FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
VIZ MEDIA BRINGS UNIQUE AND EXCITING ANIME PROPERTIES FOR ALL AGES AND INTERESTS TO 2007 LICENSING INTERNATIONAL EXPO
Industry Leader In Anime To Have Notable Presence With More Than A Dozen Properties In Booth 4505
New York, NY, June 19, 2007 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, brings some of the hottest anime properties to the 2007 Licensing International Expo, taking place June 19-21 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. VIZ Media will be located in booth 4505.The Licensing International Expo is the largest and most important annual event for the $180 billion licensing industry. It features more than 525 leading licensors and agents, representing more than 6,000 properties and brands, with upwards of 23,000 attendees expected including key decision-making retailers, manufacturers, and marketing professionals across all consumer and product categories.
VIZ Media is a key master licensor delivering anime and manga content to a fast growing international audience. The company will offer a diverse selection of more than a dozen unique animated properties designed for diverse interests and viewers of all ages including children, teens and young adults. Action titles like Shonen Jump’s NARUTO™, as well as BLEACH™, DEATH NOTE™ and BLUE DRAGON™ are expected to draw major interest.
The properties VIZ Media will be highlighting at 2007 Licensing International Expo:
NARUTO has become the hottest anime series across North America and is one of VIZ Media’s most successful manga and anime properties in terms of sales. Created by Masashi Kishimoto, the series depicts the adventures of a young boy named Uzumaki Naruto who trains to become a ninja. But the boy is cursed with the spirit of a nine-tailed fox demon and is forced to live a bullied life discriminated against by his fellow villagers. But Naruto is resilient and undaunted in his quest to become a master ninja and his determination often inspires those around him. Through amazing adventures, the young ninja learns the importance of friendship, teamwork, loyalty, hard work, creativity, ingenuity, and right vs. wrong.
BLEACH, by creator Tite Kubo, is an animated, hyperkinetic, ghost-busting action series aimed at teens. BLEACH is the story of a 15 year-old named Ichigo Kurosaki who was born with the ability to see ghosts. When his family is attacked by a Hollow – a malevolent lost soul – Ichigo encounters a Soul Reaper and absorbs her powers. Now he is dedicates his life to protecting the innocent and helping the tortured souls find peace. A dedicated website is forthcoming at bleach.viz.com. DEATH NOTE™
DEATH NOTE is based on the Shueisha manga series of the same name and is currently one of the hottest anime titles in Japan. The series depicts the adventures of Light Yagami, an ace student with great prospects but who is bored out of his mind. All of that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals mysteriously begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to investigate, and he is soon hot on the trail of Light, who must now reevaluate his one noble goal.
Based on the popular Microsoft Xbox 360 video game developed by Hironobu Sakaguchi (the creator of Final Fantasy) and features character designs by Akira Toriyama (the creator of Dragon Ball), the BLUE DRAGON anime series is a classic adventure story of magical Shadow powers, flying air fortresses, and unbounded heroism! Brought together by fate, Seven Soldiers of Light must awaken the Shadow within themselves in time to overcome a despotic power and bring peace to their land. Their ensuing journey through a rich fantasy world is also an internal journey to awaken the great power within each of them. Journey with them into the world of BLUE DRAGON!
Other featured properties include:
MÄR, created by Nobuyuki Anzai, is targeted to kids ages 6-14. Ginta, a 14-year-old boy has his world turned upside down when a mysterious portal suddenly transports him into the fairy tale world he has always dreamed of. This is the World of MÄR, where Ginta acquires superhuman strength and a”strange new travel companion” named Babbo, a talking magical weapon known as an ÄRM. Together, Ginta and Babbo embark on a quest to save the World of MÄR from total domination.
ZOIDS GENESIS ™
ZOIDS GENESIS is an action adventure series based on the popular line of kid’s toys and filled with fabulous biomechanical creatures resembling dinosaurs.
Nana is based on a popular manga by Ai Yazawa (and published in North America by VIZ Media), this series depicts what happens when two single girls – one a punk rocker and the other a sheltered suburbanite – both named Nana but from vastly different walks of life meet, become roommates and try to find their place amidst the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.
HONEY AND CLOVER™
HONEY AND CLOVER is a heartwarming series about three poor college students who find life a struggle but who band together and find simple pleasures through small things in life. The story follows these characters’ life stories as they study, find work, love and new friendships.
THE PRINCE OF TENNIS™
Echizen Ryoma is a young tennis prodigy who has won four consecutive tennis championships but who constantly lies in the shadow of his father, a former pro tennis player. He joins the Seishun Gakuen junior high school tennis teams, one of the best in Japan, and there along with his teammates he refines his own style of tennis in an attempt to defeat his biggest obstacles of all – building the self confidence to step out on his own from the shadow of his father’s legacy. DEKO BOKO FRIENDS™
“You are different, and that’s why I like you”. Deko Boko Friends is a series of 30 second interstitials each showcasing one of 12 characters. The characters represent 12 types of personalty traits. Each character is an amalgamation and condensation of traits found in a variety of people.
