Viz Media Named Master Licensor for Bleach

Mar 15th 2006
VIZ MEDIA NAMED MASTER LICENSOR FOR
HIT JAPANESE ACTION MANGA SHONEN JUMP's BLEACH

TV Tokyo Corporation And Shueisha, Inc. Appoints Viz Media To Represent Broadcast, Home Video And Merchandising Rights In The Americas, Europe And Oceania For SHONEN JUMP's BLEACH!

San Francisco, CA, March 15, 2006 – Viz Media, LLC (Viz Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, announced today that it has secured from worldwide licensors, TV TOKYO Corporation and Shueisha, Inc., the television, home video and merchandising rights to SHONEN JUMP'S BLEACH in the Americas, Europe and Oceania. The appointment of Viz Media as Master Licensor was facilitated by TV Tokyo Medianet, the licensing arm of TV TOKYO.

Viz Media plans to introduce a dynamic rollout strategy that will leverage the strong manga (graphic novels) and entertainment brands into a broad licensing and marketing program. BLEACH's television broadcast partner and key licensing partners will be determined shortly.

“It is a great privilege to be bringing such an outstanding property to so many parts of the world,” said John Easum, executive vice president, Viz Media. “BLEACH is one of the most powerful and successful new series coming out of Japan, and it has already established a very large fan base in the U.S., due to the enormously successful manga, published by Viz Media under our SHONEN JUMP imprint. Working together with Viz Media B.V. in Europe, we look forward to making Bleach a global success.”

BLEACH is the story of an average 15-year old, Ichigo Kurosaki, who never asked for the ability to see ghosts--he was born with the gift. When his family is attacked by a Hollow – a malevolent lost soul – Ichigo becomes a Soul Reaper, dedicating his life to protecting the innocent and helping the tortured spirits find peace.

BLEACH is author Tite Kubo's second title and it has spawned 21 volumes to-date that have sold over 28 million copies in Japan. BLEACH has already been translated into more than seven languages and has achieved immense success in Japan not only as a manga and TV title, but also in the realm of licensed categories such as toys, trading card games and video games.

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 web site at www.VIZ.com.

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