Anime Vice News

TOKYOPOP and Softbank to Sell Western Manga in Japan

Tpop ships some manga off to Japan. How well do you think it'll do?

This article popped up over at animeanime.jp a couple of days ago, but since my business Japanese is more than rusty, I wanted to wait for Anime Vice intern Eric to do a proper translation before I got down and dirty with it.

The quick version is: TOKYOPOP manga is going on sale in Japan, in Japanese! One of only a couple of examples of manga made for western otaku getting sent to the motherland, as it were, of the medium. The only one I know of for sure is Megatokyo, which Kodansha announced in '07 that it would publish (but whi h I can't find on Amazon.co.jp yet)-- but I'm sure there are European titles I don't know about, and possibly some smaller English-language ones as well.

The first manga for the deal went on sale on April 22nd, and the first title to go out was Svetlana Chmakova's popular Dramacon. Also on sale are Felipe Smith's MBQ: Tales of LA (whose Peepo Choo is also being published in Japan-- but as far as I can tell it wasn't published elsewhere first) and Pink Psycho's In The End. It's worth noting: In The End is a BL manga. I wonder how Japanese yaoi fans will take to it?

Softbank Creative is translating the materials themselves, meaning that it's a total role reversal for TOKYOPOP in terms of the licensee/localizer and the approver.

Each volume is selling for a more typically Japanese price than the North American equivalent-- ¥630, about $6.50 USD. And no, the article doesn't mention such things as sound effects, whether it'll be flipped or unflipped, translation notes, or any of the oft-discussed concerns of English localization-- but I've got an e-mail out to the company, so hopefully I can get some of that information!

This is so cool though. Here's Dramacon on Amazon.co.jp, and MBQ: Tales of LA and In The End. I kind of want to reimport 'em...

Omedetou, TOKYOPOP! As for the rest of you, how do you think it'll do in Japan?
lanaswifton April 25, 2009 at 8:32 a.m.
Okay, that's really cool. Hope they do well. Though I wonder if they can? If they're going straight to tankobon format it'll be hard to get readers who pick up series from the phonebooks.
Rathanyon April 25, 2009 at 11:21 a.m.

"  In The End is a BL manga."

*snickers*

Kuroon April 25, 2009 at 12:17 p.m.
JAPANESE DRAMACON FUCKS WITH MY HEAD
SpaceDrakeon April 25, 2009 at 12:44 p.m.
I really hope they were smart enough to serialize these somewhere, otherwise practically nobody will even know they exist.

That said, Dramacon might do OK since it's a fairly solid title all around.
Sigueon April 26, 2009 at 11:11 a.m.
Softbank? OTOU-SAN. That reminds me to check for new videos... Thanks Gia!
kiroshimatsuon April 28, 2009 at 10:24 a.m.
That's sweet! I know a handful of people that refuse to buy anything translated and end up with second hand japanese stuff randomly. The only thing is... I get Shonen Jump manga's for 7.95 or less... :( Makes me wonder how much they'd be in Asia....

Dig Deeper into MBQ: Tales of LA

A popular global manga from TOKYOPOP, created by Felipe Smith.

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