Gia Manry reports that Broccoli USA, the US arm of Japanese publisher Broccoli, is shutting down:

I got an anonymous tip that led me over to Broccoli’s website and eventually to this press release (Japanese PDF), which declares that Broccoli International USA is shutting down and cites the extensive competition in the manga and character merchandise fields here as the reason.

I can’t gather all the details from the release, but the liquidation is expected to be complete by February of 2009.

Sympathies to all Broccoli employees– I love you guys and I’m going to miss your awesome panels! Drop a line and give me a heads up on your plans!

Broccoli’s major titles include DiGi Charat Theater and the Galaxy Angel series. They launched a boys love line, Boysenberry, in 2007. Kai-Ming Cha profiled the company for PW in 2006.

Clearly, the manga market is tightening up, and it’s not just part of the general economic slump.