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Media Blasters Lays Off Staff After Decrease in Sales

Media Blasters

News that was a little lost in the fray this past week in the mangaverse, Media Blasters has recently laid off a number of its employees. According to a post on AnimeNewsNetwork, the lay-offs include at least 13 employees across all departments of the company. With a staff of about 50 before the lay-offs, that equates to about a quarter of their workers.

Media Blasters is a company that releases anime and manga licensed from Japan. This includes their imprint, Kitty Media, which releases an assortment of mature-only anime and manga, including a number of popular boys’ love titles such as Ayano Yamane’s Crimson Spell. Some of Media Blaster’s most popular anime releases include Princess Princess, Loveless, Kite and Girls High.

The company’s president believes this move will not cause any delays in their book releases but some readers have already noticed a change to release dates. There are two books due out from Media Blasters at the end of this month:¬†You Higashino’s Drawn To Him and Naoka Kasuga’s Because of Love.

Because of LoveIt’s too bad to see this happen to a company who releases so many niche titles and has been around for as long as Media Blasters has. Reasons cited are predomiantly the decrease in orders from large vendors. This could include recent declines in the American market of buyers such as Borders and the semi-recent changes to Diamond Distributer’s policies.

Personally I’ve always found Media Blaster titles to be some of the most difficult to get a hold of, and more so the most hard to find accurate information on. Many of the books quickly go out of print and suffer from inconsistant release date information from different sources. Unfortunately this issue is made worse by Media Blasters’ websites which are rarely updated and utilize a very glitchy 30%-of-the-time-functioning Flash interface. While conventions often prove the best source to acquire their products, in my experience the booths aren’t manned by any employees of the company itself. Not to mention that license acquisitions are nearly always outed by discoveries via online sites such as Amazon with no official announcements to confirm until order information for the books appear in Diamond Previews.

While my sympathy goes to the employees who were laid-off, I would like to see some future attempts by Media Blasters to better outreach to their consumers. Something as simple as a functioning website with current information about their titles would make a huge difference in not only informing current buyers but also influencing new ones.

About the Author:

Lissa Pattillo is the owner and editor of Residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia she takes great joy in collecting all manners of manga genres, regretting that there's never enough time in the day to review or share them all. Along with reviews, Lissa is responsible for all the news postings to the website and works full time as a web and graphic designer.

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4 Responses

  1. Jb says:

    I have to agree with what you said on their website. It's a difficult thing to navigate – both the Main MB site and the KittyMedia (raincoat) site. I think they'd benefit from overhauling that. Most of what I find about their titles comes from TRSI or MediaBlasters rareflix ebay store. It's a shame because they have some good yaoi titles, most of which I own (even if some of the print quality on their books leaves a lot to be desired).

    • Lissa says:

      Hopefully a website overhaul will be in the future for them; it's an inexpensive way to really boost your business and they have lots of titles under their belts (yaoi in particular) that fans would love to have. I know I have quite a few of their titles as well (they licensed the first Naono Bohra one-shot afterall!). I do agree with you on the print quality though, some of my books have some iffy ink quality and their wonky lettering choices is often a real issue with me.

  2. Ruby_Alexandrine says:

    The Kitty Media website is less dynamic and dull. I actually purchase their manga at their Ebay store, Rareflix. Even though I own several of their yaoi publications, I simply don't like that they are inconsistent. Even though I like Crimson Spell, I don't like the fact that they reserve the best quality for that manga only.

    I do own and love their treatment and presentation of Maka Maka. I think any other publisher would have published both volumes in black and white to avoid the costs of printing in color.

  3. […] Still, 2010 has been a year of more news than usual and it hasn’t been good – first news of lay-offs in March and now book […]

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