Tokyopop Dismay

I had hoped to have Scrapped Princess ready to review today, but due to some very annoying shipping issues, it's very slow going. It's the same issue I had the first time I tried to watch the series, but I got one disc further along this time. Here's hoping that "short wait" tag on my Netflix list will go away quickly so I can finish it up.

I DID get the live action version of Mushi-Shi in the mail, but haven't watched it yet. I'll probably watch it later today, and may review it for next week.

So today will just be a rant day. Though I am seeking some advice. I got some extra birthday money in, and I'm looking at the purchase of one of the following three things. I can get them all for about the same price ($35), so that's not an issue. Which is the problem. Here are my options: Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino box set, which is out right now. Nostalgia for the DS, which comes out at the end of October. Kingdom Hearts 358/2 for the DS, which comes out at the end of September. I'm leaning towards Gunslinger Girl right now because it's easier for me to buy that for myself (though I will be ordering it, so I'll have to pay shipping too, which will make it run about $40) than to ask for it as a gift later on. The DS games are ideal Christmas gifts since they're lower in price and easier to find, though I am a little concerned about the availability of a smaller title like Nostalgia by the time Christmas comes around. Decisions, decisions.

Moving on.... I've been very disappointed with the quality of Tokyopop's manga lately. It's completely unacceptable to be asked to pay $11 for something filled with so many careless errors. Fortunately the only TP manga titles I read now are Natsuki Takaya books (they seem to have a monopoly on her works). Both series are short, and nearly over. Other than Return to Labyrinth (which isn't very good, but I got suckered in by my love for the film), which has one volume left, and the novels for Twelve Kingdoms, I won't be reading any other TP titles. They have nothing I'm interested in. Viz has better titles, better quality, and is still a dollar or two cheaper (depending on the title) than TP books. Yen press has been getting some good titles too. Tokyopop used to be a monster in the manga publishing business, but they seem to really be struggling now, and it's not just the economy.

I'll wrap up with a nice little rant to Tokyopop, which covers why I, and many others, are so frustrated with them lately.

Dear Tokyopop,
Why is your editing department one of the worst I've ever seen? Spliced frames and dialog, backward pages, poor grammar, misspellings, mixed dialog, incorrect names. The mistakes are far too frequent. You raised your prices across the board, but you lowered the quality of your paper (to some see-through crap [TP has recently stated they found some new, better paper, but they have not used it yet so we'll see later if this improves the quality...or raises the price]), and the quality of your work has gotten worse. This is not how business works. Yes, the economy is bad, yes everyone is struggling to make money. But lowering quality and raising prices do not go together. It's a slap in the face to the people who spend money on your books. They don't have to; it's so easy to find this stuff for free. But we decide to spend the money on professional quality, and support the industry.

So where is our professional quality? Why is every volume I pick up riddled with mistakes? The recent volume of Tsubasa: Those With Wings is an excellent example. See-through paper, a misplaced page, inconsistent spelling of character names and locations (both between volumes and within the same volume), dialog bubbles spoken by incorrect characters, poor sentence structure. These are not 1,000 page novels here. Is it too much to ask for some simple proof reading? My eyes catch every mistake, and every mistake breaks the flow of the story - every poorly structured sentence that I have to re-write in my head, and every incorrect bubble that I have to study in confusion to figure out which character the dialog actually belongs to. A few is acceptable, and even expected. When it's all over every volume you publish, that's a problem.

~ Your Frustrated Consumers

Oh yeah, in other news, Disney has purchased Marvel Comics. I haven't decided how I feel about this yet. The "thing" to say right now is "Oh, there will be Marvel characters in the next Kingdom Hearts!" But...I don't really want that, to be honest. Hopefully the only thing they'll bother to do with the company is fire Joey Q, and then keep their mitts off everything else.


aprilius20 said...

I haven't bought English manga for some time now, so I don't really know what's happening- I think the last one I bought was a copy of Ayashi no Ceres from uh, Viz, I think, and it seemed fine.

Can't really advise you on what to buy either, since I'm not really a big fan of any of those series, although I've played Kingdom Hearts: CoM, and it was pretty fun.

As for the possible Disneyfication of Marvel... I dunno what to make of it. On one hand it feels like a betrayal (No idea why, though), and on the other, I just don't care any longer. I wonder what old man Stan thinks of it, and what role he played in it.

Kris said...

Viz does a pretty good job, actually. And, as I said, they definitely have the better titles. Or well, TP had Fruits Basket, which was one of the best, but that's about all they had, and it's over.

I decided to get the anime and the Kingdom Hearts game. I got a gift card that had more money on it than I was expecting, so I can afford both.

I loved Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2, but I actually didn't care for Chain of Memories (at least not on the GBA; I thought it was terrible. Been meaning to pick up the PS2 version, hoping it's better).

You know that Warner Brothers own DC Comics? So...it's sort of the same deal. Stan Lee's role.... Well to be honest, he doesn't have much of a role in Marvel anymore anyway. I'm not even sure he technically works for them anymore (as a permanent employee). I believe he is the Chairman Emeritus, which means he's allowed the title (meaning honorary) but doesn't typically exercise any power.
But I did see a news headline: "Stan Lee sees Disney-Marvel as super deal."

aprilius20 said...

I didn't know that WB owned DC. Then again, I don't really like DC that much so I don't really care. On the other hand I've liked Marvel characters from a very young age while disliking Disney for pretty much everything they do, so... I guess I'll need some time to get used to it.

*chuckles*, you make it sound like Tokyopop is some cheap rag. They have GTO under their wing, and Rurouni Kenshin as well, I think... both of which are excellent titles IMO.

xJAYMANx said...

@Kris-chan: Hmmm, according to my Blog 192, I thought u didn't like "Il Teatrino" as much as the first season?

In any case, when Disney and Time Warner combine-and-transform into "Tengen Toppa Disney Time Warner", let me know... I'll probably be napping thru it, lol. ^o^

Kris said...

Um...I only saw 1 or 2 episodes, to be honest. I think I just didn't like that it had a different feel from the original. But I'm a bit of a completionist, so I want the second series. Also, it does focus more on Triela, and she was my favorite of the girls. Anyway, it was on sale. :)

xJAYMANx said...

@Kris-chan: LOL, so u got it already? Well, the heart's gonna do what the heart's gonna do, eh? ^_^

Kris said...

Oh, yeah. :) Like I said, it was on sale. And I was planning to get it eventually.
Should arrive by Saturday, maybe.