Viz Media Announces Retail Launch for Bleach

Oct 17th 2006
Borders And Waldenbooks And Hot Topic To Debut Merchandise for Teens

San Francisco, CA, October 17, 2006 – Viz Media, LLC (Viz Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, announced today an exclusive retail launch with Borders and Waldenbooks and Hot Topic for the popular teen property, Shonen Jump BLEACH.

Following its successful debut on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim last month, items from a comprehensive and exclusive consumer products line for BLEACH, focusing on apparel and accessories to appeal to the retailers' core demographic, will be introduced in Hot Topic and Borders and Waldenbooks stores. In addition, the best-selling manga series, with over 1.4 million copies in print, is available at all Borders and Waldenbooks stores.

“Borders and Waldenbooks and Hot Topic are destinations for our core fans and are the perfect retailers to launch merchandise for Shonen Jump BLEACH,” said Carol Roeder, Vice President, Consumer Products for Viz Media. “We are excited to work with them and will also continue to expand the BLEACH brand by offering products online at www.viz.com.”

“At Borders and Waldenbooks, we continue to expand our selection to complement the very successful and popular manga category,” said Kurt Hassler, graphic novels buyer for Borders Group, Inc. “We share the fans' enthusiasm for the license, and we're eager to provide additional merchandise as BLEACH's popularity grows."

"Hot Topic has been pleased with the success of our anime licenses, and we're excited about further developing that business," said Maria Comfort Senior Vice President and CMO, Hot Topic. “BLEACH already has a huge following with our customers and we are thrilled to be partnering with Viz Media to launch this brand in the U.S.”

BLEACH, the powerful story of a fifteen-year-old who has the ability to see ghosts, made its debut in Japan in Shonen Jump magazine in 2001 and debuted on television in 2004. With over 33 million copies sold in Japan, and translated into more than seven languages, BLEACH is one of the most popular manga series worldwide.

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.
About Borders Group
Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., Borders Group is a leading global retailer of books, music and movies with more than 1,200 stores and over 35,000 employees worldwide. More detailed information on the company is available at www.bordersgroupinc.com.

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. www.hottopic.com.

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