Fond memories

In the wake of yesterday’s sad news about Tokyopop, I thought I’d use this random weekend question to look back on the positive. Regardless of our individual opinions of the company and our varied reactions to its fate, it published some great comics during its run. So I’d like to ask what your favorite Tokyopop title was?

For me, the answer is surprisingly easy: Ai Yazawa’s Paradise Kiss, a heartfelt and sophisticated look at the lives of budding designers and the girl who serves as their model and muse. This series was among those that really expanded my idea of what comics could be in terms of style, tone, and content, beyond being a wonderful and memorable story in its own right.

How about you? What Tokyopop title stands above the rest in your memory?



  1. It’s a toss up for me between Planetes and Tramps Like Us, which were excellent in different ways. I give TOKYOPOP mad props for trying to make josei a viable category here in the US; they licensed some terrific titles that never quite found the audience they deserved.

  2. I actually looked on TRSI’s website yesterday to determine which Tokyopop series I need to buy and came up with 5 titles: The three Fumi Yoshinaga yaoi (I had almost forgotten that Blu was under TP), Jyu Oh Sei (snce I’m enjoying Demon Sacred and sure I found the anime to be so-so, but I could see the manga easily being so much more) and MBQ (because Peepo Choo proved to me that Felipe Smith is improbably awesome).

    As for what I’ve read so far by them, Kodocha needs a mention, though that has been OOP for waaay longer than this, as has GTO which was also amazing. Planetes and Petshop of Horrors were also nice series for me and I quite liked the bloodshed and depression of Battle Royale. Two series that will now perhaps never be completed and will be moving to the S.O.S. (Shelf Of Sorrow, my shelf reserved for publisher abandoned series) unless they’re rescued are Demon Sacred and Future Diary (and with only two volumes to go on this one too!)

  3. Fruits Basket for me, surprising no one who’s ever talked to me about manga for more than five minutes.

    Professionally speaking, Shinobi Life is my favorite of the things I adapted for them.

    • Fruits Basket was the first manga I bought, brand new, as it came out. It’s also the only one I ever stuck with for that long. I’m very glad I own all of it, because if I had to add “buy all the volumes of Fruits Basket” to my list of Tokyopop manga I need to buy as soon as possible, my list would be unmanageable. Actually, my list is pretty unmanageable now. Tokyopop has put out a lot of interesting stuff over the years.

    • David Welsh says:

      Ah, Fruits Basket… I don’t think I’ve ever read a comic quite like it. Rich emotions right there on the surface, but such artful structuring underneath everything.

  4. Simply Fruits BAsket it was the first sereis I bought every volume of the first long running Shojo sereis I ever read

  5. For me, the one title I continue to reread on a consistent basis is the single volume short story collection I.C. in a Sunflower. Mihara’s other Gothic works such as Doll were a popular mainstay of their Manga line, but I think this is her best work. Whenever I open the book to read a page of one of her stories, I always wind up reading the entire thing the whole way through. It’s THAT GOOD.

    One of the stories even has what could be called a Sopranos-type ending. I had to reread that one multiple times to figure out what happened. All the clues were there – I just needed to pay attention. Finally I could use those lessons in English class for finding underlying meaning for something useful!

    Seriously, you should snatch up any copies of that one before they’re gone. You won’t regret it.

  6. Safetygirl says:

    Kare Kano and Kindaichi were my real entries into modern manga, although I hated Kare Kano by the end, both will always be special for me.

    Favorites? Even if they won’t be finishing Peacemaker Kurogane, at least they did better than ADV – they did the first series (Peacemaker) first, and got one more volume in than ADV did. As a Shinsengumi fangirl, I’m glad to have that, although it’s bittersweet – the mangaka finally went back and started working on the series again after taking YEARS off.

    Embalmer. I pride myself on a certain level of stoicism, but that manga made me cry HARD. I will always be so grateful for the works of Mitsukazu Mihara they brought over.

    Fruits Basket. Very important for me at the time. Cardcaptor Sakura will be something I will always love, and I’m keeping my TP copies (I will re-buy MKR, though). They also did a wonderful job on Hetalia.

