GDH K.K. and FUNimation Entertainment to Reveal Director's Cut Footage of Afro Samurai at New York Comic Con

Feb 23rd 2007
GDH K.K. and FUNimation Entertainment to Reveal
Director's Cut Footage of AFRO SAMURAI at
New York Comic Con

Animated Series Premiered on Spike TV in January
Look for DVD, Mobile and iTunes Content, Soundtrack and Apparel
2007.02.23
GDH and FUNimation Entertainment have announced they will offer a sneak peek of director's cut footage of the critically-acclaimed animated series Afro Samurai at this year's New York Comic Con in New York City. The series is produced by GDH K.K. group company Studio GONZO in collaboration with FUNimation Entertainment and Spike TV.

Afro Samurai is a five-part animated series which premiered in the U.S. on Spike TV in January. Adapted from Takashi Okazaki's manga, the series chronicles Afro Samurai's relentless quest to avenge his father's brutal murder. Featuring music by renowned hip-hop artist The RZA and starring Academy Award-nominated actor Samuel L. Jackson as the Afro Samurai, the series is a groundbreaking fusion of American hip-hop and classic samurai story. Jackson also executive produces the series.

FUNimation Entertainment is hosting the premiere of never before seen animation of the series as well as a panel discussion featuring the creative team behind the cutting edge animation on Saturday, February 24 at 12:00 pm. Panelists include creator Okazaki, director Fuminori Kizaki and producers Taito Okiura and Eric Calderon. FUNimation Entertainment is launching Afro Samurai on DVD on May 22 including a Director's Cut edition which will include exclusive footage seen at this event.

The series realized ratings success with Spike TV's male demographic with an average audience of 696,000 viewers over the first run of all five episodes. Also, Spike TV will present all five episodes back-to-back as part of a prime time special on Wednesday, March 28 at 10:00 pm ET/PT.

The soultastic soundtrack with original score composed and produced by renowned Wu-Tang Clan frontman The RZA was released January 30th. The soundtrack, released by KOCH Records, also features Big Daddy Kane, GZA, Q-Tip, Talib Kweli and the extended Wu Tang family. Afro Samurai: The Soundtrack debuted in the top 20 independent releases on Nielson Soundscan's Independent Label charts and the single "Cameo Afro" featuring Big Daddy Kane, The GZA and Suga Bang is the most played hip-hop single at college radio in the country. KOCH Records is also making the soundtrack available through iTunes (www.itunes.com) starting Tuesday, February 20. The soundtrack is available for purchase now in the iTunes Store (www.itunes.com) in its entirety for $9.99 (U.S.) or a la carte for $0.99 (U.S.) per song.

GDH announces a partnership with Amp'd Mobile this week to deliver exclusive Afro Samurai mobile entertainment content for all platforms available to Amp'd subscribers. Amp'd Mobile, the first mobile entertainment company created specifically to bring next-generation broadband wireless services and applications to young adults, will be working with FUNimation producers to create unique made-for-mobile programming. Exclusive content will include free ringtones featuring the voice of stars Samuel L. Jackson, Ron Perlman and Kelly Hu in addition to the theme song composed and performed by the RZA, avatars, wallpaper, screensavers and video clips. Video clips will be available starting February 23 and other elements will be available the following week.

Described by Newsday as "gorgeous" and the New York Times as "thrilling", www.afrosamurai.com, the official web site for all things Afro Samurai, will launch a new feature on February 24 debuting at New York Comic Con. Fans of Afro Samurai will be invited to "Sho Yo Fro" at www.afrosamurai.com/shoyofro an online meeting site where they can show love for the 'fro by uploading a picture of their 'fro, whether it's natural, photoshopped or fan art. Fans can get their picture taken against the Sho Yo Fro banner at the FUNimation Entertainment booth at New York Comic Con and at FUNimation Entertainment booths at anime and pop culture conventions across the country. They can also submit their image from home.

"Sho Yo Fro is FUNimation's way of acknowledging the legions of loyal Afro Samurai fans online and giving them all one place to come and share what Afro means to them," says Scott McCarthy, Senior Brand Manager for Afro Samurai at FUNimation Entertainnment.

DC Direct, the collectibles brand of DC Comics, is proud to announce the acquisition of a license to release a line of action figures and collectibles based on Afro Samurai. The collectibles will be distributed in the U.S. and Canada by DC Unlimited - a new brand created by DC Direct to market exquisite collectibles based on the world's greatest pop culture characters and stories. The first series of products was unveiled by DC Unlimited at the American International Toy Fair, held in New York earlier this month. The DC Direct line of Afro Samurai collectibles will include fully articulated 6.75" and 14" action figures, resin busts and statues - all spotlighting the characters from the popular anime. The first wave of figures will include Afro Samurai, his sidekick Ninja Ninja and his deadly adversaries Kuma and Justice. The first wave of figures is slated to hit comic book and pop culture specialty retailers Fall 2007.

Afro Samurai apparel is available now by Fifth Sun which has developed a high quality line of tops for retailers. The designs integrate a fusion between hip hop and samurai cultures and feature specialty treatments and off-placement printing.
Fifth Sun worked closely with FUNimation and GDH to time the release of the apparel line with an exclusive launch at national specialty retailer, and trendsetter, Hot Topic in January. Hot Topic has featured the Afro Samurai licensed soft goods and accessories across the mall-based stores nationwide. In addition, select non mall-based urban outlets and boutiques will feature the product. This initial rollout will be followed by a summer launch at specialty and select urban and national chain retailers.

[ About FUNimation Entertainment ]
FUNimation® Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navarre Corporation is a brand management company and one of the nation's leading independent home video entertainment companies. The company's most recent initiative is the FUNimation ChannelSM, a new, 24-hour digital network featuring programming from the top anime brands in the United States. FUNimation has a proven formula for launching and advancing brands, and manages a full spectrum of rights for most of its brands including broadcasting, licensing, production, internet, and home video sales and distribution.

[ 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 through its GONZO animation brand. Kids and family product is distributed through the recently launched GONZO FILMS and GONZINO brands. GDH is a world leader in content development targeting 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).

[ About Spike TV ]
Spike TV is available in 91.6 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. A unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), MTV Networks is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.

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