Tokyopop Memories

Like most other manga fans, I was surprised to read about Tokyopop shutting down. Soliloquy in Blue has a post listing what might be the final volumes of many Tokyopop series. Here are some of the things I’ll miss about Tokyopop:


Perhaps contributing to low sales, Tokyopop was one of the few companies to publish longer josei series earlier than almost anyone else. Some of the classic josei series they published include:

Happy Mania
Tramps Like Us (Kimi Wa Petto) – One of my favorite Josei series of all time
Paradise Kiss


Now that Dark Horse seems to have taken over printing many of Clamp’s historic series with new translations, hopefully this means that many of these series won’t go out of print. I’m not counting on anything though, especially with the recent Dark Horse staff layoffs. Tokyopop published Cardcaptor Sakura, Tokyo Babylon, Wish, and more.


This is simultaneously good and bad because the glut of manhwa that Tokyopop pushed out during the boom years probably contributed a lot to financial problems later on. But I’ll always be fond of Queen’s Knight, which was the first Manhwa title I really enjoyed.

Sailor Moon
It seems weirdly cyclical that Tokyopop is shutting down just when the flagship title that touched off the manga craze in the US is going to be published by a different publisher. I previously about how stumbling across the Tokyopop editions of Sailor Moon got me interested in manga again after a long absence.

Some of my favorite completed Tokyopop series include:
Marmalade Boy
Kare Kano
Karakuri Odette
Gatcha Gacha
Fruits Basket

Current series I’ll miss:

Skyblue Shore
Shinobi Life
Stellar Six
Alice in the Country of Hearts
Silver Diamond
VB Rose
Demon Sacred

I thought that recently Tokyopop had been picking up much more interesting shoujo titles, and I’d increased the number of series from them I was actively following. I’m sorry I won’t be able to see the conclusions of many of these series.

Why I'm so happy about Sailor Moon returning

It was funny seeing all the manga bloggers explode into a twittergasm yesterday, and I was among them because when the news broke that Kodansha was going to bring back Sailor Moon into print I was absolutely delighted . I’m glad that I never tried to assemble a complete collection through the exorbitant prices the old Tokyopop editions go for on ebay – I bought a few used copies of Sailor Moon when I could find them reasonably priced, and ended up selling them in a more reasonably priced bundle on ebay myself.

I have an erratic history with manga. I started buying it in the first wave, when Mai the Psychic Girl, Area 88, and Nausicaa were coming out in small monthly editions instead of the larger books that are ubiquitous today. The entire comics market in the 90s really turned me off comics in any form, including manga. I was still interested in Japanese culture, and managed to study Japanese in college and go over there on a study abroad program, and I read absolutely no manga while I lived there. I stopped reading comics and manga regularly and only started again when I was in graduate school. I actually rediscovered manga when I was house sitting for a librarian who had a teenage daughter who was crazed for Sailor Moon and Rurouni Kenshin. There were volumes of manga scattered around the house, and when I picked up and read them I was reminded of why I enjoyed manga so much in the first place. Sailor Moon was so wonderfully goofy, with its magical girl incantations, Tuxedo Mask running around with a rose clenched between his teeth, and Usagi the ditsy yet powerful heroine.

Sailor Moon might have silly moments, but it combines them with a surprising number of fights. The story grows more complex as the series progresses. The cultural impact of Sailor Moon was huge in Japan and here, where it was a gateway manga for many girls. I’m not sure if those girls will pick up these new deluxe editions or if new readers will be picking up the series. I’m just selfishly happy that I’ll be able to read this series again.

PR: Kamisama Kiss Coming Soon From Viz

I tend to only run press releases I am genuinely enthusiastic about, which is definitely the case with the new Julietta Suzuki series Kamisama Kiss. I’d want to get it in any case because I think her series Karakuri Odette is fantastic, and now I’m intrigued with the premise of the story:

Nanami, alone & homeless after her dad skips town to avoid the debt collectors, saves a mysterious man from a dog attack. Grateful for the rescue, he offers Nanami his home with a kiss on her forehead. Little does she know, but Nanami has just taken over his home…AND his job as the local deity! Adjustments and new responsibilities lay ahead as Nanami faces a host of supernatural creatures, and finds what might be love with the recalcitrant yokai caretaker!

