Many reports going around this morning about Kodansha, the Japanese publishing giant, pulling its licenses from Tokyopop’s German arm. Simon Jones:
According to an official Tokyopop Germany newsletter, which has been reposted on their official BBS, Kodansha has not renewed its licensing agreement with the company, effectively cancelling all Kodansha-owned releases mid-run. The affected books include Beck, School Rumble, Hell Girl, and Cromartie High School. (Whoa, they can do that? So… why are we waiting for ADV to finish up Cromartie?) I’m going by a Babelfish translation here, but it appears that this was not due to any lapse on the part of Tokyopop Germany, who were caught by surprise… they held dicussions with Kodansha, but were neither able to convince them to reconsider, nor were they successful in coaxing an explanation.
And more from Chris Butcher:
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.