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Posts Tagged Tokyopop

RightStuf and Tokyopop Go Tag-Team for Hetalia (Vol.03) Release

Hetalia (Vol.03) from Tokyopop and RightStuf

RightStuf – the mega-mecha online retail store of anime & manga goodies – made a surprise announcement last week when they revealed they had partnered with Tokyopop’s remains and Japanese publisher, Gentosha, to release the third volume of Hetalia. Along with the PR, they’ve also posted a 6-minute long video discussing the news.

Hetalia (Vol.03) is listed at $15.99/US cover price, but RightStuf’s current sale on it moves that down to $11.99/US. This first “limited edition” is set for release in June of this year and will sport eight colour pages for those who pre-order it. The kicker here is that the book will only be made available through RightStuf itself, which immediately puts it on the pricier side for international buyers who either need to pay the per-item shipping fee or, if you’re Canadian, reach that $150 free-shipping threshold. Of course, that doesn’t protect you from those hefty customs charges.

Hetalia (Vol.01)Along with the third volume of Hetalia, RightStuf is also making available new copies of the first and second via a print-on-demand system. Each of these will have the $15.99/US price tag as well. Volume three will be made available as a POD book once the initial run is depleted with the colour pages reproduced in black & white.

Tokyopop had already finished production work on this title months ago, around the same time the company ceased operations as a manga publisher (this of course followed by their sudden mind change). RightStuf’s involvement in the title right now seems to be mostly that as a distributor, though their role is likely larger when it comes to the funding and distribution of subsequent print-on-demand versions.

RightStuf representatives were lively on Twitter when the PR first went out last week and had some interesting things to say, particularly for those still holding out hope for a return of other titles that went down with the Tokyopop ship.

“If people buy the Hetalia vols, there’s a possibility of more Hetalia… & similiar arrangements for other titles. (No promises, atm!)”

“Because we know you hate it when you can’t find the manga volumes you want! So…”

“The scoop: We see your requests, & we’re making note of them. We’d love to expand this program…”

 Though I doubt I’ll ever be able to let go of my Tokyopop skepticism, it is great to see another opportunity for a fan-favourite title to return to print. Hetalia – a comedic series about personified versions of countries and nations playing out historical events – has been one of the most in-demand titles since Tokyopop announced their ‘end’. What I look most forward to is seeing what other series could come of this arrangement, especially if RightStuf’s manga-releasing program isn’t specifically tied to Tokyopop. With digital becoming a more common means of distribution, and print in turn having a more shaky looking future, print-on-demand has for a long time seen like  an inevitable route for some books. It means a bit more money for some books but that certainly beats no book at all.


Year In Review: Lissa’s Favourites of 2011

Lissa’s Favourites of 2011

There are no shortage of ‘Best Of’ lists this time of year. While I like popping around to different peoples’ sites and seeing what they thought, it’s a bit of a frustration that I can’t seem to write one myself. How people choose a solid list containing five or ten favourites, from across different genres and subject matters, is just something I can’t seem to muster the brain power for. Not enough conviction I suppose? There’s just so much to love!

But I can’t overlook the perfect chance to look back at all the great titles a year had to offer and 2011 had some really fantastic ones. So then where is this going, oh rambling one, you ask? My semi-traditional equivalent to the yearly best of – the random Lissa’s favourites and best-ofs list! Which really just means you get a lot more titles broken into a lot more categories so I can remain a lot more loving to a lot more series. And in some cases not so loving… From the Best Release Quality to the Favourite Fan Service and even to the most Gag Worthy – here are a bunch of my favourite titles from 2011!

Read more…


Shaenon Garrity Talks Chobits For House of 1000 Manga

House of 1000 Manga - Chobits

AnimeNewsNetwork has some great writers who contribute to the site and their manga editorial are always daily reads for me. Jason Thompson’s House of 1000 Manga is always an extra treat – a weekly exploration and showcase of a specific manga title. This week the column had Shaenon Garrity as a guest writer and she contributes an article on CLAMP’s Chobits. It’s a fantastic read so I recommend checking it out!

Shaenon breaks down the series’ themes of sexuality, romance and relationship dynamics in a really concise and well-thought out manner. I don’t necessarily agree with all of the conclusions she makes but she backs up every observation and opinion in a way that really gets you thinking about the story.

Even the forum responses, often a minefield of painful commentary, are worth going through for the article. Shaenon herself also elaborates on some points she couldn’t go into via the article for spoiler reasons.


