Naruto at Hot Topic

Jun 21st 2005
VIZ MEDIA INKS EXCLUSIVE LICENSING DEAL WITH RETAIL TRENDSETTER HOT TOPIC FOR SHONEN JUMP'S NARUTO

NARUTO PARTNERS TO MAKE FASHION AND ACCESSORIES AVAILABLE AT RETAIL AND ONLINE

San Francisco, CA, June 21, 2005 — Viz Media, LLC. (Viz Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive manga and animation licensing and publishing companies, announced an exclusive licensing agreement with retail trendsetter Hot Topic for Viz Media's wildly popular Shonen Jump's NARUTO.

On the heels of the U.S. debut of NARUTO on Cartoon Network this Fall, Hot Topic, the cutting edge retailer plans to introduce a comprehensive and exclusive NARUTO product line which will focus on apparel and accessories for the retailer's core clientele. The Hot Topic line will include junior girls T-shirts, men's T-shirts, and men's hoodies as well as NARUTO branded stickers, pins, patches and headbands (in stores and available at www.hottopic.com). Devoted fans of NARUTO will also be able to browse and shop for exclusive NARUTO apparel on the official Viz Media website (www.viz.com) at the Viz Media Store. Additionally, Hot Topic will carry the best-selling Naruto manga in stores.

"Hot Topic has a very deep understanding of the NARUTO brand, and will provide a powerful and compelling product offering that will have enormous appeal to the huge existing NARUTO fan base making them a perfect, strategic retail partner for Shonen Jump's NARUTO in the U.S." said Cynthia Money, vice president of consumer products for Viz Media. "We are also excited to expand our Viz Media Store and feature additional exclusive Shonen Jump's NARUTO items on-line."

Targeting tweens and teens, the NARUTO animated series, co-produced by Shueisha, Inc., PIERROT CO., LTD. and TV TOKYO, debuted in Japan in October 2002 on TV TOKYO and quickly established itself as one of TV TOKYO's highest rated animated series. Today, NARUTO is considered one of the most popular properties in Japan's history and has achieved immense success not only as a manga and animated series, but also in the realm of licensed categories such as toys, trading card games and video games.

First introduced by revered creator Masashi Kishimoto, NARUTO debuted in the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in Japan in 1999 and quickly became Japan's most popular ninja manga. In 2000, Naruto was expanded into a series of graphic novels and is currently in its 28th volume, with nearly 50 million copies sold in Japan. Weekly Shonen Jump is published by one of Japan's largest publishers, Shueisha, Inc., and is considered the world's most successful comic magazine with almost 3 million copies printed weekly in Japan.

About Hot Topic

Hot Topic, Inc. is a national mall-based specialty fashion-forward apparel retailer. Hot Topic offers apparel, accessories and gifts to young men and women principally between the ages of 12 and 22.

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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