beck_germanAccording to news coming down the wire, Kodansha seems to have refused to “refresh” any of their licenses currently held by Tokypop in Germany. The news was apparently made in a mailing sent out by Tokyopop to their fans, and is effective as of December 31st, 2008. It will affect the German publication of series Beck, Cromartie High School, School Rumble, Perfect Girl, and Hell Girl, only one of which (Beck) is published by Tokyopop in North America.

I can’t find anything official on the story, but here’s what I’ve found online so far:

AnimeOnDvd forums
World Of Hentai Forums (German Language)
Manly Manga and More… (scroll down)

An admittedly bad translation notes that “Reasons for this sudden decision are unknown, but it says that it is not related to the cooperation between Kodansha and Tokyopop Germany has to do,” which implies to me that it has nothing to do with Tokyopop Germany, and everything to do with the parent company and their relationship to Kodansha.

Tokyopop and Kodansha have had a rocky relationship for years, reportedly being exacerbated by the launch of Del Rey’s manga imprint and Kodansha awarding top manga properties XXXholic, Tsubasa Resevoir Chronicle, and Negima to the new pub instead of to TP, leading to statements that Kodansha refused to license to TP any further. In recent years, Kodansha licenses had been showing up at TP again (including BECK), but many of Tokyopop’s biggest back-catalog titles are Kodansha licenses, and losing them would substantially reduce their catalog.

This is also interesting news for industry watchers like myself who have been wondering what was going to shake out from all of the rumours of Kodansha setting up their own manga publishing arm here in North America. I had been assured that it was going to happen, but 2008 came to a close and no official movement was made. Maybe it was just a licensing waiting game? Tokyopop has been playing their cards very, very close to their respective chests in the last few months since the company’s very public difficulties, I’m wondering if we’ll get any word on the status of Kodansha’s english licenses any time soon. At last public statement, and pardon me for being too lazy to find the link, TP did say that they still had the BECK license (amongst others) but that was many months ago now.

Maybe someone with a better relationship with TP’s Marco Pavia can find out something I can’t.

- Christopher


9 Comments on “Kondansha pulls all licenses from Tokyopop… Germany.”

You can track this conversation through its atom feed.

  1. Chris says:

    Testing out comments here. There’s now a comments preview box (below) and a “subscribe to comments” feed too. For Mykx, but also in the name of functionality.

  2. MangaBlog » Blog Archive » Kodansha holds German licenses says:

    [...] Rumble, Perfect Girl and Hell Girl, according to Jonathan, so all those series have been canceled. Christopher Butcher and Simon Jones have more thoughts on this, and Simon locates the announcement on a German [...]

  3. sesho says:

    From what I remember, at least in America, Beck was one of the titles that Tokyopop has cancelled. But I think it was based more on lack of profitibility than losing the license?

    I guess I would feel kinda screwed too if I was Tokyopop. I mean, essentially, they were the ones that opened the US market for Kodansha. Now Tokyopop basically gets the titles tthat Del Rey don’t have the kahones to publish or that are lless mainstream. Del Rey just looks at the “shiny” manga.

  4. sesho says:

    Pardon me for the spelling errors, the message got off center, literally, so forgive the extra letters! :)

  5. Musings on Kodansha’s International Business « Manga Widget says:

    [...] 5 01 2009 As we heard across the interwebs at the tail end of last week, Kodansha has pulled all of TokyoPop’s liscences in Germany. Kodansha, did not, however, pull any of the liscences for [...]

  6. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » Jan. 5, 2009: Endless parade of worry says:

    [...] the European Tokyopop division, including Beck, School Rumble, Hell Girl and Cromartie High School. Christopher Butcher also offers commentary, including speculation that this may bode ill for Tokyopop’s North [...]

  7. Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources » Kodansha tells Tokyopop Germany “Nein” says:

    [...] Chris Butcher: Tokyopop and Kodansha have had a rocky relationship for years, reportedly being exacerbated by the [...]

  8. Kodansha katkaissut Tokyopop Germanyn lisenssinsä - Anime-lehti says:

    [...] Comics212, Icarus [...]

  9. Myk says:

    Testing out comments here. There’s now a comments preview box (below) and a “subscribe to comments” feed too. For Mykx, but also in the name of functionality.

    Since Mykx is me and I´d feel honoured if something was being done for me, as well as in the name of functionality, I´m wondering, like, where? Where is it? I don´t see neither!?

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>