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AX 2002: TOKYOPOP Panel

posted on 2002-07-06 07:47 EDT
Much Authentic Manga, Original Lupin Manga aquired.

Jake Forbes, Senior Editor of TOKYOPOP, spoke for much of TOKYOPOP's panel, showcasing many CLAMP manga-related aquisitions and respective release plans.

Tokyopop has aquired the license to the original Lupin the 3rd Manga by Monkey Punch and is planning to release them every other month in 200+ page volumes. This license was finalyzed in the past week and as a result their plans for it are not yet 100% firm.

A new venture TOKYOPOP is experimenting with is what they are calling "Cinemanga", which is manga volumes consructed out of stills from their respective anime series, these type of Manga have existed in Japan for many years and several (Gundam 0083, Dirty Pair) have already been made available in North America. The two titles they are testing the waters with are Akira, Card Captors. They do not own the rights to the Initial D Cinemanga, they will wait and see how the first do first before they license any more.

Cardcaptor Sakura is going to be moved to the 100% Authentic Manga line and will be renamed to "Master of the Clow: Cardcaptor Sakura" in order to distinguish it from the already released volumes. At some point they plan to re-release the previous volumes in the 100% Authentic Manga format.

Both Cardcaptor Sakura and Magic Knight Rayearth artbooks are in the works, with Cardcaptor Sakura artbooks planned for a monthly release schedule. The artbooks are a new project for Tokyopop, an experiment, so-to-speak. They will try to keep the artbooks as close to the Japanese originals as possible, and will consider future artbooks based on the success of these two.

Their upcoming release of Angelic Layer will be the first to include color pages. Followed by Wish, a recent CLAMP manga title, in August, which will have 8 color pages. Wish should be finished by the end of the year. Other releases mentioned include Peach Girl, Paradise Kiss, Marmalade Boy, Kodocha, and Mars. Regarding Marmalade Boy, volumes one and two have done very well in stores, and they will soon have announcements regarding the Marmalada Boy Anime. They are also releasing two manwa (Korean manga) Ragnarok and Priest.

When asked if/when the Kare Kano manga would be released, the response was, "In the very near future."

On the anime front it was reannounced that they will finish up the Saint Tail series with a 3-DVD collector's set.

GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka is selling particularly well. Volumes 4 and 5 will have interviews with the creator, Fujisawa Touru, and should be out by the end of the year.

TOKYOPOP is viewing Initial D as their marquee product and are currently shopping it around to companies interested in airing it on television, with very positive feedback. There have been "editorial" changes made to the series in order to make it more attractive to television buyers. The soundtrack question, about whether or not they were replacing the original musical score with a new Americanized one came up, but was not directly answered. The Initial D manga, starting with volume 2, will follow a new format with Americanized names, and will probably result in a reprint of volume 1.

Formerly called "Alexander Senki," "Reign" will become available in 2003 and features character designs by Peter Chung, the same person responsible for designs in Aeon Flux. Reign is produced by MADHOUSE and directed by Rintaro.

Brigadoon will be released in early 2003, 26 episodes spread out over 6 DVDs.

On another end, in response to a question, TOKYOPOP said that they were considering picking up and translating Anime related novels but that at the moment they had no specific plans.

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