Suzuki managed to make the off-putting at first glance premise of an android girl attending high school genuinely interesting and heartwarming, so I’m very curious to see what she does with gods and yokai. Here’s the full press release:


A Kiss On The Forehead Is A Girl’s Ticket To A New Home And An Unexpected Life As A Deity

San Francisco, CA, December 2, 2010 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, will release the shojo manga (graphic novels for female readers) romantic comedy, KAMISAMA KISS, on December 7th. The new series, created by Julietta Suzuki, will be published under the company’s Shojo Beat imprint, is rated ‘T’ for Teens, and will carry an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN.
Nanami Momozono is alone and homeless after her dad skips town to evade his gambling debts and the debt collectors kick her out of her apartment. So when a mysterious man she’s just saved from a dog attack offers her his home, she jumps at the opportunity. But it turns out that his place is a shrine, and Nanami has unwittingly taken over his job as a local deity!

“Plenty of surprises are in store for Nanami as she adjusts to life at the shrine, taking on new responsibilities and facing a whole range of hidden dangers that she doesn’t fully understand yet,” says Pancha Diaz, Editor. “A kiss on the forehead might have bestowed the land-god mark on Nanami, but she will have a lot to learn as she faces a bratty sky god, a mysterious swamp deity, and a strange, cute boy who might have supernatural powers of his own!”
Julietta Suzuki’s debut manga The Day One Becomes A Star appeared in Hana to Yume Plus magazine in 2004. Her other published works include The Devil And Sweets, Karakuri Odette, and Kamisama Kiss, which is currently featured in Hana to Yume.

For more information on KAMISAMA KISS, or other shojo titles from VIZ Media, please visit

Amazon Manga Deals

There are some pretty good deals on manga on Amazon right now:

$17 Drunken Dreams and Other Stories:

It looks like several random volumes from ongoing series are at 40% off, like:

Black Butler

Alice in the Country of Hearts

Hetalia: Axis Powers


Here are the details of some new releases from Viz’s Haikasouru imprint of translated science fiction and fantasy. I’ve read one of the books from the imprint, The Lord of the Sands of Time. I didn’t realize before that the author of Good Witch of the West was getting her novels translated. I enjoyed a few volumes of that manga series even though I wasn’t compelled to read to the end, but now I am a little curious about Dragon Sword and Wind Child.

THE OUROBOROS WAVE by Jyouji Hayashi
Price: $14.99 U.S. / CAN $19.99 • Available Now!
Ninety years from now, a satellite detects a nearby black hole scientists dub Kali for the Hindu goddess of destruction. As human society expands to Mars and beyond, the generations-long project to harness the power of the black hole pits the retrograde humans of Earth against the imminently rational men and women of the Artificial Accretion Disk Development association. While conflicts simmer, a mystery within Kali itself tests the limits of intelligence—that of both human and machine.

Jyouji Hiyashi was born in Hokkaido in 1962. Having worked as a clinical laboratory technician, Jyouji Hiyashi debuted as a writer in 1995 with his cowritten Dai Nihon Teikoku Oushu Dengeki Sakusen. His popularity grew with the Shonetsu no Hatou series and the Heitai Gensui Oushu Senki series – both military fiction backed by real historical perspectives. Beginning in 2000, he consecutively released Kioku Osen, Shinryakusha no Heiwa, and Ankoku Taiyo no Mezame, stories that combine scientific speculation and sociological investigations. He continues to write and act as a flag-bearer for a new generation of hard SF.

Price: $13.99 U.S. / CAN $18.99 • Available Now!
The forces of the God of Light and the Goddess of Darkness have waged a ruthless war across the land of Toyoashihara for generations. But for fifteen-year-old Saya, the war is far away—until the day she discovers that she is the reincarnation of the Water Maiden and a princess of the Children of the Dark. Raised to love the Light and detest the Dark, Saya must come to terms with her heritage even as she tumbles into the very heart of the conflict that is destroying her country. The Light and Dark both seek to claim her, for she is the only mortal who can awaken the legendary Dragon Sword, the fearsome weapon destined to bring an end to the war. Can Saya make the dreadful choice between the Light and Dark, or is she doomed—like all the Water Maidens who came before her…?

Noriko Ogiwara was inspired to write by the classic Western children’s books she read as she was growing up. Dragon Sword and Wind Child is her first book, part of the award winning Magatama Trilogy. The second book of the Magatama Trilogy, Mirror Sword and Shadow Prince will be also available from Haikasoru in May 2011. Her other books include The Good Witch of the West and Fuujin Hisho. Ms. Ogiwara makes her home in Japan.