  7. Stephanie says:

    For me, it’s “Saiyuki.” I bought the first volume because I saw the promo page in another TP manga and thought, “Hmm, weird, but sounds interesting.” Now, I’m a fan a Kazuya Minekura’s for life. I love the art work. I love that the book can make me laugh in one chapter then break my heart in the next. I love the characters, how well they balance each other, even with all their emotional baggage. I want the jeep. I know a lot of people are “meh” about the series but it will always be my favorite, for more reasons than I can describe.

    Two others that stand out for me are Fruits Basket and Loveless. From Blu, I adore Love Mode and Junjo Romantica.

  8. Fruits Basket is the first thing that comes to mind. When the first volumes were coming out, I was so enamored by the story that I dragged my friends into reading it. Soon, they were buying copies, and middle school was spent exchanging manga and reading them during class.

    I think what makes Fruits Basket so great is not just because it is a fantastic series, but it brought in fans (my friends included) that couldn’t get enough of it. Tokyopop had its bumps, but the energy and unabashed love of manga the company had was infectious, and manga wouldn’t have been so popular without them.

  9. For me its Fruits Basket. It still stands as my favorite manga and one that I continue to read (the wear of the books shows how well they’ve been loved). There weren’t a lot of Tokyopop titles I read compared so some other companies, but I loved Chibi Vampire, Confidential Confessions and Immortal Rain.

  10. Furuba forever!

    ’nuff said.

  11. Mine’s a tossup. Back in 2002, I had just started reading manga, and that’s the year TOKYOPOP started releasing Kodocha and Marmalade Boy. They were the first shoujo series I ever read and both hold a special place in my heart. I’ve been thinking lately that I ought to reread them both—now it seems even more like a good idea.

  12. Fruits Basket. It helped me process things emotionally during a very hard time in my life, and I’m grateful to the manga-ka and Tokyopop for putting it out.

    I think it was the first shojo I read and the first manga series that I obsessed over and tried to get my hands on. I’m no longer obsessed with it; these days I notice more of its flaws than its strengths, but I connected with the title emotionally in a very real way when I first read it.

    Plus, it taught me about the Chinese Zodiac! Viva la Rats! ;) (I was born in the Year of the Rat and Yuki was the character I related to the most!)

  13. I have a couple of TOKYOPOP titles that I really loved but the one that I loved the most was Natsuki Takaya’s Fruits Basket. I am even planning on rereading it soon. I loved the story, characters, and artwork. I think this one was Takaya-sensei’s first bestseller as her early works weren’t that good. I was hoping TOKYOPOP would acquire her Hoshi wa Utau as well but sadly, they went out of business before that happened.

    Honorable mentions: Paradise Kiss, Me & My Brothers, Gakuen Alice, Saiyuki, Love Mode, Loveless, Jyunjyo Romantica.

  14. For me it was Pet Shop of Horrors–I fell in love with the anime and bought the tankoban even though I could barely read Japanese (I pretty much started learning just so that I could read that series). So naturally I was overjoyed when Tokyopop licensed it! I thought the English re-write was overly Americanized, but I was still grateful that Matsuri Akino’s work was being brought to a wider audience in the US. TP also published three more of Akino-sensei’s series: Kamen Tantei, Genju no Seiza, and Tokyo Pet Shop of Horrors–the latter two will sadly go unfinished.

    There are other Tokyopop titles that I will miss (Saiyuki, Vassalord, Tactics, Aria, VB Rose, and many more) but Pet Shop is the one that holds a special place in my heart.

  15. Far and away, Planetes. Amazing series, totally different from anything coming out at the time, and impeccably adapted and translated. Unlike, say, Paradise Kiss, whose visual adaptation was so bad as to repel my eye from reading. (I know, I know, you’d think I’d be able to push through awful fonts and such when reading something I’m interested in. Alas, it seems to not be the case).


  1. [...] The Manga Curmudgeon: Fond memories [...]

  2. [...] Welsh, always upbeat, remembers his favorite Tokyopop manga and asks readers to chime in with their own happy [...]

Speak Your Mind