Witchblade to be animation and air on TV

GDH K.K ("GDH"; HQ: Tokyo; President: Shinichiro Ishikawa) announced today that GDH obtained the right to create an animated version of popular US comic Witchblade by Top Cow Productions, Inc. ("Top Cow"; HQ: California, USA; President & COO: Matt Hawkins). GDH group company GONZO K.K. ("GONZO"; HQ: Tokyo; President: Koji Kajita) will create the animation.

Witchblade is a very popular representative American comic published by Top Cow and has been popular throughout the US for more than 10 years. Based on the comic, toys began to be marketed, the story became a TV drama and at the end of last year it was announced that a movie was being planned. The basic concept of this action adventure fantasy is that the Witchblade, an weapon passed down from ancient times, selects the next female bearer. This original concept is used but the story is localized as Gonzo original title considering collaboration between the American comic and Japanese animation. The main character is a Japanese woman and the setting is Tokyo in the near future to meet the condition of airing in Japan. The highlights are GONZO's strength in 3DCG, which will be used to create impressive action scenes, and the original story surrounding the main character.

It is planned to air Witchblade every Thursday morning on CBC, beginning Thursday April 6th at 1:45 am, and every Saturday morning on TBS, beginning Saturday April 8th at 2:25 am. Also, prior to its TV run, in cooperation with broadband Web sites such as BIGLOBE and ShowTime, Internet previews will be available to a limited number of applicants. Applications are being accepted beginning Friday, March 17, 2006 and it is planned to run the preview for three days from Friday, March 31st to Sunday April 2nd.

GDH believes that the company was able to obtain the animation rights for this internationally popular American comic due to the high ratings GONZO titles have received overseas. GDH will take this opportunity to further disseminate the GONZO brand inside and outside Japan while attempting to expand its business opportunities, including secondary use of titles, and will make a continuing effort to provide excellent titles based on the unique nature of Japanese animation.

[ About the Witchblade animation ]
Witchblade is the strongest weapon handed down from ancient times. It has own will and freely changes shape for each fight. The weapon was built to fight. To satisfy its thirst for fighting, the Witchblade searches for a woman of fate.
Now, a woman is chosen.
Kill or live.
The legend awakens again.

Main staff
Concept: Top Cow Productions,Inc.
Director: Yoshimitsu Ohashi
Series composition: Yasuko Kobayashi
Character design, general drawing director: Makoto Uno
Setting research, concept design: Shinya Ogura
Design works: Kazuyuki Matsubara
Color design: Yuko Sato
Art director: Junichi Higashi
Film director: Akinori Kinoshita
Editing: Kiyoshi Hirose
Sound director: Jin Aketagawa
Music: Masanori Takumi
Animation Production: GONZO
Production: Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting Co., Ltd., SKY Perfect Well Think Co., Ltd., GDH
Official Web site: http://www.witchblade.jp/

[ About Top Cow Productions ]
Top Cow Productions, Inc. was founded in 1992 by artist Marc Silvestri who co-founded the revolutionary Image Comics. Top Cow publishes its line of comic books in 21 languages in over 55 different countries. The company has launched 20 franchises (18 original and 2 licensed) in the industry's Top 10, seven at #1, a feat accomplished by no other publisher in the last two decades. Its flagship franchise Witchblade was TNT's #1 original film of 2000. Virtually all of Top Cow's other properties are in development as feature films, live action television or animation. Top Cow has also successfully licensed and merchandised its franchises into toys, statues, clothing, lithographs, puppets, posters, magnets, shot glasses, lighters, lunch pails, wall scrolls, mouse pads, die cast cars, calendars, Christmas ornaments, Halloween masks, trading cards, standees, video games and role playing games.

[ About GDH K.K ]
GDH (Security code: TSE Mothers 3755) is a globally-focused Japanese media company founded in February 2000. The group produces cutting edge entertainment for teens and young adults including the famous GONZO animation brand and for kids and family under the recently launched GONZO FILMS and GONZINO brands. GDH is a world leader in content development that actively targets both domestic and international audiences with Japan's trend-setting animation culture and, usually, GDH controls licensing management and international distribution for the content it produces. GDH group companies include GONZO K.K., G-creators K.K., Future Vision Music K.K., GONZINO K.K., GONZO Rosso Online K.K., GDH Capital K.K. and GK Entertainment K.K.

For additional information, visit www.gdh.co.jp (for GDH) and http://www.gonzo.co.jp/index.html (for GONZO)..

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