I was in the TOKYOPOP offices today doing my normal thing, a copy of Gakuen Alice vol. 7 on my desk to take home later, when Associate Publisher Marco Pavia strolled by and started chatting with me about it. (I’ve been reading the series over the course of the last week. It was also my #mangamonday pick this week on Twitter.)
Then Marco let me know that because Gakuen Alice is the most popular manga on the scanlation conglomeration site, Mangafox. As you can imagine that’s quite a problem for TOKYOPOP as the licensors of Gakuen Alice. So, according to Marco, the company is speeding up the release of the manga in order to catch up with the 21 volumes already available in Japan. (For reference, TOKYOPOP is releasing vol. 10 in two weeks time.)
I’m sure I don’t need to tell most of the readers of my blog that reading scanlations of licensed series is wrong and you really should be buying or borrowing from friends or your local library, but remember that scanlations steal money from the publishers who try to bring you quality manga.
Gakuen Alice is about a girl named Mikan who follows her best friend to the mysterious Alice Academy. After discovering that the Academy is a place to educate children with special powers called Alices, Mikan goes through a strange entrance test to discover her own Alice and gets a crash course in some of school’s weirder charms. Mikan has a particularly rare Alice and now must face the difficult task of fitting in with her classmates. Along the way, she strives to learn more about the strange workings and going-ons at the Alice Academy.
It’s a very cute manga with elementary school children in most of the main roles, but it has some dark undertones in it, so I wouldn’t pass it off as too young for older readers. Please, please, PLEASE support this manga by buying it. If you need a better reason than that, then I implore you to consider the fact that I want a job at TOKYOPOP. By buying this manga, you are supporting the chance for me to get the job I want and love!