Top News this week is the shuttering of the US publishing division of Tokyopop. This seems rather inevitable after the recent layoffs there. A few years ago, this may have been cause for alarm, but Viz’s Shoujo line and Yen Press remain pretty strong. Dark Horse has been putting out some classic manga and Kodansha USA will soon know whether the US market is robust enough to support manga sales. So, while this is a sad day for those of us reading The Secret Diary of Lady Kanako, it’s not yet the end of the world here. Tokyopop is keeping the German office open, so Europeans will still have access to those licenses.
Discussion of Tokyopop on Twitter led to a side discussion with someone whose comment was “what about digital manga?” I pointed out that Viz, Yen, Square Enix, DMP and other publishers had come up with digital options, and had been announcing them. Since this person didn’t follow any of the many news sites out there, they were unaware of the state of digital manga. I said this to them and I will repeat it to all of you – there is no way that companies can beam their news directly to your frontal lobe. You do have to make at least a little attempt to read news sites to find out what is going on. (Realistically, if companies *could* beam news directly to your brain, it would be very annoying, I have no doubt. ^_^) I reminded this person that, just because they didn’t pay attention, doesn’t mean a company is doing nothing. ^_^
Of course, what is not yet in existence is a portable, scalable, non-proprietary solution so a reader can read any manga they want from any publisher in the format that works best for them and on the device they choose. But I still believe that that will happen. Which brings me to….
Negima and Love Hina creator Akamatsu Ken is taking a fantastic, out-of-box approach to the idea of legitimizing downloaded scanlations. I love this idea and hope that this can be eventually expanded to include the global market.
Now, for something completely different!
‘Strawberry Marshmallow manga characters give Shizuoka taxis a soft touch.’ A Shizuoka taxi company is offering “special tours” (I read that as meaning “outrageously expensive tours for obsessive moe fans”) with a commemorative card by Barasui. Amusingly, the title for the Japanese article is significantly different and mentions “moe-taku,” so I think my reading of “special” was right. ^_^
New YNN Correspondent Jeffrey T. did some investigative journalism and contacted DMP to find out the status of the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS manga and was told that the manga had been canceled. No real surprise, I’m sorry to say. Western Nanoha fandom had already proven that it was only “fans” of the series when they could get it for free. This series is a perfect example of the ongoing problem with western fandom; lots of “fans” – not so many people who actually buy the books and DVDs. Which once again leads to me to thank all of you Okazu readers, because I know you do pay for what you watch and read. The industry appreciates it…and so do I. ^_^
Not necessarily Yuri, but of interest, Aoi Hana‘s Shimura Takako is launching a new manga about girls in an opera school. Hints have been dropped that some of the Aoi Hana characters will make cameos. My wife suggests that this would be a perfect venue for yet *another* manga version of Der Rosenkavalier, which, if you care, has already been covered in Pride, Volume 11, by Ichijou Yukari.
Yuricon Site Update
I keep saying this, so feel free to roll your eyes…
Now that we have the new Yuricon website /rolleyeshere/, we can get back to doing some interesting stuff. First up – Contests!
I’ve opened two polls, where you can tell me which kind of contest you are more likely to enter:
Now, here’s the thing, the new Yuricon is going to be more interactive, less passive. My goal is getting as many of you to *participate,* rather than waiting for others to entertain you.
So, don’t pick what you want to see as a Yuricon contest – pick what you want to participate in!
That’s a wrap for this week.
Become a Yuri Network Correspondent by sending me any Yuri-related news you find. Emails go to anilesbocon01 at hotmail dot com. Not to the comments here, please, or they might be forgotten or missed. There’s a reason for this madness. This way I know you are a real human, not Anonymous (which I do not encourage – stand by your words with your name!) and I can send you a YNN correspondent’s badge.
Thanks to all of you – you make this a great Yuri Network!