INUYASHA is the epic (167 episodes) anime series based on the wildly popular manga series (also published by VIZ Media) that depicts the adventures of half demon dog boy Inuyasha as he struggles with his past and searches with his friends for the shards of the fabled Shikon Jewel, which bestows incredible power upon the one who possess it. But plenty of evil forces also want the Jewel and Inuyahsa and his friends regularly battle demonic enemies and help those in trouble in the course of their quest.
MEGA MAN STAR FORCE™
An extension of the popular MEGAMAN NT WARRIOR series, MEGA MAN STAR FORCE is set in the year 220X in a world that has advanced toward radio-wave technology, and is connected through the Wave Road. Meet Subaru Hoshikawa, a fifth-grade student who lost his father in a space accident. Subaru meets an extraterrestrial radio-wave being named War-Rock, descending from a distant FM planet. War-Rock claims to know about Subaru’s father, but many alien beings are after War-Rock. The two work together and merge into Rockman, a radio-wave human capable of traversing the Wave Road and battling the radio-wave viruses and FMs that threaten the Earth.
Katie Minami is a 14 year old student with a mad crush on her classmate. One day while on her way home she buys a mug from a shop and discovers an engraved note at the bottom promising that hot cocoa poured into it will deliver a fairy who will grant any wish. The fairy that appears is Mirmo, who is a prince of the muglox world. Horrified at having to marry Rima, a princess to be in his own world, Mirmo escapes but hot on his heels are Rima, a bounty hunter, Miromo’s brother and a cast of hundreds of other muglox ranging from the good to bad to downright insane. School life for Katie and her friends will never be the same.
Genius middle schooler Takamine Kiyomaro has an apathetic attitude towards life and is an outsider at his school until he meets a mysterious boy called Zatch Bell who was found unconscious out in the woods of England by Kiyomaro’s father, and has lost all his memory. The only clue to his identity is the red book he was carrying when he was found, but it contains letters no one can seem to decipher. However, when Kiyomaro looks through the book, he notices that there is one word he can read, and when he does, thunder comes out of Zatch’s mouth. It turns out Zatch is a mamono (“monster”) boy from “makai” (“demon world”), and that he has been sent to the human world along with 99 other monster children to fight out a battle for who will be the next king of “makai”. All the monster children have their own books, which will enable them to use magic when they find the right humans to read them. Monster children keep coming to Zatch and Kiyomaro to beat them.
KIRARI is the story of a cute, 14-year-old girl named Kirari Tsukishima whose main obsession is food. That is, until one day when she falls in love with Seiji, the singer of a pop idol duo, Ships. From then on, to get close to the idol she likes, Kirari announces that she too will become a singer. Swept away in the exciting world of music entertainment and film, Kirari’s adventures take her through the challenge and excitement of becoming a teen idol to win Seiji’s heart!
Scattered throughout the planet are magical gold tokens called Kinkas, which hold vast and mysterious powers. Fill your Kinka bank and the great Kinka Wizard will appear to grant your wildest wish! Strong and fearless warriors called Bankers travel the land with one common goal—to obtain as many kinkas as possible! Croket is an energetic Banker consumed with one quest: to bring his father Burger, who was destroyed in a horrible duel, back to life! So set your sights for Macadamia Island, and get ready for adventure, comedy, and non-stop Kinka battles. The Banker survival quest is about to begin!! Oh and don’t forget your Kinka Bank!
About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including, magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos, DVDs, audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and web site at www.VIZ.com.About VIZ Media Europe, S.A.R.L. (VME)
Headquartered in Paris, France, VIZ Media Europe (VME) is a subsidiary of San Francisco-based VIZ Media, LLC. VME specializes in the development, marketing and distribution throughout Europe of Japanese animated entertainment and graphic novels (manga). It handles some of the most popular Japanese manga and animation properties from initial production, through television placement and distribution to merchandise licensing and promotions for consumers of all ages. VME offers both “shonen” manga (aimed at male readers) and “shôjo” manga (aimed at female readers) properties owned by the largest Japanese publishing houses, Shueisha Inc. and Shogakukan Inc., as well as those properties licensed through animation & merchandising giant ShoPro (Japan). Current VME animated properties include BLEACH, DEATH NOTE, HONEY & CLOVER, M.A.R., ZOIDS GENESIS and BLUE DRAGON. Contact VIZ VME at 90 ave des Champs-Elysées, 75008, Paris, France: Phone (33) 1 56 43 50 28; Fax (33) 1 56 43 50 30; and web site at www. VIZEUROPE.com.