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Anime Expo 2012 - Tokyopop




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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 5012
Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:09 pm Reply with quote
So, um, are they really interested in being back in business in N. America again or not? This sounds very iffy, and the mention of "TV shows" and "merchandise" started alarm bells in my head.
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ANNs Citizen



Joined: 07 Aug 2010
Posts: 15
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:43 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Tokyopop founder Stu Levy began the panel with an outline of the company's history. Levy described his personal background in depth, discovering Japanese pop culture as a young twentysomething and eventually starting Tokyopop (then Mixx) as a manga licensor in 1997.


Should've been named the "Stu Levy Panel."

Quote:
Tokyopop also led the OEL manga push, hoping to cultivate local artists inspired by the Japanese manga. Levy admitted that they had been too aggressive, releasing over 300 books and taking on huge costs because of that. However, he noted that the blossoming of artist alleys at conventions—and fans who by from them—proves that the strategy of cultivating "local manga artists" has worked in the long term.


Stu Levy never made serious attempts of helping OEL artists. He was only their to make a name for himself. This article perfectly explains Levy's mixed record with OEL artists:
http://www.tcj.com/publishing-power-and-print-purgatory-inside-the-tokyopop-rights-situation/

Quote:
In recent years, the company also expanded into films and merchandise like Priest, Van Von Hunter and the America's Greatest Otaku series, as well as figurines and t-shirts relating to original Tokyopop series.


Stu Levy expanded too much outside of his companies' limited capital that they ended up laying off 90% of the initial staff and outsourcing most of the jobs to inexperienced freelancers(with a few former Tokyopop staff members working with lesser wages).


Quote:
The company's eventual downfall, according to Levy, came due to a number of factors: increased competition (mainly Japanese publishers taking over operations themselves), an over-supply of books, hitting the "fan base ceiling" of potential manga readers, unsuccessful attempts at diversification, and costly new initiatives.


The only "ceiling" I know is Stu Levy himself. The man was too egoistic and didn't focus on what matters the most; publishing quality Manga. That is their core product. There shouldn't have been any live-actions, films or any of that sort made. Period

Quote:

Then came the big elephants in the room: online piracy, the recent economic crash, and the closing of Borders, who was a major buyer of Tokyopop inventory.


1. If "Online Piracy" was the rationale, Viz and Yen Press would have been out of business by now.

2. If the "Economic Crash" affected their business, why is Seven Seas still around then? They were much more smaller on the publishing scale than Tokyopop and had lesser resources, connections, and capital to work with and yet, they survived. How was this not possible for Tokyopop when it was for Seven Seas. Sounds like Levy crashed their party.

3. Again, had Tokyopop/Stu Levy focused their capital and resources on investing in quality Manga/original-comics instead of expanding outside their means, "the closing of Boarders" wouldn't have affected their business substantially. Viz, Yen Press, and Seven Seas all had connections with Borders, and yet, all of them live. Stu Levy/Tokyopop was ill-prepared for the situation hence why they ended up going out of business.
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Betenoire



Joined: 11 Jun 2009
Posts: 32
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:07 pm Reply with quote
Just one little note, Borders was (albeit seriously) ailing when Levy pulled the plug, they actually managed to hold on and closed their (final) doors after TokyoPop made the decision to shutter.

Yes their status likely caused problems with TokyoPop getting paid for their material but Levy doesn't get to try to rewrite the timing of events to try to take any blame for his decision off himself. He had a long history of trying to find "the next big thing" and a number of comments about wanting out of publishing to his record before the doors closed.

His failure to acknowledge the role he played in the downfall of his company indicates to me he has not learned his lessons at all and any subsequent venture is doomed to end the same way because of this. Now maybe he is just putting on a face for any potential [s]sucker[/s] investor who might think that giving him money to re-launch will recapture the wave of manga popularity that TokyoPop helped create and ride with their "Right to Left" initiative but anyone with that much cash should either be business savvy enough to see the disaster coming down the road or already parted with their cash in an attempt to help some poor Nigerian Prince.