Travel the CMX and Tokyopop Timelines with ANNCast

ANNCast - CMX & Tokyopop

ANNCast is always a must-listen for me over at AnimeNewsNetwork but they’re most recent two shows have been especially interesting for manga readers. I highly recommend listening to both:

ANNCast – Tarboxed and Feathered

“Justin and Zac shoot the breeze about some ANN business, and then it’s all awful blurays and the winter 2011 movie season. Then our guest shows up – longtime industry veteran Jonathan “Jake” Tarbox tells the story of his career up to this point, including his stint at Raijin Comics and DC Comics’ short-lived manga imprint CMX, and then takes your questions via Twitter. You can’t go wrong! “

ANNCast – Guy Kiley

“Former Senior Vice President of Tokyopop Mike Kiley is our special guest this week, and he runs us through his long and storied career at the shuttered publisher. We cover it all – the heady early days, the not so heady later days and the company’s untimely downfall. You’ve been waiting for this one!”

The manner in which DC handled choosing licenses for CMX was both fascinating and terrifying. It says a lot about the problems they faced over their years as a manga publisher and makes me more thankful than ever for the great titles we did get from them, some I know we’d never have gotten from anyone else (Key to the Kingdom – I love it, but really?). Knowing it was mostly done via a method akin to a dartboard shows how lucky we were for some. You could really tell things were tightening up over at CMX in its final year for selection and marketing though. It’s so unfortunate it was the beginning of the end.

This week’s ANNCast has Zac and Justin sit down to talk to Mike Kiley, Senior Vice President of the now no-longer-publishing-manga-until-I-see-otherwise, Tokyopop. He shares a lot about his experience with the company from the day it began up until his final days in their office. He’s a terrific guest and speaks very well with a lot of interesting info to offer. I was especially interested in hearing which series sold well and reasons for others not continuing, such as Kino no Tabi. I regret no one, myself included, thought to ask about Tokyopop’s boys’ love imprint, BLU, but it’s a minor quip in an otherwise great look at TP’s life start to finish.


Super Savings: Grave-Digging for Halloween at RightStuf

Super Savings: Grave-Digging for Halloween at RightStuf

With Tokyopop wandering around the internet in zombie-form as of late, why not take a positive inspiration from their coincidentally Halloween-themed stunt? RightStuf’s Bargain Bin is full of old Tokyopop titles looking for homes. Time for some grave-digging!

In the holiday spirit, here are some Halloween-flavoured titles from the list for your enjoyment. I own each of these titles and love every one. Whether you want a mature, eerie story like The Embalmer or a liberally translated, hilariously entertaining ghost-seeing BL-laden story like Eerie Queerie!, or one of the many other in betweens, you’ll find each of these titles has its own uniqueness that makes it just right for October 31st reading:

Daemonium (Vol. 01)$3.99
Eerie Queerie! (Vol. 01)$4.99
Eerie Queerie! (Vol. 02)$4.99
The Embalmer (Vol. 01)$4.99
The Embalmer (Vol. 03)$4.99
The Embalmer (Vol. 04)$4.99
I Luv Halloween (Vol. 01)$3.99
I Luv Halloween (Vol. 03)$3.99
Mad Love Chase (Vol. 01)$5.49
Mad Love Chase (Vol. 02)$5.49
Tokyo Babylon (Vol. 01)$3.99
Tokyo Babylon (Vol. 02)$3.99
Zone-00 (Vol. 01) $4.99

For some really good Halloween reads, I recommend checking back on Shannon Fay’s 13 Days of Halloween posts from last year too. It has a great mix of scary and fun titles to cover just about anything and everything you like about the day.


Swag Bag: Until The Full Moon in the Belly of the Beast

Swag Bag

Books, books and more books! Digital manga may be picking up speed but I’m so thankful we still have bookshelves, upon bookshelves of manga to buy. This past week I got a bunch of new titles along with scattered older titles that I missed.

I also secured remaining plans for my trip to New York next month for NYAF/NYCC. Going to the con again is going to fun, meeting new and old acquaintances amazing and then there’s the opportunity to step foot into Kinokuniya again. A place of manga beauty… Anyway! Any other Kuriousity readers going this year?

In terms of goodies bought here at home recently, I was pleasantly surprised to find an early copy of Osamu Tezuka’s The Book of Human Insects. It’s published by Vertical Inc. and is a nice hardcover edition. I wasn’t expecting it to be flipped, since I’m so accustomed to reading their Black Jack books, but at least it doesn’t take long getting used to reading it the other way around.

