Viz Media Announces the U.S. License for Hatsune Miku

Jun 8th 2011
World's First Virtual “Vocaloid” Pop Singer Is A Phenomenon In Japan And Prepares To Take North America By Storm

San Francisco, CA, June 8, 2011 – Viz Media, LLC (Viz Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, has announced it that holds the U.S. product licensing rights for HATSUNE MIKU, the popular Vocaloid virtual pop singer that has become a massive pop culture phenomenon in Japan. Viz Media will showcase HATSUNE MIKU among its other properties available for product license at the 2011 Licensing International Expo, held in Las Vegas, June 14th-16th, 2011. Viz Media will be located in Booth #2481.

The Licensing International Expo is held at Mandalay Bay Convention Center and is the preeminent marketplace for the hottest international brands and properties. It features a show floor of more than 7,000 properties from all of Hollywood's major film studios, global entertainment companies, Fortune 500 consumer brands, sporting teams, interactive properties, fashion labels, and cutting-edge artists and designers. The annual event celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2010.

HATSUNE MIKU is a striking, blue-haired digital female avatar and the most popular of the Vocaloid Character Series software originally created by Crypton Future Media and using YAMAHA's Vocaloid 2 engine. The innovative software enables users to create synthesized vocal tracks using HATSUNE MIKU's vocals by simply typing in lyrics or inputting a melody. Crypton's Vocaloid program uses vocals that are derived from pre-programmed samples of the voices of many popular actors/singers.

In Japan, the popularity of HATSUNE MIKU has become a national phenomenon. She has appeared in several video games and music videos and has also performed several sellout “concerts,” where she appeared on stage as a 3D hologram, backed by a live band. Most recently she appears in a new commercial for the U.S. market for the 2011 Toyota Corolla. The spot is also available on YouTube, and since its debut on May 4th, the segment has received more than 950,000 hits. The Japanese pop group supercell also features HATSUNE MIKU as its vocalist and released their first single in the U.S on May 10th. The track, “The World is Mine,” from their forthcoming full-length album, placed as high as #4 on the iTunes World Music charts.

“HATSUNE MIKU is the world's first true digital pop star and her notoriety is spreading fast across North America,” says Tracy Hanchett, Director, Consumer Products. “Her development explores a whole new hybrid of digital technology and organic creativity. The HATSUNE MIKU brand is richly developed in Japan, where she stars in several video games by Sega, as well as CDs, books, arcade games, collectible figures, apparel and other accessories. We're very excited to showcase this new property at the 2011 Licensing International Expo and welcome the opportunity to work with innovative product partners to further cultivate the HATSUNE MIKU brand for a new U.S. market.”

For more information on HATSUNE MIKU and other titles from Viz Media please visit www.VIZ.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 (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 the popular monthly manga anthology SHONEN JUMP magazine, 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 website at www.VIZ.com.

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