As reported on The Beat and elsewhere, Tokyopop will be shuttering its U.S. operations on May 31st.
Founded by Stu Levy in 1997, the publisher found success in the market by riding the cultural tidal wave of manga. Tokyopop was a key enterprise in spreading the form in the states, bringing over hits like “Sailor Moon” and attracting attention with the likes of “Battle Royale”. The publishers troubles in recent years have been well-documented; as of February, only six full-time employees remained.
Levy himself posted a commentary, noting ” I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished – and the incredible group of passionate fans we’ve served along the way (my fellow revolutionaries!).”
Note that the German office will remain open, and that other media projects continue. Find the official Tokyopop PR after the jump.
As for you, readers, what do you have to say? Tokyopop memories? What does this mean for manga in America? Comics in general? Let us hear you.
For nearly 15 years, TOKYOPOP, led by Stu Levy, its founder, CEO and Chief Creative Officer, has pioneered the English-language manga movement and touched the hearts, minds and souls of enthusiasts worldwide.
Today, we are sad to inform our loyal community of manga fans, our passionate creators of manga content, our business and retail partners, and other stakeholders who have supported us through the years that as of May 31, 2011, TOKYOPOP is closing its Los Angeles-based North American publishing operations.
TOKYOPOP film and television projects and European operations, including the German publishing program, will not be affected by the Los Angeles office closure. In addition, TOKYOPOP will continue its global rights sales via its office in Hamburg, Germany.