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?