Wandering around the web yesterday, I stumbled upon a Livejournal group for an unlicensed manga called 07-Ghost. It’s a shonen sci-fi that I read a few chapters of a few years ago and liked. No new chapters came out after the initial few, so I figured it was dropped as happens so often in scanalations. But, on the community, there was a message about the possible licensing of this manga based on a Take Down notice Tokyopop had sent to this manga trading website. The list of manga Tokyopop asked to be taken down can be found here. The Take Down notice was sent in January of this year.
I found this list rather odd though. Yes, all of Tokyopop’s titles were there, as well as 07-Ghost. There were also a couple of other titles on the list that were not announced licenses such as Saiunkoko Monotagari, Sayuki Gaiden, and Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam. These are all series I would love to have, and Sayuki Gaiden just makes sense since Tokyopop has published Saiyuki and Saiyuki Reload.
But, what made me wonder about the reliability of this list is that there were several series’ on this list that were licensed, but not by Tokyopop. Mamotte! Lollipop, MPD Psycho, Shugo Chara, Star Wars, and Togari have all been licensed and released by Del Rey, Dark Horse and Viz. So, is Tokyopop looking out for the well being of their competitors as well as themselves? I hardly think so. It seems to me that the list, beyond the Tokyopop titles that have been released, is just a wish list of titles they wanted to get.
So, how serious should a list like this be taken? Not very I would think. Tokyopop has a right to demand that titles that are licensed and in print be taken down from sites that offer them for download. But, I think it’s going too far to demand a laundry list is really just a working print of titles they wanted but couldn’t always get. At the very least, they could take off the titles licensed by other publishers.