Naruto Shippuden Double-Header to Include Free Simulcast of Naruto Shippuden Episode on Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll to Host Week of Naruto Promotions Around Special Event

San Francisco, California (March 19, 2009) – Crunchyroll announced today that it will make anime history again by offering a free simulcast of NARUTO SHIPPUDEN episode 101 on March 26, 2009 as part of a double-header NARUTO event. Week prior to double-header will feature interactive community events and contests centered around NARUTO popular characters, including the birthday of protagonist Sakura Haruno. More information can be found at .

Although NARUTO SHIPPUDEN will be unavailable on the night of March 19 due to TX Network's programming schedule, the hit show will return on March 26 with two (2) brand-new episodes in a special double-header event on the night of March 26 at 7:59pm Japan Standard Time (JST). Crunchyroll is taking this unique opportunity to let NARUTO fans experience NARUTO SHIPPUDEN for free online within one hour of its Japanese broadcast.

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN episode 102 will be available on March 26 within one hour of its Japanese broadcast exclusively to Crunchyroll's Anime Members, and the following week for free to the general public.

Leading into this special event, Crunchyroll kicks off a week of promotions with a free virtual item for Crunchyland avatars, none other than the sword of the evil Kisame Hoshigaki. Fans can “steal” the Kisame's famed sword on his birthday, trying to ruin this villian's special day.

Meanwhile, starting today, members of the Crunchyroll community will be able to visit an official group dedicated to Sakura Haruno, and collaboratively nominate their “Best Sakura Moments.” Out of these best moments, none other than Crunchyroll's very own Shinji will his favorite five based on the community input and launch the “Best Sakura Moments Contest.” A copy of Sakura's trademark kunoichi outfit for Crunchyland avatars for a limited time at the official group during this time.

Fans will be able to enter in the “Best Sakura Moments Contest” simply by voting in Shinji's “Best Sakura Moments” poll until March 28th, her birthday. From all the entrants, Crunchyroll will select one (1) winner of a grand prize pack and nine (9) runners-up, to receive brand-new NARUTO SHIPPUDEN merchandise from official licensees.

All prize winners will receive ULTIMATE NINJA 4: NARUTO SHIPPUDEN for the PlayStation®2, NARUTO SHIPPUDEN COLLECTIBLE CARD GAME: A NEW CHRONICLE booster packs, t-shirts, and much more, courtesy of Namco Bandai Games, Bandai of America, and Ripple Junction, respectively.

"Between the double-header and the interactive promotions, this is an exciting month for the NARUTO brand online," states Rob Pereyda, Senior Director of Crunchyroll's Japan office. "Since the community as a whole knows the brand as a whole better than anyone, what better source to rely on for collaborative information in crafting promotions than them."

About Crunchyroll
Crunchyroll is an online video service and community that offers full-length episodes and movies of the very best in Japanese anime and Asian entertainment. Crunchyroll's content is provided by Asian media leaders including TV TOKYO, Shueisha, Fuji Creative Corporation, Pony Canyon, Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation, Toei Animation, Gonzo, Munhwa Broadcasting of America and many others.

Crunchyroll was founded in June 2006 and has offices in San Francisco and Tokyo. Crunchyroll is a pioneer and innovator in the Japanese anime industry and the only video service in the world to offer hit programs like Naruto Shippuden, Gintama, and many others online to its subscribers within one hour of its Japanese broadcast. Crunchyroll is a member of the Association of Japanese Animations (AJA) and the Licensing International Merchandisers Association (LIMA) and is funded by leading venture capital firm, Venrock. More information can be found at its website .

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