Otakon 2002: Tokyopop

posted on by George Phillips
Initial D... Initial D... Initial D...


Joel Baral, brand manager at Tokyopop, handled the Tokyopop panel. He was assisted by Lianne Centaur and Amy Forsyth, who both work on Tokyopop's written works.

While many fans grumbled about the Initial D name changes, Tokyopop felt that it was, "a decision we made, to make it the best product possible." Tokyopop has plans to put Initial D on television, and to increase the Initial D audience to phenominal perportions. While fans still appeared disappointed, it seems most can tolerate the minor changes Tokyopop has made to make Initial D as widely acceptable as possible. In the meantime, Joel did mention that later volumes of the Initial D manga will not carry the 100% Authentic Manga logo (although volumes 1 and 2 currently do), respecting the fans who have disagreed with the changes.

Additionally, while the dub may have new music, the subtitled version will still have the original Japanese soundtrack.

Fans of the original music will be happy -- Tokyopop will be putting out some, if not all, of the Initial D eurobeat music on CD domestically. Tokyopop could not be reached for confirmation if the dub will use only new music, or if it might include some of the original eurobeat tracks.

The Tokyopop trailer tape contained a new title unmentioned at previous conventions. "Shaolin Sisters" is apparently a new acquisition, to be formally announced at SDCC. The action-oriented series focuses on three sisters who study a blend of martial arts and magic. This show is produced by the same studio that put out Vampire Princess Miyu.

Unfortunately, Initial D is not yet confirmed for broadcast. While Tokyopop is in negotiations to put it on TV, the contracts have not been finalized. They do, however, hope to have an announcement about a TV broadcast in the near future.

Moving onto other titles, Joel has a dream of releasing everything related to GTO. "Someday the live action series... someday on TV", he mused. Tokyopop has no formal plans to acquire the live action series or to place GTO on TV, but Joel appeared very serious that he wanted to see GTO spread as far and wide as possible.

GTO's creator, Tohru Fujisawa will be at ComicCon next week, and will also be signing autographs at Wherehouse in Cerritos and Boarders in Northridge, CA. Fujisawa's appearance at these stores is just one indication of how popular Japanese manga is becoming in the USA.

If you wish to meet Tohru Fujisawa, he will be found at the following locations:

Wherehouse Cerritos
12731 Towne Center Dr. #E
Cerritos, CA 90701
(562) 653 9313
Sunday, August 4, 2002 - 2:00-4:00PM

Borders Northridge
9301 Tampa Ave.
Northridge, CA 91324
(818) 886-5443
Monday, August 5, 2002 - 7:30-9:30PM

Tokyopop's other manga include Angelic Layer by CLAMP, the Akira Cinemanga, or filmbooks using image captures from the movie, and the Lupin III manga.

Due to the cancelling of Smile, Card Captor Sakura: Master of the Clow (Card Captor Sakura, re-released under the 100% Authentic Manga label) and Peach Girl are going to be put out faster now. Some 100% Authentic Manga releases will see either monthly or bi-monthly releases once the first volume is out.

Look for Marmalade Boy DVD 1 in February/March 2003.

Amy mentioned that she is working on the RAVE manga, confirmation that Tokyopop has indeed picked up the manga series. Tokyopop does not appear to hold the rights to the RAVE anime series at this time.

Joel mentioned that what fans consider a stereotypical manga release has changed drastically since April. Fans have quickly adopted the Right-to-Left format, as well as the original Japanese sound effects, and now expect all manga released in the US to be handled this way. Only a year ago, 'flipped' manga dominated over the other titles being released. In a short time, the standard which manga is judged against has changed significantly, largely in part due to Tokyopop's manga line.

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