Viz Media Presents Exciting New Shows at NATPE 2006

Jan 24th 2006
Las Vegas, NV January 24, 2006 – Viz Media, LLC (Viz Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive manga and animation licensing and publishing companies, arrives at the NATPE 2006 Conference and Exhibition this year, KidsTown Booth #1344, with awesome new shows for both US and International broadcasters. Held at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, January 24-26, NATPE is the only American market serving the worldwide television industry. Viz Media is maximizing this yearly opportunity to present audiences around the world with exciting and colorful stories with stunning visuals in the popular Japanese animation style that has captivated audiences everywhere.

For U.S. broadcasters, Viz Media is offering: CROKET, FULL MOON, GRANDPA DANGER, HIRAKU NO GO, MÄR, THE PRINCE OF TENNIS and ZOID GENESIS.

For international broadcasters, Viz Media will be presenting: CROKET, DEKO BOKO FRIENDS, GRANDPA DANGER, MÄR, MEGAMAN NT WARRIOR: AXESS, MIRMO and ZOIDS GENESIS.

Latin American broadcasters are being offered NARUTO and ZATCH BELL! in addition to the titles mentioned above.

DEKO BOKO FRIENDS, NARUTO and ZATCH BELL! are already hits in North America with NARUTO and ZATCH BELL! airing in the U.S. on Cartoon Network and on YTV in Canada and DEKO BOKO FRIENDS airing in the U.S. on Nick Jr., Noggin — Nickelodeon's commercial-free educational network for preschoolers — and Nicktoons, Nickelodeon's 24-hour cartoon channel.

The new Viz Media shows being presented at NATPE:

MÄR is a series of 52 30-minute episodes targeted to boys and girls ages 7-12. Created by Nobuyuki Anzai, MÄR features Ginta, who is an average 14-year-old boy until a mysterious portal suddenly transports him into the fairy tale realm he envisions in his dreams, the World of MÄR. In MÄR, Ginta acquires superhuman strength and Babbo, a talking magical weapon known as an ÄRM. Together, Ginta and Babbo embark on a quest to save the World of MÄR from total domination by the evil chess pieces!

ZATCH BELL! by Makoto Raiku, is a dynamic action adventure series aimed at boys 8-14. It is produced by Toei Animation Co., Ltd, one of the leading and most respected producers and developers of animation in Japan. Kiyo is a brilliant junior high student whose inflated ego (and tendency to blow the grading curve) has made him a major target for teasing at school. So his father sends him a bizarre birthday present — a strange little boy named ZATCH BELL — to help him make friends and reform his bad attitude. But Kiyo soon discovers that there's more to Zatch than his dad ever realized! Zatch is a creature called a mamodo, and he has magic powers that are unleashed when Kiyo reads spells from a mysterious red book. With Kiyo's help, Zatch must compete against the 99 other kids like him who are vying to become the king of the mamodo world! Zatch Bell battles his adversaries with the help of his human friend, Kiyo. The power of the duo grows stronger as their relationship develops.

Separately, there is a developing licensed merchandise program based on the series for U.S. and Canadian consumers, which includes toys by Mattel; home entertainment and publishing products by Viz Media; and collectible card games and video games by Bandai. In addition, there is an ongoing marketing partnership with Cartoon Network for the series as well as a dedicated website, www.zatch-bell.com, which features exciting downloads and games like the “Zatch Catch” fishing game. New activities are posted monthly.

NARUTO, targeted to boys 9-14 with a secondary audience of males 15-34, takes place in a world where ninjas are the ultimate power. Infused with the spirit of a once fearsome nine-tailed fox demon, Uzumaki Naruto is a ninja-in-training who yearns to be a great ninja and learns the art of ninjutsu with classmates Sakura and Sasuke. Together, the trio studies under the careful instruction of their teacher, Kakashi, who helps them face a series of dangerous and daunting tests and challenges. Through their adventurers, the young ninja students learn the importance of friendship, teamwork, loyalty, hard work, creativity, ingenuity, and right versus wrong.

In addition to the successful TV series, Viz Media is developing a wide-ranging licensing program for NARUTO that includes toys by Mattel, home entertainment and publishing by Viz Media and collectible card games by Bandai. All of these items are being distributed in the U.S. and Canada. Also supporting NARUTO is a dedicated website at www.Naruto.com that features games, a variety activities and special downloads.

