Keiko Takemiya in Shojo Beat

Rare Interview and Three-Month Tutorial Series Feature Renowned Artist

San Francisco, CA, March 24, 2006 – Viz Media, LLC (Viz Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced an exclusive interview with manga pioneer Keiko Takemiya to be featured in the forthcoming April 2006 issue of SHOJO BEAT Magazine, which went on sale nationwide on March 21. The interview launches a series of Takemiya coverage where she will offer rare insight into her own inspirations and interests, followed by a three-month tutorial beginning in the June issue where she will answer reader questions and provide artistic instruction and techniques.

Takemiya is internationally renowned for her profound contributions to the manga genre. Since the 1970s, she has produced many popular titles that range from science fiction to historical drama. Her most revered works include Poem of Wind and Trees and To Earth. Takemiya's wildly imaginative style has influenced nearly every manga artist that followed and she is credited with helping to define what has become the shôjo genre. In 2000, she became a professor for Kyoto Seika University's noted four-year manga program, and her most recent work, A Horse Traveling Time, began serialization in the Japanese manga anthology Flowers in 2005. While her works still have yet to appear on North American shores, this SHOJO BEAT interview will give audiences a comprehensive introduction to the works of this manga titan.

As an extension of her desire to nurture the next generation of artists, Takemiya will also begin offering instructional techniques and advice to SHOJO BEAT readers and hopeful manga artists, beginning in the June issue. This instruction will be augmented by additional artistic instruction from Hiroyuki Iizuka and Yuu Watase, another shojo superstar and the creator of popular titles like ABSOLUTE BOYFRIEND, FUSHIGI YÛGI: GENBU KAIDEN and CERES (all published by Viz Media). Their Drawing with Yuu series launches in July.

Viz Media is very excited to feature a rare interview with Keiko Takemiya in our April issue,” says Yumi Hoashi, Editor-in-Chief of SHOJO BEAT and vice president of Viz Media's magazine division. “SHOJO BEAT is committed to offering useful educational content that will help instruct tomorrow's generation of artists. Our “How to Draw” series has become a reader favorite and the inclusion of Yuu Watase and Takemiya's instruction will prove invaluable to many hopeful artists and manga fans.”

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 Production Co, Ltd. (Sho-Pro Japan), Viz Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including, magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos, DVDs, audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages.

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