American anime and manga distributor Central Park Media filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and closed its doors this past week. According to Anime News Network's story, this was at least in part a chain reaction This from the bankruptcy a few years ago of the retail chain Musicland, which put a strain on many DVD sellers.
As ANN reports:
CPM and its Software Sculptors, U.S. Manga Corps, and Anime 18 labels were once the North American homes of such prominent works as Grave of the Fireflies, Utena, Mobile Police Patlabor, Record of Lodoss War, Slayers, Night on the Galactic Railroad, Project A-Ko, Dominion Tank Police, Descendants of Darkness, Demon City Shinjuku, Urotsukidoji, and La Blue Girl. It later branched out into the book publishing field by releasing Comic Party, Record of Lodoss War, Slayers, Embracing Love, Kizuna, and other titles under the CPM Manga and Be Beautiful Manga imprints. It sponsored the Big Apple Anime Fest earlier this decade.
The market has changed significantly from where it was just a few years ago, when it seemed American licensors were grabbing every anime propery in sight. Now licensors are hunkering down and going with only the most commercial-seeming titles.
One last refuge for more obscure stuff: The online sites, such as Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu. Funimation, in particular, is running the 1970's Leiji Matsumoto series CAPTAIN HARLOCK and GALAXY EXPRESS 999 -- neither of which, to my knowledge, was ever released on DVD in the U.S., or released uncut on video here.