Viz Media and The Licensing Machine Announce the Long Awaited Animated Series Death Note and Bleach for Italian and German Territories

Apr 8th 2008
Paris, FRANCE, April 8, 2008 - Viz Media, LLC (Viz Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies and THE LICENSING MACHINE, a new division of Panini UK, engaged in TV, Home Video, Promotional, Merchandise, Marketing and Licensing Services announce the launch of the long awaited hit animated series DEATH NOTE and BLEACH in Italy and Germany.

For BLEACH, THE LICENSING MACHINE has acquired Television and Home Video rights for Italy, and Home Video rights for Germany. For DEATH NOTE, THE LICENSING MACHINE has acquired Television, Home Video and Merchandising rights for Italy, and Home Video and Merchandising rights for Germany.

DEATH NOTE is a suspenseful mystery, inspired by a 12-volume manga series that follows the adventures of Light Yagami, an ace student with great prospects but who is bored out of his mind. All of that changes when he finds the Death Note, a strange notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god named Ryuk. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals mysteriously begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal - or his life?

BLEACH is based on a popular manga series by Tite Kubo, and tells the adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki, an ordinary 15-year-old boy who happens to be able to see ghosts. His fate takes an extraordinary turn when he meets Rukia Kuchiki, a Soul Reaper who shows up at Ichigo's house on the trail of a Hollow, a malevolent lost soul. Drawn to Ichigo's high level of spiritual energy, the Hollow attacks Ichigo and his family, and Rukia steps in to help but is injured and unable to fight. As a last resort, Rukia decides to transfer part of her Soul Reaper powers to Ichigo. Ichigo, now a full-fledged Soul Reaper, and Rukia, minus her powers, join together to face the challenges that lie ahead.
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“We are very excited to grow our relationship with Panini, while paving the way for Italian and German audiences to enjoy both DEATH NOTE and BLEACH,” says John Easum, President/Gérant, Viz Media Europe. “Both titles are currently enjoying enormous success across the globe including Japan, North America, France and Spain. They are two of Japan's richest new series offering striking animation and incredible storytelling. We are thrilled that, in partnership with Panini, we will be able to extend this success to Germany and Italy.

“The Panini Group has treasured Japanese entertainment for over a decade, bringing to Europe the fantastic manga stories, and masterpieces captivating readers and contributing to the growth of the European manga fan base. DEATH NOTE and BLEACH belong to the privileged category of successful manga and TV programmes which we are so very excited about. We look forward to working closely with Viz Media Europe to give rise to a powerful experience for Japanese animation fans and our partners.” says Giusy Christiana Panari, Director of THE LICENSING MACHINE.

Contact:
Viz Media Europe: +33 1 72 71 53 53
THE LICENSING MACHINE: [email protected]

About Panini S.p.A.
The Panini Group, with headquarters in Modena, Italy is the world leader in the collectibles and trading cards sector. A multinational company and one of the leading comic and children's book publishers in Europe and Latin America, Panini is the most important distributor of comics in specialised Italian bookshops. Furthermore, Panini is exploring important multi-media programmes. In 2007, the Panini Group reached a turnover of more than 540 million Euros, with a total network that covers over 100 countries and more than 700 employees. Fur further info, please contact: Panini S.p.A., viale Emilio Po 380, 41100 Modena. E-mail: [email protected]

About Viz Media Europe, S.A.R.L. (VME)
Headquartered in Paris, France, Viz Media Europe (VME) is a subsidiary of San Francisco-based Viz Media, LLC. VME specializes in managing the development, marketing and distribution throughout Europe of Japanese animated entertainment and graphic novels (manga). It handles some of the most popular Japanese manga and animation properties from initial production, through television placement and distribution to merchandise licensing and promotions for consumers of all ages. Current VME animated properties include BLEACH, DEATH NOTE, BLUE DRAGON, HONEY & CLOVER, M.A.R, ZOIDS GENESIS and KILARI. Contact Viz Media Europe at 9, avenue de l'Opéra, 75001 Paris, France Phone +33 1 72 71 53 53; Fax: +33 1 42 96 97 36; and web site at www.vizeurope.com.

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. For more information visit www.viz.com.

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