First Anniversary Issue of Shojo Beat

May 15th 2006
July Anniversary Edition Will Debut Special Content Including Launch of
New Series

San Francisco, CA, May 15, 2006 – Viz Media, LLC (Viz Media), one of
the
entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing,
animation and licensing companies, has announced content for the July
2006 issue of SHOJO BEAT magazine, which goes on sale nationwide on
June
20. This edition marks the first anniversary for the dynamic
publication
aimed at the growing number of shojo manga fans in North America. This
demographic is now one of the fastest growing segments in the manga
publishing industry.

Debuting in this special issue will be VAMPIRE KNIGHT, a new romantic
fantasy series by Matsuri Hino, the creator of the popular title
MERUPURI, which is also offered as a dedicated graphic novel by VIZ
Media's SHOJO BEAT imprint. Hino is also set to make a rare appearance
as a guest of Viz Media at the 2006 Comic-Con in San Diego, July 20-23.
The July 2006 issue will be the first SHOJO BEAT issue to have manga
with color ink tones (cyan and magenta) – the first for any domestic
manga anthology publication. The contrast will be visually compelling
and will closely mirror the format of many Japanese manga anthology
counterparts. Also included in this anniversary issue will be an
ABSOLUTE BOYFRIEND pin-up poster by Yuu Watase, whose Drawing with Yuu
tutorial series launches with this edition. This is further augmented
by
the second of three tutorial installments by manga titan Keiko
Takemiya,
who will continue to offer instructional techniques and advice to SHOJO
BEAT readers and hopeful manga artists. An interview with J-Pop
superstar HYDE and the first annual comprehensive manga quiz round out
the issue.

“The past year has been a big one for the shojo manga genre in North
America, and we are pleased to mark an important benchmark for SHOJO
BEAT magazine with this special issue,” says Yumi Hoashi,
Editor-in-Chief of SHOJO BEAT and vice president of Viz Media's
magazine
division. “To show our appreciation to fans, we
– more –

are pleased to launch our newest shojo series, VAMPIRE KNIGHT, in the
July issue
and also announce the rare appearance of artist Matsuri Hino at the
2006
San Diego Comic-Con to help us celebrate our first-year anniversary.
Shojo manga continues to captivate a growing national fan base and
SHOJO
BEAT has emerged as the leading first-of-its-kind publication uniquely
dedicated to this dynamic genre. We look forward to nurturing its
bright
future.”

SHOJO BEAT magazine offers a format modeled after the tremendously
popular, easy-to-read SHONEN JUMP magazine, also published by VIZ
Media.
It carries a “T+” rating for older teens and features several ongoing
titles each month from Japanese publishing giants Shogakukan, Inc. and
Shueisha, Inc. (both parent companies of Viz Media), as well Hakusensha,
a subsidiary of Shueisha, another one of Japan's leading manga
publishers. No longer just for male readers, manga has become a fast
growing trend among teenage and young adult females in North America.
Shôjo manga often depict plots set around love, family, responsibility
and identity. The level of fantasy, artifice or artistic ambition
involved in most shôjo stories are endearing, and the universal appeal
of these subjects has helped to drive the genre's popularity. Viz Media
has been a leading proponent of shôjo manga and the success of SHOJO
BEAT magazine further affirms the company's belief in the continuing
viability and success of the trend.

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

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