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Anime Expo 2005
Anime Expo - Do You Tokyopop?

by Bamboo Dong,
Tokyopop's booth at this year's Anime Expo offered plenty of things to do for any con attendee who managed to get bored. With a video screen on one side and a library of Tokyopop manga titles on another, there wasn't a single moment it wasn't bustling with people.

Naturally, this was the perfect time for the company to start their “Do You Takuhai?” promotion for their newest quarterly manga magazine. While the magazine is normally delivered free to anyone who signs up on Tokyopop's website, con goers were able to get an early look at it.


There are two sides to Takuhai (literally), one that reads from left to right, and one that reads in the opposite direction. The former is dedicated to Tokyopop's line of manga-styled comics, or those which were written by a non-Japanese creator. Previews were shown for titles like Bizenghast, MBQ, Van Von Hunter, Sokora Refugees, and I Luv Halloween, many of which were followed up by an interview with the creator. Each page also contained interesting side notes and comments from the creator.

Amongst the previews, there was also plenty of features, including a fan-art section, a Q&A section, and an extensive Princess Ai section which included an interview with character designer Ai Yazawa, a glimpse into the storyboarding process, a look at how the upcoming Princess Ai dolls from Bleeding Edge were made, and a note from the young lady who won the Princess Ai cosplay contest. Many of the other features helped direct readers towards other Tokyopop properties, like the personality test.

The opposite side of the magazine featured previews of Tokyopop's Japanese titles, like Legal Drug, Tramps Like Us, Lagoon Engine, and Sakura Taisen. Although they also included editor notes and asides about the creators and characters, this section was a bit bare in comparison to the left-to-right side. With the exception of a Sakura Taisen timeline, there aren't any other notable features.

For readers who don't typically stray into Tokyopop's manga-styled comics line, Takuhai is a bit of a disappointment. For the casual reader looking to find out more about manga and the comics world in general though, Takuhai is a fun new venture that many would benefit from checking out—especially since it's free. It rarely gets better than that.

Tokyopop MBQ Promotion

Tokyopop also served up some grub alongside their latest manga-style comic, Felipe Smith's MBQ. Drawn by a previous Rising Star of Manga winner, the story follows a young man striving to make it in LA, all while chasing down his ultimate passion—the dream to become a manga creator. The path to stardom is a hard one, but there's plenty of stepping stones one needs to take, including toughing it out at a burger joint named MBQ.

In celebration of the July release of this title, Tokyopop offered readers the chance to get their comic fill... and fill their stomachs at the same time. Any reader who bought the first volume also got a voucher for a free burger from In-and-Out. With a heavily stocked burger mobile (complete with a few grills and plenty of cheerful crew members) parked behind the loading dock next to the Dealer's Room, In-and-Out offered an extensive menu of burgers to anyone holding a meal ticket.

From free magazines to free burgers, Tokyopop was all about keeping fans satisfied, and it'll be interesting to see what they serve up San Diego Comic-Con.

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