Matt Thorn posts on how TOKYOPOP negatively affected the quality of translations through driving down the wages of translators. His "reap as you sow" thesis also connects TP's treatment of it's OEL creators to the greed and shortsightedness that has plagued the comic book industry ever since the first publishers paid next to nothing for original content, while retaining all the rights:
TokyoPop could have worked to nurture a mature customer base and remain relevant, but they were, in my opinion, similarly hobbled by greed and shortsightedness–greed and shortsightedness that tainted the entire North American manga publishing industry.I'm sympathetic to the situation of underpaid employees, and even more sympathetic to creators being forced to give up their creator rights. Given how relatively little manga was being officially translated at the time, it's hard for me to confirm whether TP's translations were any worse than previous efforts. And if anything, they read better than most fan subs. Almost any professional effort was bound to look better in comparison. So what do I know. Brigid Alverson, Kate Dacey and Daniella Orihuela-Gruber have reactions.
George Takei's petition against the rumored casting of the film adaptation of Akira might be jumping the gun a bit, although it's not a surprising reaction given Hollywood's history. That doesn't hinder those who feel that Caucasians are underrepresented enough on the big screen to protest Idris Elba playing Heimdall - Multiculturalism be damned.
Akira is an iconic Japanese work - set in Japan, filled with Japanese characters, dealing with issues that were pertinent to Japan in the Eightees. So I'm not expecting much after it passes the Hollywood studio treatment. I'm still laughing at Dragonball Evolution and Godzilla starring Matthew Broderick. It isn't so much the issue of casting (athough that can be symptomatic of it), as to the way the tampering involved in these adaptations tends to result in a race to the bottom. But I wouldn't mind being pleasantly surprised if the movie turns out to be any good.