Ikigami (Vol. 07)Adding some new boys’ love to my shelves, I bought the one-shot Midnight Bloom from Digital Manga and two volumes of the Takumi-kun series: Tales Out of Season and Barefoot Waltz. I also bought The Betrayal Knows My Name (Vol. 01) which though not undeniably boys’ love yet, is definitely leaning the way. This one’s an omnibus release which is a format I’m becoming more and more fond of – so much manga in one affordable go!

To my sadness, I bought the last volume of Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit (Vol. 07). It’s not actually the last volume of the series itself but looks like (based on retailer listings) that it’ll be the last one Viz Media is going to release. It’s unfortunate, but I suppose not very surprising as it doesn’t look to have sold very well. Starting something new to try and off-set the abrupt end, I bought my much anticipated Drifters (Vol. 01) from Dark Horse.

Another new series I bought (this one on a total whim because it was there) was Mardock Scramble (Vol. 01) from Kodansha Comics. From them I also bought Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (Vol. 02) and Until the Full Moon (Vol. 01). There was a huge quality contrast between these two titles – Until the Full Moon looked beautiful with a really nice paper stock for the cover. Phoenix Wright however had really low resolution artwork on the cover that was pixelated and fuzzy – it looked like a bootleg product. Not good, Kodansha!

Until The Full Moon (Vol. 01)From Viz Media I continued a handful of on-going series with Pokemon: Black & White (Vol. 03), Bleach (Vol. 36) and Toriko (Vol. 06). I’ve already read Bleach and it was really good – a great flashback volume into the pasts of all the Shinigami. Toriko was just really, really, really weird still (they’re fighting a battle inside a giant mammoth’s intestines!) and I can’t help but love it because of that. I then purchased Fall in Love Like a Comic (Vol. 01 – 02), having just recently read and enjoyed the first volume from the library.

Lastly I bought a whole stack of old Tokyopop titles thanks to Strange Adventures‘ great discounted manga section. First I bought Soul Rescue (Vol. 01 – 02) since it’s by the same creator as Otomen, which Viz Media currently publishes. Because the cover looked really pretty, I then bought Million Tears (Vol. 01 – 02). Forget About Love (Vol. 01) was the last of my TP titles and unfortunately never had anything further than that published (so here’s hoping I don’t like it too much?).

Alas it looks like no Sailor Moon for me this week (why, Diamond Comics, why?!) but I’ve still lots and lots to read. Time to get started! So what’s in your Swag Bag this week?


CLAMP To Resume Legal Drug Manga Series

Exciting news for CLAMP fans today – it was revealed today that they’ll be resuming work on their series, Legal Drug! CLAMP had previously done three volumes of Legal Drug before it went on hiatus in 2003. Tokyopop released the ‘complete’ series in English.

“Meet Kazahaya and Rikuou. By day, they are two ordinary pharmacists; by night, their boss has them filling special prescriptions for clients with ailments that can’t be cured using ordinary elixirs.” – Tokyopop description for Legal Drug

Not too long ago it was announced that Legal Drug would be re-released in Japan, which of course times quite well with this news. Though translation of the relaunch say this will be a new series, I think it’ll still be more a continuation but with an opening that allows it to be taken as a new series. Clear introduction of characters, plot, etc. The re-release of the original three volumes will allow for  readers to pick them up if previously missed, while the new series offers shiny new content for existing fans and still a clean-slate for new ones. Plus it’s been such a long time since Legal Drug was last serialized – it’d seem kind of odd just calling it a straight continuation.

I’m really excited as a big lover of the original. The big question for us English-readers now, however, is when will Dark Horse announce the license? Fingers crossed, but consider this a big ‘pretty-please, Dark Horse!’. The original Legal Drug seems like an easy one-volume omnibus perfect for a new English edition but is it on Dark Horse’s radar? The company’s release of Gate 7 has been constantly fraught with delays and failed launch dates but I remain confident in their CLAMP-releasing abilities based on the sheer quality of their Cardcaptor Sakura, Clover and Chobits‘ books.

For now though, a simple YAY! It may be a while yet until it’s available for us to read in English but it’s CLAMP, so at least I’ve little doubt it’ll come to us eventually.


Swag Bag: Animaritime 2011 Edition!

Swag Bag: Animaritime 2011 Edition

We survived! Another year of Animaritime is behind us, bringing with it some much needed relaxation and a heavy sadness. I miss all the staff and chatting with the attendees and even that constant hectic mental state you get in when you’re running back and forth from 8am-12am everyday. Amazing times! If you’re curious to see some pictures or read some comments, our Facebook page is very lively this year.

