GDH Announces Release of Afro Samurai Graphic Novel in US

Dec 7th 2007
The first collaborative venture under the new imprint formed by major US
publishers - Tor Books and Seven Seas
2007.12.07
GDH K.K. (Head Office: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, CEO: Shinichiro Ishikawa, Securities Code: TSE Mothers 3755, hereafter GDH) has announced the US release of the AFRO SAMURAI graphic novel, the basis of the animated TV series which was produced by GDH's main production subsidiary GONZO K.K. (Head Office: Nerima-ku, Tokyo, Managing Director: Junji Fujita, hereafter GONZO).

The AFRO SAMURAI animated mini-series was first aired in the US on Spike TV in January 2007 and won much popularity especially among young adults. The show was reverse-imported to Japan, first as a TV show broadcasted on WOWOW in May 2007, and was later re-edited for a theatrical release in October. Set against a unique world that fuses American hip-hop culture with the world of the classical samurai, the show follows Afro Samurai's journey to avenge his father who was brutally murdered before his own eyes.

Written and illustrated by Takashi Okazaki, the graphic novel to be released in the US is the original concept for the animated series. Scheduled to be released in August 2008, it is the first collaborative venture under a new imprint “Tor/Seven Seas,” formed by US publishers Tor Books (Head Office: New York, US, President and CEO: Tom Doherty) and Seven Seas Entertainment (Head Office: California, US, President and CEO: Jason DeAngelis).

GDH has always been a forerunner in the creation of high-quality Japanese animation that appeals to global audiences. The release of the AFRO SAMURAI graphic novel in the US consecutively after the US broadcast is yet another innovative business model which will further advance the growth of the animation business and the global content business as a whole.

[About the AFRO SAMURAI animated series]
In the dark world of the swordsman, it is said that the one who becomes the "No.1" samurai shall rule the world. The one and only law in the world is that only the "No.2" is allowed to challenge the "No.1." Afro Samurai is out for revenge against "No.1," a gunman who killed Afro's father years before, and so takes on the burden of "No.2." Assassins lurk in his shadow in pursuit of the prestige that comes with the title of "No.2" and will risk their very lives for the chance to challenge "No.1." As every power-hungry warrior in this dark land casts their greedy eyes on Afro and tracks his journey looking for their chance, can Afro survive the dangers that pursue him long enough to exact the revenge that drives him towards his destiny?

Original concept by Takashi Okazaki.
For more information, visit www.afrosamurai.com.

Production: Fuji Television, GONZO, Dentsu, SAMURAI PROJECT

[About Tor Books]
Tor Books, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, is a New York-based publisher of hardcover and softcover books, founded in 1980 and committed (although not limited) to SF and fantasy literature. Between an extensive hardcover and trade paperback line, the Orb backlist program, and a stronghold in mass-market paperback, Tor annually publishes what is arguably the largest and most diverse line of science fiction and fantasy ever produced by a single English-language publisher. Books from Tor have won every major award in the SF and fantasy fields and Tor has been named Best Publisher in the Locus Poll, the largest consumer poll in SF, for twenty consecutive years.

[About Seven Seas Entertainment]
Jason DeAngelis, founder and Chief Creative Officer at Seven Seas, lived, worked, and studied martial arts in Japan for six years. His fluency in Japanese brought him work translating such prominent manga titles as Berserk and Gundam Seed. Jason oversees the production of Seven Seas' original projects.
Two other key members of Seven Seas include: Yayoi Ihne, Head of Licensing, who worked at Viz and with Del Rey, and has translated numerous manga, including Sugar Sugar Rune and Adam Arnold, Senior Editor for licensed properties, who created the webzine Animefringe and has worked as a re-writer on numerous manga, including Pita-Ten and Love Hina. Adam currently writes Aoi House and runs the Seven Seas website, www.gomanga.com, which has become a daily stop for thousands of visitors eager to read manga online and contribute to an ever-growing forum community.

Some of Seven Seas' most popular manga series are:
Aoi House (http://www.gomanga.com/manga/aoi.php)
Boogiepop (http://www.gomanga.com/manga/boogiepop.php)
He Is My Master (http://www.gomanga.com/manga/heismymaster.php)
Hollow Fields (http://www.gomanga.com/manga/hollow.php)
Kashimashi (http://www.gomanga.com/manga/Kashimashi.php)
Strawberry Panic! (http://www.gomanga.com/manga/strawberrypanic.php)

[About GDH K.K.]
GDH 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 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. For additional information, visit www.G.D.H.co.jp/english (for GDH) and www.gonzo.co.jp (for GONZO - Japanese only).
GDH group companies include GONZO Rosso K.K., GONZO K.K., Future Vision Music K.K., GONZINO K.K., GDH Capital K.K. and GK Entertainment K.K.

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