Viz ships Pokemon manga early

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The first issue of the Pokemon manga, which was originally scheduled to be released on November 27, has been moved ahead to arrive at stores before Thanksgiving. Viz hopes that this will help retailers maximize the market of anime newcomers in time for the Christmas season. (Director of sales Oliver Chin is quick to point out that this is the only currently available piece of Pokemon merchendise available that isn't manufacturered by Nintendo (including the stuffed animals that started selling through Kentucky Fried Chicken on Monday).

Pokemon started airing this season in slightly-edited form on American TV in childrens' time slots, and has quickly become very popular, nearing the top of the New York City childrens' programming ratings.

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