Singaporean Publisher, ChuangYi

Volumes of Chuang Yi Manga on my bookshelf

Like BORDERS and TokyoPop, reminders of my more-frequent (and more expensive/just as bankrupt) manga buying days are slowly disappearing from the world. I discovered yesterday that my favourite manga publishing company, the Singaporean Chuang Yi, went defunct in 2013.

Back when I was beginning to purchase manga in high school, the only place you could find manga to purchase other than Kinokuniya in the little-visited Town Hall was at any local Borders store. While the manga titles there were often around $23 a volume for TokyoPop and VIZ publications, ChuangYi often provided a cheap alternative at around $13.

It was an added bonus that they used Australian English translations, maintained original Japanese sound effects, and used dust covers which were a throwback to Japanese tankoubons which often had additional illustrations underneath. The smaller sizes provided more of the experience of reading a tankoubon than the slightly larger American publications.

I collected many series that were published by ChuangYi, including Chrno Crusade (rather than Chrono Crusade), World Embryo, Charisma, Absolute Boyfriend and many more titles over the years. I’d noticed of late they didn’t seem to be updating a manga I’d been collecting anymore, and while attributing this to Australia being slow with imports, I hadn’t been concerned. Now it seems I may never get the chance to finish the series’ published by them which I’d started.

But even more than that, it is simply a shame to see another company drop out when they frequently produced good translations, good quality of print and at competitive prices. Thank you, ChuangYi, and I for one will miss you.

I do have a confession to make though — for all these years I’d somehow I had remembered the name as ChangYi, as in the airport… or a county in Shandong, China. That could have been quite a fatal error.