files/pictures/picture-35.jpgTokyopop has decided to shut down its U.S. manga publishing division, reports Publisher's Weekly
. The arm will stop operations on May 31. The move will not affect the companies TV and film initiatives in the U.S. The company's Hamburg, Germany office will continue to publish manga for the European market and handle the worldwide rights to the firm's titles.
Tokyopop opened its doors in 1997 as Mixx, publishing such titles as SAILOR MOON and PARASTYE. Lead by publisher Stuart Levy, it was a leader in the manga boom of the 2000s, changing the market by releasing titles in the original Japanese format of reading right to left. Tokyopop teamed with HarperCollins in 2006 to publish manga and its Cine-Book line, which created comics from screengrabs of TV series. However, the company had to layoff employees by 2008 due to the downturn in the entire publishing industry.
As for the company's upcoming TV and film projects, it's behind PRIEST, a feature film version of the Korean manga. Tokyopop also licenses the web TV series AMERICA'S GREATEST OTAKU.