YMMV / Tokyopop

  • Deader Than Disco: If you were an American fan of anime/manga in the late 90's to early/mid 2000's, odds were you probably owned at least a few manga books published by Tokyo Pop. Being one of the most prolific publishers at the time, it was quite common to see their label grace many a licensed series in the US. Having their series sold in regular old book stores compared to comic books which were usually sold in a comic shop and having something for everyone (namely manga like Fruits Basket which widely appealed to female readers for example) solidified their position as the top manga publisher during the aforementioned manga/anime boom in the west.
    • Cracks began forming as the 2000's progressed however. For starters, Tokyo Pop became (in)famous for their low quality translations (lack of Japanese honorifics, original sound effects being changed, etc.) which rubbed many an otaku the wrong way, possibly encouraging the rise of unlicensed fan translations which proved to be both far more accurate, and better-balanced between conveying the original authors' intentions and localization. Plus, other publishers like Del Ray (now Kodansha Comics USA) started providing far better translations for their licensed series leading many an anime/manga fan to jump ship. Secondly, Tokyo Pop back in its hey day had tried launching an OEL (Original English Language) line giving many an aspiring creator the chance to be published just like their favorite authors. While it sounded good on paper, the reality was far different as Tokyo Pop quickly became notorious for hiring aspiring authors and promising them that their series would be published... in exchange for Tokyo Pop owning HALF of the rights to the intellectual property. Long story short, when Tokyo Pop went under at the start of the New Tens for various reasons (including their shady dealings with original artists/authors), many OEL series permanently went down with them, the rights stuck with Tokyo Pop until the end of time itself.
      • Nowadays, Tokyo Pop is viewed as a joke at best by the Western anime/manga crowd when looking back at the late 90's to early/mid 2000's anime/manga boom. In particularly, they are not fondly viewed by independent comic writers/artists who, in the age of social media, have a much easier time making money doing what they love (and without the need for a publisher to boot) while retaining the full rights to their IP. Indie creators view them as everything that was once wrong with the business side of populist creator-owned comics and sneer at the fact that Tokyo Pop is even trying to make a comeback, given the terribly short-sighted and morally dubious business decisions made by its founder Stu Levy. Their upcoming equivalent of Tapastic (an example of a creator owned original webcomic series website done right) called Pop Comics has been described as "the YouTube of comics" (something that Tapastic, LINE Webtoon, and similar sites can also be aptly described as). To sum it all up, between low-quality and low-fidelity translations, shady business practices with original creators, and Stu Levy; There are very few people who still have good things to say about this company.
  • The Scrappy: Stu Levy is probably the most hated person in the American manga/anime industry. And that is saying a lot.