Creator: Tokyopop

Tokyopop, formerly Mixx, is a translator and distributor of Manga, aka Japanese comics.

They were one of the most prolific manga publishers in the US, along with Viz Media and Del Rey Manga, and were one of the first publishers to print their manga "back to front", i.e. in the original Japanese format. They promoted titles printed under this format as "100% Authentic Manga!", although it may have been done for economic as much as artistic reasons. In addition, they also had their manga sold in bookstores as well as comic book stores — this actually really helped increase their audience, since bookstores are more common in the Americas and are usually easier for younger people to get to (you would often find a bookstore in a mall... but not a comic book shop).

Tokyopop had a reputation in the American anime & manga fanbase, for having some bad habits in their translation editions such as leaving word bubbles in blank, sometimes not translating sound effects, hardly providing explanatory notes, and often excluding honorifics in the characters' dialogues. This last in particular made them targets of fannish rage, because Japanese honorifics are Serious Business. In general, if you like your translations to be in very smooth, natural-sounding English, you'll like Tokyopop — but you'll probably also wonder what you're missing from the original.

They tried to expand their line by sponsoring "Original English Manga", including licensed fare such as manga-styled Star Trek stories, a sequel to Labyrinth, and CEO Stu Levy's project with Courtney Love (yes, that Courtney Love), Princess Ai. It also included original IPs, like Brandon Graham's King City and Becky Cloonan's East Coast Rising. Some of these titles were more successful than others.

For a few years, they ran a "Rising Stars Of Manga" competition, inviting people to send in short one-shot manga (though some people would send in prologues to larger stories, and Tokyopop figured that as long as it stood on its own as a story, it was fine) and published ten winners each year. Many of those winners were offered to do full series, such as Peach Fuzz, Atomic King Daidogan (made by Nathan "Captain K" Maurer, famous for his uber-popular Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann fancomic, DOUBLE K), Dogby Walks Alone, and even Endling of Ever After won the second competition! Unfortunately, after seven contests, the entire competition ceased from existence, and most of the artists who were offered deals have had their series pulled.

Tokyopop also formerly published anime DVDs too, though it didn't last as long as they wanted. Some of their back catalog was acquired by Funimation, while other part remains in limbo.

In 2011, the company closed down all American operations, leaving only their international office in Germany open. However, in the same year, they announced that they intended to return to the American industry. Nevertheless, they entered the realms of Trolling Creator as this didn't end up being the case and they were merely creating a newsletter on Asian pop-culture. In recent years, they partnered with Nozomi Entertainment to release some of their licensed manga (mostly their OEL properties) via digital means, along with the occasional new license like Axis Powers Hetalia. They also had several animation and live action properties in development, such as Riding Shotgun featuring art from popular Sonic the Hedgehog artist Tracy Yardley.

In 2015, they finally made good on all those comeback hints and announced a 2016 publishing comeback, with "hidden gem" manga from smaller publishers, collector's editions, and artbooks, with light novels potentially on the way as well. Much like in the past, Tokyopop is looking into developing more manga based on licensed properties, including Star Wars and Frozen. They also brought up a Pop Comics app, an ad-supported "for comics" where artists can share comics while still retaining copyright and creative control. With Tokyopop's past history with their OEL manga artists and copyright, the announcement of the app was met with skepticism.

Not to be confused with the 80s movie Tokyo Pop that featured the first film appearance of a Visual Kei band.


Notable Manga and Comic Series:

...and many, many, many more