Funimation Entertainment Announces Aquisition of Sori's Ichi

Live Action Film to Screen at U.S. Festivals This Spring

Flower Mound, TX – March 24, 2009 – FUNimation® Entertainment has acquired varied rights in North America to the Japanese action film ICHI from major entertainment studio Shochiku Co., Ltd.

ICHI (released in Japan in 2008) is a live action drama directed by Fumihiko Sori whose last work, the cg-animated VEXILLE, was released to critical acclaim in the U.S. in 2008.

In ICHI, Haruka Ayase stars as the blind musician Ichi who leads a life of solitude as she wanders from town to town. When a village she is passing through becomes hostage to two opposing clans, Ichi must reveal her deadly sword fighting skills to protect the villagers. Sori's film pays tribute to the long-running and immensely popular ZATOICHI franchise, but by making the main character a blind swordswoman instead of a blind swordsman, Sori adds his own intriguing twist to the ever popular franchise.

The film also stars Takao Osawa, Shidou Nakamura and Yosuke Kubozuka.

ICHI will make its U.S. film festival premiere at the Hawaii International Film Festival April 3rd followed by a screening April 11th at the Japan Film Festival Los Angeles.

FUNimation Entertainment will bring ICHI to DVD in 2010.

About Shochiku
Founded in 1895, Shochiku functions as a highly-tuned vertically integrated entertainment entity, encompassing feature film and television production, theatrical distribution of Japanese and foreign motion pictures, worldwide sales, exhibition, DVD and home video distribution and the Kabuki Theater.

Shochiku operates one of the most successful motion picture divisions in Japan. The company has produced a number of critically and financially successful films, including the 2004 Academy Award ® nominee for best foreign language film, The Twilight Samurai, directed by Yoji Yamada. The first Japanese Academy Award ® nomination for a live-action film in 22 years (http://www.shochiku

About FUNimation Entertainment
FUNimation® Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navarre Corporation, is the leading company for home video sales of Japanese animation 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. For more information about FUNimation Entertainment and its brands, visit

For more about ICHI, please visit

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