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Central Park Media was an American multimedia entertainment company based in New York City, New York, that was active in the distribution of East Asian cinema, television series, anime, manga and manhwa titles in North America prior to its bankruptcy in 2009. It was headquartered in the 250 West 57th Street building in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.

History

Central Park Media was founded in 1990 by John O'Donnell as an anime supplier, with Project A-ko and Dominion Tank Police as its first two anime titles, which were sub-licensed to CPM by Manga UK who also provided the dubs. Together with AnimEigo, U.S. Renditions, Streamline Pictures and A.D. Vision, CPM pioneered the distribution of anime for mature viewers in North America.

During its heyday, CPM incorporated MD Geist as part of its U.S. Manga Corps logo. Curiosity by anime fans seeing the "corporate spokes mecha" in CPM's titles resulted in MD Geist becoming one of the company's bestselling titles. In 1996, CPM commissioned MD Geist creator Koichi Ohata to write and direct a sequel; at the same time, Ohata made a director's cut of the first title, adding new scenes and expanding the storyline.

In 1992, CPM – through its Anime 18 division – released Urotsukidōji: Legend of the Overfiend, which became the first animated film to be given the NC-17 rating. Since its release, Urotsukidoji has become a cult classic among fans of anime, science fiction and horror genres, while at the same time, being one of the first anime titles to introduce the western public to the hentai genre. It was released in theaters across the United States in both subtitled and dubbed formats.

In the mid-1990s, CPM expanded to distributing manga and manhwa through CPM Manga and CPM Manhwa, respectively. CPM Manga also featured adaptations of MD Geist, Armored Trooper Votoms and Project A-Ko by American writers and artists.

Central Park Media headquarters was in the Fisk Building, where it started out with just 3,400 square feet, but grew to 7,000 square feet in 1996 and would expand further to 10,000 square feet in January 2000.

Financial problems

On May 26, 2006, Central Park Media laid off many of its employees, and rumors erupted that the company was planning to declare bankruptcy, supported by a statement from a representative at the Anime Boston convention. The following Monday, the company's managing director issued a statement acknowledging the lay-offs and attributing the cost-cutting to creditor problems following the January bankruptcy of the Musicland group.

The previous year, in 2005, CPM had discontinued its CPM Manga and CPM Manhwa line, also due to monetary problems. But CPM representatives have said that they have had relaunched their Manga and Manhwa lines in January 2006.

On March 19, 2007, Japanese Yaoi Publisher Libre posted a notice on its website saying that CPM's Be Beautiful division was illegally translating and selling its properties. The titles in question were originally licensed to CPM by Japanese publisher Biblos which was bought out by Libre in 2006 after a bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy and liquidation

Central Park Media filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on April 27, 2009, and liquidated with a debt of over US$1.2 million. Officially, the company had plans to re-release some older titles in the future. Right up until their bankruptcy, CPM still licensed their anime titles for North American television and VOD distribution, despite having not released anything on home video for over a year. Many of their titles have been shown on the Sci-Fi Channel, as well as Anime Selects, AZN Television and the Funimation Channel, and are still available through iTunes. Some of their titles were also acquired by various anime companies, such as ADV Films, Bandai Entertainment, FUNimation Entertainment, Aniplex of America, Sentai Filmworks, Viz Media, Discotek Media, NIS America, Nozomi Entertainment, Ponycan USA, and Media Blasters, and were re-released from 2004 into the 2010s. Some of their titles were either re-dubbed, such as Here is Greenwood and Area 88 by Media Blasters and ADV Films, respectively, or have retained the original dub. Grave of the Fireflies was later re-licensed by ADV's successor Sentai Filmworks and was re-released in 2012. The film had originally been included in a distribution deal between Central Park and ADV that also included Now & Then, Here & There, The World of Narue and MD Geist, which were 3 former US Manga Corps titles.

Divisions

  • Asia Pulp Cinema (East Asian live-action films)
  • U.S. Manga Corps (Anime)
  • Software Sculptors (Anime Software & Anime)
  • Anime 18 (Hentai)
  • CPM Press (Manga & Manhwa)
  • Manga 18 (Pornographic Manga & Manhwa)
  • Be Beautiful Manga (Yaoi Manga)
  • Below the Radar (Live Action Independent & Underground Media)
  • Binary Media Works (Website Unit)

Dubs

This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

Dubs produced by Central Park Media.

Anime

Series

Specials/OVAs

Films

Animation

Films

Live-Action

Films

Outsourced Dubs

Dubs outsourced to different dubbing studios outside of CPM's usual employ.

Anime

Series

Specials/OVAs

Films

  • They Were Eleven (1986) (Animaze) (U.S. Manga Corps)
  • Negadon: The Monster from Mars (2006) (NYAV Post) (U.S. Manga Corps)

Live-Action

Films

Licensed Works

Anime

Specials/OVAs

Films

External Links

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