Tokyopop hits phones with Verizon
The future of manga is in the digital realm, or so it would seem in Japan. An article posted on the Bloomberg Web site last week about trends in manga noted in passing that according to a survey by Impress Group, sales of manga read on mobile phones reached 8.2 billion yen in the year ended March 2007 -- a shade more than $78 million at current exchange rates. By contrast, sales of traditional manga magazines have dropped for 12 straight years.
The same week that this article was released, I got word of Tokyopop's new venture into the world of mobile phone entertainment. It's not quite the manga-on-cell-phones technology that the Japanese are enjoying, but it is a way to get some of Tokyopop's properties out to a broader audience.
The Tokyopop Video Channel, available to Verizon Wireless V Cast customers, offers 15 to 20 video clips ranging from about four to six minutes apiece from the publisher's catalog of video entertainment. That includes the animated installments of "Bizenghast" posted to the tokyopoptv account on YouTube, as well as clips from the "Rave Master" and "Pinmen" anime and the Japanese FMW wrestling league. Visit www.verizonwireless.com ...
Meeting roll call
» MangaBento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists will meet every Sunday in February from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Academy Art Center, 1111 Victoria St., Room 200. For more information, visit www.manga-bento.com
» Oahu Anime Explorer: 6 to 9:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at HMC Academy, 555 N. King St. First episodes of the shows "Clannad" and "Bamboo Blade" join the screening lineup at this meeting, which also includes episodes of "Capeta," "Gundam 00," "World's Greatest Disciple Kenichi" and "Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei." Visit www.oahuanimeexplorer.com for more details ...
Sneaking in just after the deadline for last week's column was word of another sale at Suncoast Video stores at Pearlridge Center and Windward Mall.
Fans of anime from Bandai, Funimation and the late, lamented Geneon will appreciate this sale the most: All anime DVDs $14.99 and up from those three publishers are $10 off.
I highly recommend picking up some series under Funimation's new bargain-priced "Viridian Collection" banner, including "Basilisk," "Samurai 7" and "Trinity Blood" for $9.99 per volume after the discount, or volumes of "Gunslinger Girl" for a mind-boggling $4.99 each ...
I'll be back
Finally, for regular readers of this column, this programming note: I'll be taking next week off so I can work on a secret project, one that I hope to talk about soon. See you on Feb. 11 ...
Cel Shaded, a look at the world of Japanese anime and manga, appears every Monday. Reach Jason S. Yadao