Geneon Acquires North American Rights to Viewtiful Joe

Mar 7th 2005
GENEON ENTERTAINMENT ACQUIRES NORTH AMERICAN MERCHANDISING, TELEVISION AND HOME ENTERTAINMENT RIGHTS TO SUPER-POWERED PROPERTY VIEWTIFUL JOE

Deal Brings TV Tokyo Animated Series To North America

LONG BEACH, Calif. – Geneon Entertainment, a leader in introducing anime to the United States, announced today that it has acquired the North American merchandising, television and home entertainment rights to TV Tokyo Medianet, Inc's Viewtiful Joe. With a staunch following, Viewtiful Joe has become a global sensation since its debut on the Nintendo GameCube, which ultimately spawned a successful television series and licensing program in Japan. Geneon Entertainment will expand the property into North America through licensed toys, action figures, clothing, publishing, food and beverages, electronics and more. In addition, the company is currently in talks with major children's television networks and programming blocks to secure broadcast distribution and will also release the Viewtiful Joe series on DVD.

Viewtiful Joe has already proven itself to have wide-ranging appeal and our expertise in introducing properties into this market will help ensure the program's success,” said said Yosuke Kobayashi, president/CEO, Geneon Entertainment. “The series' clever story line and compelling characters lend themselves naturally to licensed merchandise and we believe that the North American audience will embrace it.”

Based on the PlayStation 2 and GameCube console games, developed by CAPCOM Co. Ltd., a worldwide leader in the development and publishing of video games, Viewtiful Joe is a combination of Japanimation and American comic-style character design that is ripe with action and loaded with comedy. Joe is just a normal guy with two great loves: his girlfriend Silvia and Captain Blue, an action movie superhero. When Silvia is magically captured through a movie screen by a celluloid monster, Joe gets himself swallowed into the screen to save her. There, Joe meets Captain Blue just as the superhero is about to retire, exhausted from his lifelong battle against villains known as Jadows. With special superpowers bestowed upon him by Captain Blue himself, Joe transforms into Viewtiful Joe to vanquish the enemies in Movie Land.

Named Game Of The Year by USA Today*, Viewtiful Joe is among many gamers' favorite franchises worldwide, garnering several accolades including the G-Phoria awards, SpikeTV Video Game Awards and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Games Awards. As a producer and distributor of entertainment content, Geneon Entertainment has a slate of licensing programs, including the popular hip-hop style property Samurai Champloo and the highly anticipated Tesujin 28, due out in theaters later this year.

About TV Tokyo Medianet, Inc.

Based in Tokyo, Japan, TV Tokyo Medianet, Inc. is the licensing arm of TV TOKYO Corporation which is best known for hit series such as “Yu-Gi-Go!”, “Pokémon” and “Beyblade.” All rights to the “Viewtiful Joe” series outside North America are handled by TV Tokyo Medianet.

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