Tora Aman, a local comic publisher most popular for their Malay translation of Doraemon comics, have shut down. This comes within just a few months of the closing of Comic House, a popular Manga translator and publisher.
John Baptist Chong Kok Ah, the owner of Tora Aman, has attributed the closure to the change in trend, where comics were now available online for free as well as the drop in sales due to the current economic condition and plunging ringgit.
Many will remember reading Doraemon comics during their schooling days as it was widely popular in the 90s. Tora Aman also published other famous series like Detective Conan, Great Teacher Onizuka & Slam Dunk.
Manga published in Malay made it affordable for everyone. Most Malay-translated Manga’s are priced under RM8 while the English imported versions cost between RM30-50 per volume. Doraemon has around 45 volumes, so imagine the costs involved trying to buy the whole series in English!
With the closure of both Tora Aman & Comic House, many manga fans will be left frustrated as they will either have to read it online in English or fork out a lot of money to buy these books. This also means that series like Detective Conan which is ongoing will no longer be available in Malay. Sad!
As part of the closing, Tora Aman is having a clearance sale at their factory till stocks run out. Each book is priced at only RM2. I did pay a visit and managed to whatever comics that were left. Most of the copies at the factory are sold out so you will not be able to buy a full 45 volume set of Doaremon. Most fans went there early and got the main bulk of books that were for sale.
Scalpers are also starting to show up online, selling the comics at RM10-RM15 per volume as they are now no longer in print.
Tora Aman Factory Address:
9, Jalan BK 1/18, Kinrara Industrial Park, Puchong
(Be sure to check out their Facebook page for opening hours)
If you are unable to go to their factory but still like to order the books, you can check out the comments section of Tora Aman’s Facebook page. There are many people offering Personal Shopper services.
Here is a short video from The Star Online:
Will this be the end of Malay translated manga? Is there a new business that is looking to continue the legacy of Tora Aman & Comic House? Will post more about this soon.
Thank you Tora Aman for all the wonderful memories and bringing the gift of Doraemon to all Malaysians.