Yomiuri Group Companies Announce Joint Venture with Japanese Animation Studios to Create Streaming and Crowd Funding Service

Nov 6th 2012
TOKYO, JAPAN – (Nov. 7, 2012) – Yomiuri Group companies Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation, Yomiuri-TV Enterprise Co., Ltd., and ADEC Co., Ltd., announced today the formation of a joint venture with Japanese animation production companies Tezuka Productions Co., Ltd., Tatsunoko Production Co., Ltd., Pierrot Co., Ltd., and Quarkpro LLC, to focus on streaming Japanese animation to North America and producing and selling related goods.

Each company will invest in forming a LLP (Limited Liability Partnership), and will create a North America targeted streaming and crowd funding video platform “Anime Sols” which will leverage the properties owned by the partner companies. This will be the first time Japanese companies have formed a Japanese business to stream Japanese animation and sell related goods directly to North America, from the source.

“There's such a wealth of Japanese animation that has never been legally available before in North America, and we're using the power of the internet and social networking to allow us to bring never-before seen in the west titles – and past favorites – to anime fans in North America,” says Toshikazu Sugae, Vice President of Yomiuri-TV Enterprise Co., Ltd.

Starting in the spring of 2013, Anime Sols will offer internet streaming of a number of Japanese animation titles. In addition to streaming, the service will offer additional methods for fans to support programs by committing to purchasing goods and/or rewards. Using a crowd patronage business model, the more support a show receives, the more programs will be streamed and the more goods will be produced, giving supporters the opportunity to collect shows on home media and receive special supporter rewards.

Launch titles include Tekkaman, the Space Knight (1975), Bander Book (1978), Creamy Mami, the Magic Angel (1983), Yatterman (2008), and many more.

“This project aims to bridge the gap between the audience that wants to collect and the audience that just wants to watch, by letting everyone support their favorite programs however they wish, whether it's messaging a friend about a newly discovered classic, or contributing money to sponsor a DVD set,” says Quarkpro LLC Senior Partner and site co- founder Sam Pinansky.

About Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation

Since its founding in Osaka in 1958, Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation has always been a leader in new telecasting developments, from the first color broadcast in Japan in 1960, though the 1993 construction of a state-of-the-art production studio in Tokyo, and up to the commencement of digital broadcast in 2003. In 1988, the establishment of an open television station where the community can tour the facilities and production units can utilize indoor, entrance lobby and building-front studio space in the center of Osaka Business Park secures YTV's position as an industry innovator. Staying in the forefront of technology to serve an increasingly savvy audience is YTV's commitment to excellence, its commitment to you. For more information, please visit: http://www.ytv.co.jp/english/

About Yomiuri-TV Enterprise Co., Ltd.
Established in 1970, Yomiuri-TV Enterprise Co., Ltd., manages domestic and international licensing rights for a variety of famous animation properties like Inuyasha (2000), Beelzebub (2011), and Space Brothers (2012), as well as musical artists like Yumi Miyagami and Maiko.

For more information, please visit: http://www.yte.co.jp/

About ADEC Co., Ltd.

Established in 1999, ADEC Co., Ltd. is a fully owned subsidiary of Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation. A creative workshop, ADEC provides on screen graphics creation for Yomiuri news and variety programs, as well as webpage, smart-tv contents, graphics design, video production, and video post-production services. For more information, please visit: http://www.a-dec.co.jp/

About Tezuka Productions Co., Ltd.

Established in 1968, Tezuka Productions Co., Ltd. was founded as the production company for Tezuka Osamu. On the 80th anniversary of Tezuka Osamu's birth, Tezuka Productions decided to follow the path he pursued. They strive to create opportunities for international communication by means of manga and animation and give children hope for the future, which they believe is their mission as the keeper of his legacy. For more information, please visit: http://tezukaosamu.net/en/

About Tatsunoko Production Co., Ltd.