Yeah I am negative on him and his future "plans" as I was there from Mixxzine #1 through almost the entire ride to the end (including a good majority of their anime and soundtrack run) and while I enjoyed the ups the down spiral was one that only became inevitable because of the actions of the same man who had built up the company to its heights.

Given he still seems to think mass market (well, as mass market as something as niche as "America's Greatest Otaku can be given it is less interesting and watched than programs about hoarders) and merchandising spin offs from the core of the company are the route to go I'm certainly not expecting TP to rise from the ashes he left it in (made harder by his seeming attempt to then use Twitter to salt the earth around those ashes) and I won't be going near any effort to release a title until it is done in its entirety if they do come back.

tl;dr version- Thanks for what you did in the past Levy but you chose to leave. Go find something to do in your post TP life rather than troll what few people still feel fondly for you.
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Sunday Silence



Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 2047
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:50 pm Reply with quote
And proof once again an Anime Con is stupid enough to give some schmuck their own panel for the most idiotic thing. This puts many fan-run panels to shame.

Quote:
At this point the panel had already run over time and there was no Q&A session.


The result of a blowhard stroking his own ego too much, or cleverly timed to ensure no dissenting voices would be able to pester Stu over his shenanigans?
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Tamaria



Joined: 21 Oct 2007
Posts: 1512
Location: De Achterhoek
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:02 am Reply with quote
Quote:
However, he noted that the blossoming of artist alleys at conventions—and fans who by from them—proves that the strategy of cultivating "local manga artists" has worked in the long term.


I think he may be taking too much credit here. Actually, I'm sure his is. A visible chance to get published is sure to light a fire under many aspiring artists' butts, but the horror stories surrounding Tokyopop OEL comics are nearly as old as the initiative is. The artists (and writers!) who get something done are the ones who don't need a motivator like Tokyopop, they get their motivation from within. They're the ones who run succesfull webcomics and take the risk to print books of much nicer quality than Tokyopop ever printed.

Quote:

The company's eventual downfall, according to Levy, came due to a number of factors: increased competition (mainly Japanese publishers taking over operations themselves),


Yeah, they took a big hit when Kodansha decided to publish manga on their own, but you kind of have to wonder why it still has ties with several other publishers... Was it a rash decision on Kodansha's side to part with Tokyopop? Or was it because they saw the company was quickly losing it's foothold and didn't want to be dragged down with it?

Quote:
an over-supply of books, hitting the "fan base ceiling" of potential manga readers,


Sheesh, someone needs to look in the mirror without his narcissism specs on... Tokyopop was the main over-supplier. Many have seen the sad display of rows of tables filled with remaindred Tokyopop books. 1 for €1,95, buy 4 get 1 free. Even at those prices there were titles that didn't sell, because they were utter and total crap.

Of course you're going to hit the ceiling and prevent people from entering if you keep filling the room up with shit!

Besides, declining growth or even stagnation is not something you should blame, it's something you need to learn to work with if you want to stay in the business.
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_V_



Joined: 13 Apr 2009
Posts: 619
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:52 am Reply with quote
.

Hitler is informed of the Tokyopop shutdown ending the Hetalia manga.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qyNzoN9G_Y


.
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penguintruth



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Posts: 8079
Location: Penguinopolis
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:57 am Reply with quote
_V_ wrote:
.

Hitler is informed of the Tokyopop shutdown ending the Hetalia manga.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qyNzoN9G_Y


.


People are still making "Hitler reacts" videos?

Yeesh. Rolling Eyes
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Mohawk52



Joined: 16 Oct 2003
Posts: 8192
Location: England, UK
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:47 pm Reply with quote
So what was the attendance numbers for this disgraceful attempt to blame his own abysmal business sense on everything else under the Sun except himself? I hope they got paid for the space for this gobshyte in cash in advance. Rolling Eyes
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