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Vuze Debuts English-Subbed Neko Rahmen via Downloads

posted on by Egan Loo
Free, worldwide release of anime series with no digital restrictions

Vuze, Inc., the entertainment provider formerly known as Azureus, Inc., is premiering the anime series Neko Rahmen worldwide with free, English-subtitled video downloads with no digital restrictions. Vuze tells ANN that its Neko Rahmen videos are "full-resolution" files with short advertisements attached. The Vuze video service uses a modified version of Azureus, one of the more popular client programs for the BitTorrent file-sharing network.

Neko Rahmen is a television series of 13 three-minute Flash-animated shorts based on Kenji Sonishi's four-panel gag manga in Mag Garden's Comic Blade Masamune and Monthly Comic Blade magazines. It stars a cat that happens to run a ramen shop, and it premiered with a special that aired on December 28 of last year. The regular series premiered on June 22 of this year. It was also available online in Japan, where it was the most watched animation series on Yahoo! Japan in August of 2007. Vuze signed the exclusive worldwide rights to create a release with "hard" English subtitles (English subtitles embedded in the video) from the Japanese producers, with the option for other languages in the future. Vuze plans to offers subtitles in French, German, and Spanish in early 2008.

Vuze boasts a user base of more than 14 million people who run its program on Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X. In addition to a wide variety of television and movie selections, Vuze offers more than 360 licensed anime titles from other distributors such as Gong, AnimEigo, Media Blasters and World Events Productions, although those require Microsoft Windows for digital rights management. The producers of Neko Rahmen are the first anime licensers to agree to allow Vuze to release their work without digital restrictions. Once downloaded, Vuze's videos of Neko Rahmen can be freely played on almost any operating system or media device with h.264 video playback support. The company Vuze was originally launched under the name Azureus, since it was established by some of the core developers of the Azureus client program.

Image © Kenji Sonishi/Mag Garden

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