I have bad and good news. Commencing with the bad one: Panini decided to cancel a few series, mainly manhwa, but also some manga. I bought several of those affected series and as you can believe, I’m not amused. However, as I’ll be able to buy most of them from either an American or French publishers, there are no worries there. The named volumes will be the last ones to be published.
– Utopia’s Avengers Volume 4 (Bought 1-4)
I’m lucky that I bought the four volumes via ebay. I never planned on purchasing volume 5, so no loss there.
– Era of Death Volume 5 (Bought Volume 1&2)
I only bought volume 1 and 2, again over ebay and also never planned on buying volume 3+.
– Shaman Warrior Volume 5 (Bought Volume 1-5)
This is one of the few manhwa series I enjoy. I’ll switch to the Dark Horse version, which might be a bit more expensive, but hopefully also be in better quality.
– Zero: The Circle of Flow Volume 2 (Bought Volume 1)
I was interested to see how this one would turn out; alas, it’s not going to happen. It seems that volume 2 is not available at amazon but at my local comic store, so I might still buy volume 2.
Further cancelled titles
Shi Hwa Mong Volume 10
Flower of EvilVolume 3
Further titles, which might get cancelled:
– Pastel Volume 15
They didn’t state what would be the last volume to be released, but it really looks very bad for Pastel as well.
– Hot Gimmick Volume 10(?)
As this would be complete with 12 volumes they’ll *try* and force it through their management.
– Panini has a history of cancellations. One could even call them the Germany‘s ADV . Old manga fans try and stay away from Panini‘s releases or only buy the series once it has been completely published.
– Their over-priced releases: They sell most manhwa and manga at a price of 7,95€, which is around 1,45€ above the average price for the usualy manga/manhwa in Germany (I’m obviously using 6,50€ at the average price, even though there are several manga being sold at a lower price). Even when compared to Carlsen‘s seinen releases theirs are still 0,45€ more expensive. This might sound not much, but it adds up, especially when combined with worse quality.
– Bad quality. If you compare one of their releases (especially Utopia’s Avenger) with those from any other publisher you’ll realize that from the paper-quality to the translation (except some recent releases) the quality is worse.
You don’t get more for the price. No colored pages, no extras, etc. Tokyopop‘s Chunchu costs 6,50€ and is quality-wise equal or better than any of their manhwa releases priced at 7,95€ (e.g. Utopia’s Avenger, where you could barely read the font).
– No (really) good running series that could bolster and catch the downfall of some other series. For example, Egmont is able to do so with their Boy’s Love and shounen releases. Not even Full Metal Alchemist sells well under their palm.
I’m not sure if I ever will buy another manga from them. I will probably join the people, who wait for the series to be complete before even considering purchasing a release by Panini.
Now after this sad and bad news, here’s the good news. I hope this news will brighten the day for some German manga fans! The German counterpart to Del Rey, Heyne, has announced two new licenses recently:
– Air Gear by Oh!Great
– Mamotte! Lollipop by Michiyo Kikuta
Both are, surprise, surprise, licensed by Del Rey in the USA. None of them are interesting for me, as I already purchase Air Gear from Del Rey and the other one is not really my preferred genre to read. I guess their first volumes will be released late spring, but none of that is confirmed and just pure speculation on my part.