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Viz Media Announces Three New Fiction Novels

New Releases By Company's VIZ FICTION Imprint Include Novels For The Popular RUROUNI KENSHIN And The Award-Winning NARUTO

San Francisco, CA, September 15, 2006 – Viz Media, LLC (Viz Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced the upcoming release of three new additions to the company's innovative VIZ Fiction imprint. These new original novels are based on the popular anime and manga properties RUROUNI KENSHIN and NARUTO and the best-selling novel from Japan, BE WITH YOU, all present inspired stories in a traditional novel format that feature familiar characters from popular Viz Media properties, as well as new stories, and will captivate fans of adventure, romance and fantasy.

Viz Media's Fiction imprint has published a variety of titles to-date, including three FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST novels, STEAMBOY, GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE AFTER THE LONG GOODBYE, KAMIKAZE GIRLS and the romantic SOCRATES IN LOVE.

"We are committed to making the VIZ Fiction line as dynamic and varied as possible and these new releases will demonstrate a good cross section of the kinds of titles fans can look forward to," states Liza Coppola senior vice president of marketing for Viz Media. "We are confident that fans of titles like RUROUNI KENSHIN and NARUTO will enjoy being presented with this dynamic new way to explore characters and plots based on their favorite anime and manga properties. We are also excited to publish BE WITH YOU domestically, as it has already captivated so many readers in Japan with its heartwarming and romantic story of love and devotion.
RUROUNI KENSHIN: VOYAGE TO THE MOON WORLD · MSRP: $9.99 USA/$12.99 CAN · Available October 2006
The first domestic title based on the best selling Rurouni Kenshin manga (also published by Viz Media). The novel, RUROUNI KENSHIN: VOYAGE TO THE MOON WORLD finds the wandering master swordsman Rurouni Kenshin now living in Kyoto where he joins the Kamiya Kasshin-ryû dojo to learn the art of “swords that give life.” Along with his fellow apprentice Yahiko, Kenshin trains under their kind but demanding instructor, Kaoru. But the peaceful routine of the dojo is disrupted when Tae, a waitress at Akabeko restaurant, asks for their help. A regular at the restaurant has lost his master's precious book, and he'll be kicked out in the street if he can't recover it. The simple case of a missing book soon becomes a dangerous mystery as Kenshin and his friends are tangled in deep secrets and dark plots! RUROUNI KENSHIN has been critically acclaimed for its epic story arcs, historically accurate character details rooted in late 19th century Japan, and plenty of riveting action. This first fiction title takes the action a step further in an engrossing novel format that features all the familiar characters from the popular manga series. A must-read for fans of either the anime, manga or samurai fiction.

BE WITH YOU · MSRP: $19.99 USA/$25.99 CAN · Available November 2006
A best selling novel in Japan by noted author Takuji Ichikawa, Viz Media is pleased to bring BE WITH YOU to North American readers. The novel was widely praised upon initial publication, spawned a top-grossing film and helped define the “Pure Love” trend, which presents tear-jerking but heartwarming stories of true love lost and won that has captivated millions of Japanese women. BE WITH YOU, which has also been optioned as a possible film release starring Jennifer Garner, tells the story of the young aio family: Takumi, Mio and their six year old son Yuji, who were tragically torn apart a year prior to the story's start when Mio died of a long running illness. But the Father and Son find it difficult to move on. Yuji's worried that giving birth to him was what made his mother sick, and Takumi believes his own sickness (a debilitating motor disease) meant Mio had to make one too many sacrifices as a wife to accommodate. However, both look to make up for this very soon because Mio promised the couple that a year after her death she would return to spend the Rainy Season with them. With Mio's promise resonating deep within their hearts, Takumi and Yuji go out on a walk in the woods as soon as the first downpours of June appear. In the ruins of an old abandoned factory, they bump into a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to Mio, but the only problem is she seems to have no memories whatsoever. Nevertheless, Takumi and Yuji bring the woman back to their house and remind her of their former life together, but as Mio starts to fall in love with her husband and son again and her memories begin to slowly return, the rain starts to dry up, little by little.

NARUTO: INNOCENT HEART, DEMONIC BLOOD · MSRP: $9.99 USA / $12.99 CAN · Available November 2006
NARUTO is currently one of the best selling and top rated manga and anime properties in North America (both are distributed and licensed by Viz Media). In this new novel, Naruto, a born troublemaker, has the worst grades of anyone at Ninja Academy. But he has big dreams and swears that someday he'll be a respected warrior and the leader of his village! After barely graduating from the academy, Naruto officially becomes a full-fledged ninja and starts accepting assignments. He's thrilled about embarking on his first big job, a bodyguard mission, but his enthusiasm soon turns to panic when his group is ambushed by the powerful, vicious Demon Brothers. Can Naruto triumph over these fearsome foes? Jump into the world of Naruto for the first time or meet your favorite ninja all over again as Naruto's early escapades—from his pranks at Ninja Academy to his adventures in the Land of Waves—are retold in vivid prose. The novel presents familiar characters and lots of white-knuckled action in an exciting new format, and is sure to thrill fans of the manga and anime series as well as those not yet familiar with the property. Also includes a full-color exclusive mini-poster!

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. (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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