Viz Announces First Anniversary Issue of Shonen Jump

Dec 2nd 2003
VIZ, LLC, one of the leading publishers and distributors of manga comics and anime content for North American audiences, has announced the content for the First Anniversary Issue of SHONEN JUMP, which will be available nationwide in December 2003.

The 360 page commemorative issue will feature the debut of a brand new series -- Hikaru no Go. The comic, from creator Yumi Hotta and artist Takeshi Obata, is based around the ancient Chinese strategy game Go and has sat atop Japan's manga sales charts for many years and also spawned a popular anime television series. For its American debut, the opening pages of Hikaru no Go will be presented in full color. Building on a tradition established in the premiere issue of SHONEN JUMP, VIZ will again offer an added bonus to Yu-Gi- Oh! fans -- an exclusive, fully playable and tournament legal monster trading card available nowhere else but this issue. Rounding out the edition are the continuing serialized adventures of Dragon Ball Z, Naruto (which has consistently ranked first in VIZ reader response surveys as their favorite manga), Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yū Yū Hakusho, One Piece, and Shaman King. Later in November, the award-winning Shaman King creator, Hiroyuki Takei, is expected to pay an in person visit to VIZ's offices for an exclusive interview that will be forthcoming next year. He'll also autograph a bevy of Shaman King premium items for a contest that will be announced shortly for SHONEN JUMP.

"I am gratified to see that SHONEN JUMP has garnered such a popular following among manga and anime fans," states VIZ President Mr. Seiji Horibuchi. "Since its debut in 2002, SHONEN JUMP has achieved the goal of becoming the first English language manga publication expressly targeted at mainstream audiences. This special anniversary edition will debut our newest serial -- Hikaru no Go -- an intense psychological drama that will captivate readers. Manga has been immensely popular in Japan for many decades and I am pleased that a diverse American audience has wholeheartedly embraced the stories and format presented in SHONEN JUMP. VIZ is committed to offering unique titles that feature positive characters in a medium that remains true to the artistic integrity of the original Japanese artists."

Hikaru no Go, or Hikago (as it's known to fans), tells the story of Hikaru Shindō. An average 12-year-old, Hikaru likes comics and video games, struggles in school, and keeps looking for ways to make money because his parents dock his allowance for bad grades. When he finds a dusty old Go board in his grandfather's attic, Hikaru awakens a 1,000-year-old ghost named Sai. During Japan's Heian period, Sai tutored the emperor in the ancient and complex game of Go, but he was unjustly accused of cheating and died in disgrace. Now Sai lives in Hikaru's mind, and all he wants is to play Go and continue his pursuit of the "Divine Move." However, Hikaru is not interested -- he thinks Go is a game for old men. But when he finally relents and lets Sai play a few games, the seriousness and intensity of the game surprises him, and Hikaru finds himself wanting to play Go himself. Soon, inspired by a rivalry with Go prodigy Akira Toya and armed with a natural talent for the game, Hikaru's dedication even surprises Sai, and puts the young boy on the path to become the undisputed Go champion.

About VIZ, LLC

The leading U.S. publisher of Japanese animation and comics (anime and manga) for English-speaking audiences, VIZ serves a growing market of dedicated fans of all ages. Founded in 1986, VIZ publishes over 20 titles every month including GUNDAM, DRAGON BALL Z, INU YUSHA and RANMA 1/2.

Based in San Francisco, California, VIZ is one of the top five comic publishers in the United States. Through partnerships with Shogakukan, Inc. and Shueisha, Inc., Japan's two biggest publishers, VIZ gives fans some of the most innovative titles in the industry including anime titles like HAMTARO, INUYASHA and RANMA 1/2, and magazines like ANIMERICA and SHONEN JUMP.

Contact VIZ, LLC at: 655 Bryant Street, San Francisco, CA 94107-1612; Phone: (415) 546-7073; Fax: (415) 546-7086; Web site: www.VIZ.com

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