Viz Announces Hikaru no Go and Kenshin

Jul 21st 2003
Exciting new additions to action packed schedule with Samurais and Japan's popular game, Go.

July 17, 2003 (San Francisco, CA)

VIZ, LLC, is proud to announce the acquisition of two new titles in The SHONEN JUMP graphic novel line, Rurouni Kenshin and Hikaru no Go making their debut in the Graphic Novel format. Fans will be able to get a sneak peek into Rurouni Kenshin through SHONEN JUMP Magazine and Hikaru no Go will be serialized in SHONEN JUMP magazine beginning in January, its anniversary issue. Bringing the most action-packed, popular titles directly from Japan, these two new titles will garner much press and consumer excitement with the launch of the first graphic novel as early as November 2003. Look for another exciting announcement in August as we announce our acquisition of an eagerly awaited title.


Rurouni Kenshin

One of the biggest manga hits of the 1990s, Rurouni Kenshin is set in Japan during the late 1800s and brings this remarkable period of Japanese history to life. It is the Meiji Restoration, and the feudal system separating the classes has ended. By law, the samurai must give up their swords – symbols of their traditional power – but a few still resist the changing times. In Japan, the accumulated sales for all volumes combined for Rurouni Kenshin was 4.5 million copies.
Currently airing on Cartoon Network, Creator Nobuhiro Watsuki's first series, Rurouni Kenshin ran for 28 volumes in Japan. Translated in 14 countries worldwide, this is the first time the manga will be translated into English, but the anime TV, movie and OAV series are available in English, sometimes under the title Samurai X. Fans will be able to see a sneak preview of the series in the November issue of the SHONEN JUMP Magazine (on sale October 7, 2003).

RUROUNI KENSHIN, VOLUME 1
SHONEN JUMP graphic novel
story & art by Nobuhiro Watsuki
b&w, 208 pages
$7.95 USA/$12.95 CAN

ISBN: 1-59116-220-3



Hikaru no Go

The latest hit game among Japanese students has nothing to do with cards or magical beatss. In fact, it's not even a new game, but one that used to be associated with old folks. How did it get to be so popular? Simple: It has really cool manga!
Currently at 18 volumes, Hikaru no Go (The Go of Hikaru) has been hitting the top of Japan's manga sales charts for several years. The series is a team effort, written by Yumi Hotta and drawn by Takeshi Obata, with young go master Yukari Umezawa as technical advisor and Japan's National Go Association as their willing supporters. The rest is a unique gaming comic that has resurrected the popularity of this traditional Chinese strategy game (superficially similar to Othello). In Japan, the latest volume of Hikaru (vol. 23) sold 830,000, and altogether (from Vol. 1 to 23) has sold 21 million to date. It's also been translated in 7 different countries.






This series will be making its debut as a serialization in the January issue of the SHONEN JUMP Magazine, to replace Sand Land that ends in the November issue.

HIKARU NO GO, VOLUME 1
SHONEN JUMP graphic novel
Story by Yumi Hotta, Art by Takeshi Obata
b&w, 208 pages
$7.95 USA/$12.95 CAN

ISBN: 1-59116-222-X

VIZ, LLC
Founded in 1986, VIZ is a multi-media entertainment company specializing in Japanese entertainment properties for U.S. audiences. VIZ offers an integrated product line including magazines, comics, graphic novels, videos, DVDs and audio soundtracks. VIZ publishes over 20 titles every month including DRAGON BALL Z, GUNDAM, HAMTARO, INU-YASHA, POKEMON, RANMA ½, SHONEN JUMP, and YU-GI-OH!.

Based in San Francisco, VIZ is one of the top five comics publishers in the U.S. and a subsidiary of Shogakukan and Shueisha, Inc., two of the top publishers in Japan. VIZ is the leading publisher of manga for English speaking audiences, serving a growing market of dedicated fans of all ages. Estimating a core audience of nearly 15 million fans, the company holds more than a 50% market share of Japanese comics in the U.S. With some of the most innovative products in the industry, VIZ has expanded its offerings to its loyal fans through web sites such as www.animerica-mag.com, www.shonenjump.com, www.j-pop.com and its corporate site, www.Viz.com.

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