Tokyopop decides to doctor the manga and make it more hip and exciting by adding unnecessary swearing and removing what they think is pointless dialogue. Their claims of "100% Original Manga" is a bunch of bullshit if you ask me.
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