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The Fall of Manga and Anime
Chobot looks at the fractures in the industry, and how they're affecting her enthusiasm for its products.
by Jessica Chobot

June 12, 2008 - It's time to say the thing that Japanophiles and otaku aren't supposed to say: I am bored to tears with manga and anime here in the US of A.

After one of our contributors posted about the apparent decline of TokyoPop earlier this month, it got me thinking more and more about my increasingly dismissive attitude towards what was previously one of my more passionate hobbies.

For any anime/manga aficionado whose paying even a small amount of attention, it is obvious that TokyoPop isn't the only one struggling. Geneon has been essentially dissolved. ADV has been oddly silent of late which could be good or bad, but judging how some of their fellow competitors are faring, chances are it's the latter. In fact, the only two publishers seem to have found some stability and success: Viz, with their massively popular shojo/shonen titles, and Funimation, with the never-ending Dragon Ball Z and One Piece franchises alongside some quality live-action movies.

While it is all fair and good to try and piece together what's happening within the manga and anime trade by reading between the lines of press releases and rumor mongering, it still seems somewhat disconnected from what made manga and anime flourish here in the states in the first place: The fans.