We came across this article from a couple weeks ago posted on Manga News. A major manga publisher in France, Glénat, takes the time each month to answer questions from fans on their forums. This month's question set featured an interesting one about Sailor Moon and Ranma 1/2 from one of their fans. We are posting a translation, mais pour les fans qui comprennent le francais, vous peuvent lire l'article ici.
Q: I would love to know if the end of the marketing of Sailor Moon is also in Japan. Is it possible to know the reasons that motivated such a decision from Naoko Takeuchi? I also see that Sailor V is in still in your catalog as well (Note: it is listed as being out of print). Is this normal? Besides that, will the licence for Ranma 1/2 expire in France?
A: We do not know the particular terms of the contract between the author and her Japanese editor. The author alone decided to manage the rights of her work abroad, she has been controlling them since the contracts arrived to the end of their renewal. We don't know the reasons that motivated her choice, we can only suppose that the most logical reason was an economic one, this is the first consequence of this act. The license of Ranma 1/2 is not foreseen to expire, which concerns another author, that did not decide to recover her rights.
We have also more or less learned that FUNImation is in the same boat with the rights to the anime. We are halting our Japanese letter writing phase plans as now we are hoping to find better contacts in Japan in light of all of this news. Fans are not advised at this time to contact Nakayoshi or Kodansha, as the manga has been out of print for two years now, and neither has published any new work from her since. Pretty much the only marketing of Sailor Moon that we have seen since is on Sailor Moon Channel.
To answer the fan's question about Naoko's appearance at Otakon in 2010 - we can't say for sure right now. However, given that she only rarely comes out of hiding (her appearance at Bandai Hobby Center being her first in years), as of now it isn't looking terribly likely. We also don't know what is up with her husband, Yoshihiro Togashi as he disappears in and out of the manga industry for indeterminate periods of time. Perhaps if he returns to a more regular schedule this could hint for a possible return for Naoko to manga but for now it's looking that 99% she will not be there.
We are filing this under Operation Moonrise so that fans can see what other companies are saying about the rights!