Viz to Release 3 Howl's Moving Castle Titles

Apr 20th 2005
VIZ MEDIA TO RELEASE THREE UNIQUE
HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE TITLES

Beautifully illustrated, full color art books and graphic novels to support the debut of anime titan Hayao Miyazaki's newest film

San Francisco, CA, April 20, 2005 – Viz Media, LLC. (Viz Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive manga and animation licensing and publishing companies, has announced a trio of forthcoming releases to support the highly anticipated North American theatrical debut this summer of Howl's Moving Castle. The film is the latest work from famed director Hayao Miyazaki, who won a 2002 Academy Award for Best Animated Film for Spirited Away, and will be released by Buena Vista Pictures in June.

The three Viz Media releases will be offered as part of the company's notable Studio Ghibli Library, which presents a variety of outstanding Miyazaki titles. The new titles include THE ART OF HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE, to be in stores in July, a series of HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE FILM COMICS to be released beginning in August, and a HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE PICTURE BOOK, to hit store shelves in October.

Shortly after reaping the rewards from his movie Spirited Away, a project that earned him an Academy Award in 2002, director Hayao Miyazaki set his sites on his next film – Howl's Moving Castle. Based on the young-adult novel by British author Diana Wynne Jones, Howl's Moving Castle reflects on the mix of science and magic that has captured our imaginations since the 19th century. There's a foppish wizard named Howl, a pesky witch from the wastelands, an anthropomorphic chimney fire and a young girl who carries a most unusual curse. And, of course, there's the moving castle…a towering, omnipresent structure that dominates the landscape.

Already a smash success in Japan, Howl's Moving Castle finally comes to U.S. theaters this summer. To coincide with its Stateside release, Viz Media is proud to present THE ART OF HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE, a hard cover, beautifully illustrated, full-color volume that will make a unique addition to the library of any anime fan or art enthusiast. The coffee table edition contains a generous collection of concept sketches, fully rendered character and background drawings, as well as paintings and cell images. Along with the stunning visuals, the book also presents interviews with and comments from the Studio Ghibli production staff, including key observations and commentary from director Miyazaki.

Hayao Miyazaki is among the most beloved and prolific animation directors in Japanese history and is the creator of several successful anime films, including Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke (winner of the Japan Academy Award for Best Film release of 1997), My Neighbor Totoro, and the 2002 Academy Award winning Spirited Away. Miyazaki's work has captivated the imaginations of adults as well as children and he is renowned for presenting engrossing plots, compelling characters, and a breathtaking and innovative artistic style that blends the modern with the antique. Viz Media has previously released many of Miyazaki's titles including SPIRITED AWAY, CASTLE IN THE SKY, MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO, PORCO ROSSO and NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND.

Viz Media is again honored to support the domestic release of Hayao Miyazaki's latest work with a variety of unique books and graphic novels,” states Liza Coppola, vice president of sales and marketing for Viz Media. “We look forward to the widespread success of Howl's Moving Castle in North America and the continued popularity of Miyazaki's work among adults and children in this country. As part of our VIZ Studio Ghibli Library, we are committed to presenting a compelling and exclusive selection of books from this talented master of the anime and manga genres.”

In August, Viz Media will further compliment the movie-going experience with the release of a multi-volume graphic novel presenting the action from Howl's Moving Castle in a full-color, frame-by-frame format the product line is called HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE FILM COMICS volume 1 - 4. A simplified companion publication, HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE PICTURE BOOK aimed at young readers will be released in October.

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. (Sho-Pro 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 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.

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