Dentsu Inc. Launches DCI Los Angeles; New Division to Produce & Distribute New Animation

Jul 29th 2008

Dentsu Inc. Launches DCI Los Angeles; New Division to Produce & Distribute New Animation Programs, Actively Seeking Co-Production Partners

Deltora Quest, the 10 Million Copy Selling Book Series & Hit on TV Tokyo, Available to Audiences Outside Asia through DCI-LA

SANTA MONICA, Calif., July 29 -- Dentsu Inc. has launched a new U.S.-based division, DCI Los Angeles (DCI-LA), to develop, co-produce, distribute and license original animation programs, it was announced today by Mr. Yuma Sakata, senior vice president for DCI-LA.

"Although Japanese animation has achieved significant global success, many productions we currently see in development do not have broad appeal outside of Japan," said Sakata. "Working with Western partners in pre-production, and then production teams in Japan for animation, we can create content that will appeal to a wider audience."

DCI-LA is actively seeking North American and European co-production partners to develop new animation series, which will be backed by parent company Dentsu's substantial animation resources and investment, and its dominant broadcast access in Asian markets. Although Dentsu is primarily known for its advertising business, the management of television commercial time led the company into program production, and gave rise to capital investments with many of the top animation studios of Japan. Today, the company is a leading investor and producer of Japanese animation. Strategically, DCI-LA plans to tap creative development expertise in North America and Europe, coupled with the Japanese animation expertise accessible through Dentsu, to co-produce and distribute animation with global appeal. Programming targets are children aged 6-12 and males 17-25, via broadcasters, home entertainment and other media outlets reaching those demographics.

Additionally, DCI-LA is announcing the release of the hit animation series based on the books by the same name -- Deltora Quest -- outside of Asia markets, where the property is already well-established. Deltora Quest, which currently airs on the TV Aichi block of TV Tokyo, was the first project finalized under Dentsu's new strategy, and DCI-LA is currently seeking broadcast partners and licensees in all territories and categories. Deltora Quest is based on the book series penned by Australian writer Emily Rodda. Now published by Scholastic, Inc., the series is an international children's favorite -- outselling the Harry Potter series in some markets. It has been published in more than 30 countries and has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.

The Deltora Quest animation series is produced by OLM with investment support from Dentsu. Japanese licensing partners include Kodansha for manga, Bandai for card games, PVC figures and candy items, and Bandai-Namco for interactive games, all via Dentsu, which directly controls all rights to the series worldwide, and handles licensing, merchandising, television, home entertainment and all forms of digital distribution in Asia.

Yuma Sakata, senior vice president, is at the helm of the group, joined by Marc Harrington, vice president, business development, Yukio Kusumoto, group director, and Yulie Yoshimura, associate licensing manager as members of the core management team. DCI-LA offices are located at 2001 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite #600, Santa Monica, CA 90403, phone: 310-586-5600, fax: 310-586-5898.

About DCI Los Angeles
Headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, DCI Los Angeles (DCI-LA) was formed in 2008 to develop and co-produce animation content for broadcasters and media businesses worldwide by combining the conceptual and writing talent of the North American and European markets with the widely accepted artistic style and techniques unique to Japanese animation. As part of Dentsu Group of North America, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dentsu Inc. (the world's largest single-brand advertising agency and leading producer in Japanese animation), DCI-LA will also manage the distribution and licensing efforts for its own productions, and for those in which it has invested.

About Dentsu Inc.
Dentsu Inc., founded in 1901, is the largest advertising agency brand and the fifth largest marketing and communications organization in the world. Based in Tokyo, the group has more than 6,000 clients and more than 15,000 full-time employees in both Japan and in its offices overseas. Consolidated sales for fiscal term 03/07 were recorded at $17,738 million. Dentsu is publicly quoted on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (Code 4324).


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