Irritation factor increase: 19%

The manga blogs have been abuzz with news of Tokyopop's recent "restructuring". According to several sources, the Los Angeles-based manga publisher will divide itself into two separate divisions: the Tokyopop Inc. publishing side, and 'Tokyopop Media', which will focus on digital media and film-related stuff. The changes will result in the layoffs of 39 of Tokyopop's roughly 100 staff members, and many of Tokyopop's titles will be delayed or dropped.

My first reaction to this was sympathy for the laid-off employees. (Good luck, guys! If any of you worked on Tramps Like Us, I really appreciate it!) My second reaction was to wonder if any of my favorite series were on the chopping block. Unfortunately, I probably have the proverbial snowball's chance in hell of finding out.

For some obscure reason, the manga industry is incredibly reluctant to be up-front with its customers regarding release dates and financial issues. I know I've already complained about this issue this month, but I'm truly baffled--what is up with all the secrecy? Why can't we know that the third volume of [insert manga title here] is going to be delayed by six months? I'm not being sarcastic--all this obfuscation seems like a sure-fire way to alienate customers, so I would love to know what the appeal is for manga publishers. I understand that they don't want to look bad by failing to deliver a product on schedule, but refusing to commit to a schedule doesn't seem like a great answer, either.
Posted by: Julianka


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