Hikaru no Go premiere May 2 on ImaginAsian TV



Series sparked international resurgence in popularity of the strategy game Go

NEW YORK, April 28, 2006 – ImaginAsian TV (iaTV) announced that it has acquired the hit anime series SHONEN JUMP's HIKARU NO GO from animation, publishing and licensing, company VIZ Media, LLC. Based on the best-selling manga written by Yumi Hotta and illustrated by Takeshi Obata, HIKARU NO GO is scheduled to premiere on iaTV on May 2, 2006 at 8 p.m. PT/ET. ImaginAsian TV, America's first 24-hour Asian American television network, will be the first U.S. network to broadcast both the subtitled and dubbed versions of the series.

“With its unique storyline and fantastic animation, HIKARU NO GO is possibly one of the most compelling anime ever produced,” said David Chu, SVP of production and programming at ImaginAsian TV. “We couldn't be more excited about adding this series to our line-up.”

In Japan, HIKARU NO GO has enjoyed tremendous success as a manga and anime series since its debut in 1998 in the weekly Shonen Jump comic anthology magazine. Twenty-three volumes of the manga were published, and the creation of the 75-episode animated series later followed. The popularity of HIKARU NO GO spurred a massive interest in the ancient strategy Go game among the youth in Japan, Korea and Hong Kong. North America has also seen a similar resurgence in the game's popularity since VIZ Media began publishing the manga series in its monthly SHONEN JUMP magazine in 2004.

“HIKARU NO GO is a phenomenal success in Japan, and we're thrilled to be continuing its momentum here in the U.S.,” said John Easum, executive vice president, VIZ Media. “In ImaginAsian TV we have found the perfect venue for the series' U.S. television debut.”

HIKARU NO GO tells the story of Hikaru Shindo, a young student who stumbles across a dusty old Go board while exploring his grandfather's attic. Trapped inside is Fujiwara-no-Sai, the ghost of an ancient Go master that enters Hikaru's consciousness, allowing


him to communicate with the spirit. Sai, newly awakened, wishes for nothing more than to play Go again. Urged on by Sai, Hikaru reluctantly begins playing Go. As he begins to appreciate the complexities of the game, Hikaru makes it his quest to become the ultimate Go champion. Featuring high-quality a nimation by Studio Pierrot (Naruto, Bleach), HIKARU NO GO is a visual tour de force, fast-paced adventure, and compelling coming of age story in one.

Both subtitled and dubbed airings of HIKARU NO GO on ImaginAsian TV will also feature a live-action “How to Play Go” segment, originally aired on Japanese television.

About ImaginAsian TV

ImaginAsian TV (iaTV) is America's first national 24-hour Asian American network, catering to American audiences with a passion “for all things Asian,” including more than 14 million Asian / Pacific Americans. iaTV (www.iatv.tv) offers top-notch entertainment, news, anime, music videos, movies, and original programming from Asia and the U.S. All foreign-language programs are subtitled in English to meet the needs of the general public, and English-speaking hosts introduce shows during prime time. Fully advertiser-supported, ImaginAsian TV is currently carried on cable systems in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Hawaii and parts of New Jersey, as well as via broadcast in other parts of the United States, including Las Vegas, NV, Seattle, WA, and Edison, NJ. Along with The ImaginAsian Theater, ImaginAsian Pictures, ImaginAsian Home Video, ImaginAsian Radio, and iaLink, ImaginAsian TV is an integrated division of ImaginAsian Entertainment, Inc.

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 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. (ShoPro 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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