Tokyopop’s return part 2: The Plot Thickens.

Well we have all been waiting with baited breath to see what Tokyopop really do have up their sleeves for their so-called comeback. I implied in my last Tokyopop post on how they had started talks with Disney for doing adaptations of Disney works; this would most likely mean the likes of Frozen or Star Wars or any of the Pixar movies appearing in print comic form.

Head honcho Stuart Levy, who never gave up on Tokyopop even when Kodansha left them, several of their staff were fired, their German office was shut down and Borders (their largest customer) went bankrupt, has gotten himself into a bit of a corner, unfortunately.

It all began when Tokyopop uploaded Angel’s Egg onto their Youtube channel, in the possible hope that they would have acquired the license for it. Angel’s Egg is a very rare piece; from 1985, it was a co-production of Ghost in the Shell creator Mamoru Oshii and Final Fantasy/Vampire Hunter D illustrator Yoshitaka Amano. This seemed a little too good to be true; Tokyopop venturing back into licensing again…but the girl behind The Anime Nostalgia Tumblr, and a friend of mine, saw straight through this:

After confronting him about the video, she got little response aside from the “Awareness of show” excuse. Not smart, Stu, considering you’re aiming to build back your reputation after cutting manga halfway through (although I’ll say that wasn’t entirely his fault):

As far as I know…the license for Angel’s Egg in English is actually owned by Anchor Bay who, for unknown and possibly very mysterious reasons, cannot release it on home video.

Okay fine. It does after all cost a lot of money to do stuff like that, and only Sentai or Funi or other distributors around the world have the cash to do that; Tokyopop being broke right now, and all. But pirating is still pirating. Sure, some of us do it because we want to catch shows as soon as they can (those who choose not to get Crunchyroll/Funimation/insert-anime-streaming-site-here accounts).

Only Stu didn’t quite think that far ahead:

*waves judging finger*

Smart move towards a “brand new start” for your company…

He also managed (somehow) to upload the first episode of Pita-Ten, which Nozomi Entertainment have. Both that, and Angel’s Egg are down now. Perhaps he got the hint and realised that he might have to call his old lawyer up yet again.

Debatable on whether Levy is a true fan or not (or is just in it for the money, like Funi are), offering a Kickstarter is his next idea. Now Funimation have already (very recently) gone down this route in a remastered and brand new dub for Escaflowne, and have succeeded. Now that was a show I enjoyed on Toonami way back when……when I didn’t care about how bad dubs could be…The thought of a brand new dub will certainly be great news for both old fans of the show and new fans who want to see something from when they were toddlers.

Dubs cost a lot of money now. In an interview with Pied Piper’s Ann Yamamoto with OASG, she discusses how much work and time and money had to go into crowdfunding Skip Beat! – 47% of their budget has to go into the dub. Which leads to people wondering if crowdfunding could be the future. Then again Funimation could have easily picked up Skip Beat! so why didn’t they?

Moving on, after reviewing all of this criticism and finger-wavering and sudden realisation that he may get sued for uploading pirated anime and stamping the Tokyopop logo on it, Stu Levy has said he will compose a review video. Making a video about Angel’s Egg building awareness and hoping for a remaster is something anyone can do. Perhaps one day Funi or Sentai or one big company will decide to do a crowdfund for Angel’s Egg. An anime that’s now over 30 years old, and a rare masterpiece at that, is something one distributor would be proud to have under their belt…

…okay not Funi. Anyone but Funi.

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