DEKO BOKO FRIENDS, positioned as an educational and fun animated series for preschoolers, consists of 30-second animated shorts that feature 12 unique characters that help teach children about diversity and tolerance. The characters and the messages are heartwarming and positive and have been embraced by parents and children alike.

In addition, there are developing licensed merchandise programs for toys by Spin Master and books by Simon & Schuster to be distributed in the U.S. and Canada. A dedicated website, located at www.dekobokofriends.com, features monthly games, activities, and special downloads for children. The licensed goods have an appreciative audience with those that enjoy the adorable characters and their upbeat messages.

MIRMO is a show for children ages 6-11. It is a story about a muglox specializing in love requests, and who enters the human realm by way of a mysterious hot cocoa mug. Summoned by Kaede, a cheerful 14-year-old with a crush on her classmate, Setsu, audiences soon learn that this pint-sized muglox has a jumbo-sized attitude. Bedlam follows as more and more muglox appear in the human world.

In addition to the show, a licensing program has been created to help children create their own MIRMO experiences at home. Licensees include toys by Giochi Preziosi that are distributed in Europe, and stickers by Topps in Italy. Also, there is a dedicated website located at www.Mirmo-zibang.com

HIKARU NO GO, written by Yumi Hotta, is serialized in SHONEN JUMP Magazine. It is based on a unique story premise that revolves around the ancient Japanese strategy game of Go. The series opens when Hikaru Shindō, a young elementary school student, stumbles across a dusty old Go board while exploring his grandfather's attic. Trapped inside is Fujiwara-no-Sai, the ghost of an ancient Go master. Somehow, Hikaru is able to communicate with this spirit, and Sai, newly awakened, wishes for nothing more than to play Go again. Urged on by Sai, Hikaru reluctantly begins playing Go. As he begins to taste victory, Hikaru makes it his quest to become the ultimate Go champion.

ZOIDS GENESIS, is a series of 50 30-minute episodes for boys ages 6-11 that focuses on Planet Zi, which was once decimated by global disaster and is reborn with new mega-life forms called BioZoids. This age of newfound hope is threatened by a new menace, Deguld. Young Zoid excavator, Ruji, awakens the mighty Murasame Liger just in time to defend his village against the invaders, but not before they destroy the village's life-giving generator. Can Ruji restore life to his village and peace to Zi?

MEGAMAN NT WARRIOR: AXESS is a series of 46 30-minute episodes targeted to boy ages 6-11. This exciting, futuristic animation adventure series follows the discoveries and exploits of fifth-grader Lan, whose NetNavi and alter ego is the blue-suited, virus-fighting, virtual superhero named Megaman. Lan and his friends download different Battle Chips to change their personal NetNavis' gadgetry and defense capabilities. Only by working as a team can they thwart the evil Mr. Wily and his chaos-causing Net crime organization, World Three, who are out to take over the Net in order to wreak havoc on the world.

There are licensed merchandise programs based on MEGAMAN NT WARRRIOR worldwide, which includes toys by Mattel; home entertainment and publishing products by Viz Media, as well as publishing products by Chapter Books and Scholastic. There are currently successful promotions with Frito Lay in Europe and McDonalds in Latin America. In addition, there is a dedicated website, at www.Megaman-ntwarrior.com (English & Spanish).

GRANDPA DANGER, produced as 51 5-minute episodes, is a comedy for boys 6-11 created by Kazutoshi Soyama. GRANDPA DANGER is a world where the great protector is Grandpa Danger! He's an expert at falling off of cliffs, dealing with a principal who suffers from a severe inferiority complex, and escaping the hidden dangers of sleep! He's a nonsensical, utterly disgusting, relentless prankster. Grandpa Danger's excessive phlegm and farts frustrate Grandson to hilarious extremes, and make you laugh until your stomach splits!

CROKET is a series of 52 30-minute episodes that takes viewers into a world of magical gold tokens called Kinkas, which hold vast and mysterious powers. In this world, when people fill their Kinka Bank, the great and powerful Bank Wizard will appear to grant them their wildest wish! A group of strong and fearless warriors called Bankers, travel the lands with a common mission – to obtain as many Kinkas as possible. Croket is an energetic and scrappy little Banker with awesome strength who is consumed with one quest: to win enough Kinkas to bring his father back to the world of the living.


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 manga and 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 at www.viz.com.

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