Moves by CPM concern fans
Shortly after I turned in last week's column for publication, a news item appeared on animenewsnetwork.com with an ominous headline: "Central Park Media lays off staff, prepares for bankruptcy."
Several Internet reports from the Anime Boston convention over Memorial Day weekend indicated that panels that were to have involved CPM staff members were canceled.
Internet speculation feared the worst, and for good reason. CPM, along with its U.S. Manga Corps and Software Sculptors imprints, has brought a diverse mix of anime to America since 1993. Among CPM's licensed franchises are "Alien Nine," "Patlabor," "Record of Lodoss Wars," "Project A-Ko" and "Slayers."
As the week progressed, though, and further details trickled out from CPM, concerns over the company's future eased a bit. A news release issued Tuesday cited "tightening sales conditions" that resulted in the need for cost-cutting and layoffs. What was more notable about the release, though, was what it didn't mention: plans for a CPM bankruptcy filing.
Wednesday brought another hopeful sign: announcements of Aug. 8 street dates for two new collections from its existing catalog, "Wrath of the Ninja" and "Armored Trooper VOTOMS."
It's too soon to tell what this could mean for the long term, but a little bit of support for the company now wouldn't hurt ...
In Sunday's 'D&Q'
Sure, we love ADV Films. Their English dub casts are among the best in the business, and producer David Williams comes down to Kawaii Kon every year carting cases of free stuff to give away to the masses. ADV's manga division, though ... different story.
In the Sunday Today section, Wilma J. and I explore ADV Manga's shaky past, as well as some of the series that the company has started but has yet to complete, and wonder: Will we ever find closure?
Cel Shaded, a look at the world of Japanese anime and manga, appears every Monday. Reach Jason S. Yadao