Publishers "Hekitensha," "Biblos" and "Highland" File For Bankruptcy

Hekitensha, a publishing company which dealt primarily with joint publications and self-financed works, had ceased operations around the middle of last month, and filed for bankruptcy on the 31st of March. This started off a chain reaction which resulted in two other publishers filing for bankruptcy protection effective April 5th in Tokyo District Court: Biblos, an affiliate company that handled Boy's Love publications and which Hiroaki Yamamoto, president of Hekitensha, was the CEO of, and Highland, a creditor company which also dealt with Boy's Love material. There is no word yet on what will happen to other affiliate companies of Hekitensha, such as the e-book publisher Bibloport.

Each company will hold a creditors' meeting on the 6th and 13th of April, respectively. At this time, whether or not publications, magazines, and editorial staff from each company will be passed on to other companies is not clear. We will keep you posted about any updates to the situation.

Source: Ultimatum

Additional links:
- Shinbunka
- Bunka Tsuushin
- Mainichi News
- Yomiuri Online


The bankruptcy filing of Biblos came as a shock to many, as it had been in the spotlight frequently last year, holding the first annual National Otaku Exams in July 2005, then debuting a new magazine titled "Otaku Elite," which featured Democratic Party of Japan representative Yukio Hatoyama (Wiki ) on the inaugural cover and included preview questions for the second Otaku Exams.

According to a company spokesman, the company had deficits in the range of 2 billion yen ($17 million US); also, apparently the publishing arm of the company was actually profitable, but due to other factors such as the struggling performances of affiliate companies, cash flows had been limited for some time.

Additional Resources:

Yamane Ayano, who has several series published under the label, talks about the bankruptcy. [ Translation of the Story ]

Anime News Network has contact several US publishers regarding the bankruptcy:

We contacted Tokyopop, Be Beautiful (Central Park Media), Kitty Media and Digital Manga Publishing regarding how the Biblos bankruptcy would affect their publishing.

Tokyopop informed us that it is currently too early for them to comment on the situation as they only received word of the bankruptcy earlier today.

Stephanie Shalovsky of Central Park Media stated, "We are sorry to hear the news, they were great people to work with. We're not certain what is going to happen with Biblos, but hopefully we're going to be able to work with them in the future. In the meantime there's no impact on our release schedule and what we're going to be doing." CPM publishes several Biblos titles, including Kizuna, under their Be Beautiful label.

Similarly, Frank Pannone, Managing Editor at Kitty Media stated, "Biblos was the leader in Yaoi romance and the licensor of our best-selling Yaoi properties, Level C and Skyscrapers of Oz. This will not effect the publishing of any titles that have been announced. The titles that we have already published will remain in print at least until the contracts expire. And then we will look into whatever options there are to renew." ...But, I'm Your Teacher and the sixth and final volume of Level C have already been printed and are due to be released this month, I Can't Stop Loving You is due out in July and October.

Rachel Livingston of Digital Manga Publishing informed us, "Titles already released we will continue reprinting. For ongoing titles like Our Kingdom (currently at volume 6 in Japan), we're not entirely sure of the status of those, but we're going to strive to pick them up regardless of who has them even if we have to deal with the original authors or other publishers."

Translated by Neuroretardant