Special thanks to Vertical Inc‘s Ed Chavez who attended as a guest and held several great manga panels. I loved being on a panel with him and Andre for our Manga Industry panel (my first time participating in a roundtable panel) and I learned a lot from Ed’s Manga Licensing panel (for the love of manga support our publishers!).

Though most of my attention stays as a staffer, I always make time to visit the vendors. I was really happy to see there was even more manga than usual this year and came back home with a satisfying stack of goodies.

Descendants of Darkness (Vol. 02)From the vendor Gamezilla (whose recently revamped store location I visited after the con ended) I got some great discounts on hard to find titles. My largest purchase was volumes 2-11 of Descendants of Darkness which I’ve been itching to reread – a supernatural story that teeters on the edge of being a boys’ love story. The switches between humour and really dark content is as strange as I remember it.

Having enjoyed the complete random of the last volume I read, I also bought Gatcha Gacha (Vol.06-07) and on some recommendations, Suppli (Vol. 02-03). Going for something newer, I bought the third volume of Afterschool Charisma.

Strange Adventures (always the Halifax store of choice!) returned as a vendor and had a bunch of manga to sift through. From there I found three volumes of Rumiko Takahashi’s One Pound Gospel, volumes 4 and 5 of Itazura na Kiss and A Drifting Life (so I can finally leave the library copy for someone else!). Lastly, despite a lacklustre feeling from the first volume, I gave Saturn Apartments another chance by buying volumes 2 and 3.

Other random purchases included two pretty art books by names I can’t read the Kanji for (thus sadly can’t tell you who they are), and a stack of old Mixx magazines because I got them for pennies and enjoy the nostalgia factor.

So yay for convention weekend! Animaritime is always a blast and somehow manages to out-do itself every year. More memories, more manga – it’s all a win-win! So what was in your swag bag this week?


Cover Watch: Wild Adapter

Cover Watch - Wild Adapter

Welcome to the first edition of Cover Watch – a new feature I’m starting here on Kuriousity. These posts will be write-ups about one of my favourite aspects of the manga industry: the graphic design! And most specifically, the covers. Sometimes I’ll be sharing older titles with designs I really like and remember; other times I’ll just be showing off some of the new covers posted online. One cover, two cover, eight covers – who knows!

As they say, you can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can definitely be turned on or away by it. Personally I love oogling the artwork and layouts of manga covers as they’re posted online. Even more so when I get the physical copies in hand to see how it all looks on the front, back and spine together.

This first post will be about Wild Adapter as it coincides with the currently running Manga Moveable Feast theme. The MMF is a collaboration between bloggers who want to get involved where all the participants share discussion and reviews about the month’s chosen series. I highly recommend checking these out for some really interesting and in-depth looks at different manga, often times for series that haven’t gotten as much attention as they deserve.

That said – onto the covers!

Read more…


Super Savings: Manga Galore at BMV Books

Super Savings: BMV Books

Conveniently located on Toronto’s busy (and bound to keep you even busier) Bloor St W, my roommate and I entered what we thought was just your run of the mill used book store. Never know what you can find, right? Well what we found was BMV Books – a three-floor discount bookstore with an entire floor dedicated to comic books, manga and fantasy novels.

The manga sold here is mostly overstock material, meaning it’s likely product sold to them that couldn’t be sold by either the publisher or other companies. They also sell some used material brought in to them by customers. Their selection is vast – from titles over a decade old to titles much more recent, you’ll find a little of everything and all at about 50% off the CDN cover price or less. Typically the books ranged from $3.00-$6.00, depending on the company and format.

We found books as new as the third volume of Vertical’s 7 Billion Needles and Yen Press’s Maximum Ride, to editions as old as Mixx’s Sailor Moon and Magic Knight Rayearth volumes (in surprisingly good condition too). There was something of every genre released in English, including boys’ love and yuri. First edition volumes of Fushigi Yuugi were especially nostalgic to me (my first manga GN purchases!) while I loved the opportunity to fill in my collection with some long-since out of print OEL titles from Tokyopop, NetComics titles (which I have trouble finding anywhere but conventions) and a couple ADV Manga books. All for cheap!

If you’re a manga fan who lives in or around, or is simply visiting, Toronto, then along with their assortment of comic stores, I highly recommend putting Bloor St W’s BMV Books on your list of must-shop stops.


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