“Dreams for families of the world…”

These words are the corporate motto and led to the foundation of Tatsunoko Productions in 1962. Tatsunoko made the first step into the world of animation by giving birth to Space Ace in 1965 and then to Mach Go Go Go (a.k.a. Speed Racer) in 1967. Beginning in late '60s, Tatsunoko's original animations were sweeping over the world and sending hits to every genre such as Gatchaman (a.k.a. Battle of the Planets) and Samurai Pizza Cats. Tatsunoko celebrates its 50th anniversary and plans to utilize and exploit the world renowned properties to expand into the broader entertainment and services markets. For more information, please visit: http://www.tatsunoko.co.jp/english/

About Pierrot Co., Ltd.

Established in 1979, Pierrot Co., Ltd. has produced numerous successful high quality animation productions including world famous fairy tales like "The Wonderful Adventures of Nils" (1980), popular comics like Hikaru no Go (2002), The Twelve Kingdoms (2002), Naruto (2002), Bleach (2004) and original stories such as Magical Girl Series (1983-1985). With its 30-years of experience, Pierrot has firmly established itself as one of Japan's most versatile, dependable, and creative production companies. For more information, please visit: http://www.pierrot.jp/

About Quarkpro LLC,

Established in 2012, Quarkpro LLC is a Japanese Goudou Kaisha founded by translator and anime fan Samuel Pinansky. Quarkpro will invest in the Japanese animation industry to come up with creative new methods to market and monetize anime internationally and promote Japan's vast media landscape abroad, as well as engage in licensing and localization
assistance. For more information, please visit: http://www.quarkboy.com/

Tekkaman、The Space Knight (1975) – 26-episode sci-fi anime series in space with robots and battle armor, produced in 1975. The plot was influenced by the social problems such as environmental pollution at that time. It was aired in US by syndication in 1984. 20 years later a new derivative was created from the original, as Tekkaman Blade (a.k.a. Teknoman) which was also very popular. The earth has entered the 21st century and it is in peril. The project to purify the earth has been abandoned and scientists look to the stars to find a “Second Earth”. The exploration team on its mission, was attacked by a group of aliens and the hope of all mankind almost faded. Dr. Amachi manages to create the “Tekset” system, designed to combat the aliens by transforming a human into a Tekkaman, an enhanced strength super-human. Test pilot, Joji Minami, along with his colleagues, fight against aliens as Tekkaman to keep the hope of mankind to reach a new home for humanity.

Bander Book (1978) – This 90 minute movie was made to air during 24 Hour Television, Japan's biggest charity telethon. By combining completely original stories and characters with familiar Tezuka character archetypes, they signaled the second coming of Osamu Tezuka's animation studio, and achieved TV ratings over 20%. Bander Book is a story based on the theme for 24 Television, “Love Saves the World”, and it tells the story of the human Bander, who was raised by aliens, and how he travels back to earth to reunite with his parents.

Creamy Mami, the Magic Angel (1983) – Yu is a precocious 10-year-old girl who likes Tosiho, a boy, 3 years older than her. One day, Yu runs into aliens that have trouble with their damaged spaceship. In appreciation for helping them repair the spaceship, the aliens give Yu a magical stick with one condition; she must keep it secret, otherwise she would lose the precious power. In order to attract Toshio, Yu decides to transform herself into an attractive 17-year-old girl! Yu, with the 17-year-old figure, happens to be discovered as an idol singer and makes her debut as “Creamy Mami”. Contrary to her expectation, Toshio starts to be attracted to Creamy Mami, not Yu herself. Creamy Mami, the Magic Angel represents girl's popular dreams, an idol singer and magical power. This is the first and the most popular story of Pierrot's Magical Girls series.

Yatterman (2008) – A remake of the 1977 classic, this anime tells the story of a bumbling trio
of thieves, the Dorombo gang, who travel the world in search of the mysterious Skull Stones, believing they will find the location of the largest gold deposit on earth. Yatterman are a duo who ride a giant robot and constantly foil the evil villains plans. Updated for a new generation, this remake brings the hilarious antics to the 21st century.

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