Viz Media Licenses Five Top Animated Series to Funimation Channel for US Television Launch

Apr 16th 2009
San Francisco, CA, April 16, 2009 – Viz Media, LLC (Viz Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced that five of its animation series will launch on the FUNimation Channel, the premiere anime network from FUNimation Entertainment and OlympuSAT, and will debut in late Spring and Summer 2009. Titles include BUSO RENKIN, HONEY AND CLOVER, HUNTER X HUNTER, MONSTER, and NANA.

The series that will be debuting on FUNimation Channel are:

NANA (drama/relationship/comedy, TV-MA)
Based on the popular manga by Ai Yazawa, NANA follows the adventures of two girls both named NANA. While they share the same name, they couldn't be more different. NANA Hachi Komatsu follows her boyfriend to Tokyo in the hopes of making a new start, while NANA Osaki, who arrives in the city at the same time, is a punk rock beauty who has the ambition of making it big in the world of rock and roll. Although these two young women come from different backgrounds, they quickly become best friends while chasing their happiness and dreams. For more information on NANA please visit www.NANA.viz.com.

HONEY AND CLOVER (drama/relationship/comedy, TV-14)
Based on the popular manga by Chica Umino, HONEY AND CLOVER is a romantic comedy about a group of art school students who try to find their way. But when an innocent and talented 19-year-old girl enters their lives, things get a lot more complicated as love triangles result. For more information on HONEY AND CLOVER, please visit www.honeyandclover.viz.com.

Naoki Urasawa's MONSTER (Suspense, TV-MA)
What would you do if a child you saved grew up to be a Monster? An ice-cold killer is on the loose, and Dr. Kenzo Tenma is the only one who can stop him! Tenma, a brilliant neurosurgeon with a promising future, risks his career to save the life of a critically wounded young boy named Johan. When the boy, now a coldhearted and charismatic young man, reappears nine years later in the midst of a string of unusual serial murders, Tenma must go on the run to uncover the story of Johan and stop the Monster he set loose upon the world. Conspiracies, serial murders, and secret government experiments set against the grim backdrop of the former East Germany are masterfully woven together in this compelling psychological suspense.


BUSO RENKIN (Action/Fantasy, TV-14)
High school student Kazuki Muto thinks he's saving a girl from a Monster, but it turns out that he's the one who needs saving! Kazuki is killed while fighting a homunculus, a malevolent creature that feeds on humans. The girl, Tokiko Tsumura, revives him by replacing his heart with an alchemical device called a kakugane. With this device Kazuki can create his own Buso Renkin, an alchemical weapon in the form of a huge lance, capable of destroying homunculi. With his new weapon in hand, Kazuki decides to join forces with Tokiko to eliminate the homunculi and destroy their master, the strange and eccentric Papillon Masked Creator!

HUNTER X HUNTER (Action/Fantasy, TV-14)
Hunters are a special breed, dedicated to tracking down treasure, magical beasts, and even humans. But such pursuits require a license, and less than one in a hundred thousand can pass the grueling qualification exam. Gon might be a country boy, but he has high aspirations. Despite his aunt's protest, Gon decides to follow in his father's footsteps and become a legendary Hunter. The journey begins on the long, arduous road to the Exam Hall, where he meets Leorio and Kurapika, two applicants with the same determination. Gon and his two companions must now prove their worth and earn the right to call themselves Hunters!

“We are thrilled to partner with FUNimation to debut these exciting series on its premiere 24-hour digital anime network,” says Bill Germain, Director, Programming & Music Sales, Viz Media. “The multi-faceted plots and dynamic characters that made all these titles so successful as manga translates wonderfully with depth and color to their anime counterparts, adding a captivating new visual dimension to the storylines. We look forward to fans taking full advantage of all the flexibility and convenience of VOD to explore these new series on the FUNimation Channel.”

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 (graphic novel) 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-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., Viz Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa and is a global ex-Asia licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, and DVDs, and develops, markets, licenses, and distributes animated entertainment 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 the FUNimation Channel
The FUNimation Channel was conceived as a vehicle to expose a wider audience to the unique storytelling style and graceful animation inherent in the Japanese style of animation. In addition, it provides anime and entertainment fans direct access to FUNimation Entertainment's exclusive portfolio of leading anime titles as well as top titles from other U.S. anime companies. FUNimation Channel in affiliation with OlympuSAT offers video providers across the nation the FUNimation Channel linear feed as well as top syndicated & multiplatform transactional programming.
For a full list and descriptions of these series and others, or for more information on the FUNimation Channel, its availability or how to get it, visit www.funimationchannel.com.

About FUNimation Entertainment
FUNimation® Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navarre Corporation, is the leading company for Japanese animation in the United States. FUNimation is known for acquiring top-rated anime series from Japan and for being the market share leader for home video sales of anime in the United States. The company has a proven formula for launching and advancing brands, and manages a full spectrum of rights for most of its brands including broadcasting, licensing, production, internet, and home video sales and distribution.

About OlympuSAT
OlympuSAT, Inc. is the nation's top owner and service provider of independent television networks.  Currently the company represents more than two dozen diverse channels through their Hispanic, Digital I and Faith & Families Packs.  OlympuSAT facilitates technical related services including satellite and uplink along with affiliate sales and marketing services.  Additional services provided to networks include, as needed, master control, advertising sales and traffic and billing services.   The OlympuSAT network portfolio is distributed via Intelsat Galaxy 23.  An affiliate of Ocean Communications, OlympuSAT is based in West Palm Beach Florida, serving homes nationwide www.olympusat.com.

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