Football Meets Cartoon Network
EYESHIELD 21 ANIMATED SERIES TO DEBUT ON TOONAMI JETSTREAM
Acclaimed Series About Football Is The Latest Addition To Popular Joint Cartoon Network/VIZ Media Broadband Streaming Site
San Francisco, CA, December 13, 2007 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced the launch of the EYESHIELD 21 animated series on Toonami Jetstream, the popular online destination developed jointly by Cartoon Network and VIZ Media. The first episode debuts on December 17th and will be available at http://ToonamiJetstream.com.
EYESHIELD 21 was adapted from the popular manga graphic novel series written by Riichiro Inagaki and illustrated by Yasuke Murata and published domestically by VIZ Media. The story is about teenager, Sena Kobayakawa, who has been picked on all of his life and decides to join the high school varsity football team as a team manager in hopes of reinventing himself. However, the cruel team captain Yoichi Hiruma discovers Sena’s lightning-fast running ability and forces him to play as a running back with a secret identity as “Eyeshield 21.” From that point on, Sena’s life changes completely. The EYESHIELD 21 manga originally debuted in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump and, in addition to the animated series, spawned a popular feature film and several video and trading card games. The property has also inspired legions of Japanese kids to take up the popular American sport of football.
Toonami Jetstream, a site developed jointly by Cartoon Network and VIZ Media, is an online extension Cartoon Network’s successful Toonami action-adventure television franchise. The http://ToonamiJetstream.com site provides on-demand, full-length streaming episodes of a number of hit animated and action series and has attracted millions of viewers since its launch in 2006. Toonami Jetstream is a free service, supported by advertising that includes both streaming video ads and graphic ads.
“EYESHIELD 21 is an action-packed drama with a positive message, teaching the importance of teamwork, overcoming obstacles and having goals,” says Daniel Marks, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, VIZ Media. “The addition of the series to the diverse offerings on Toonami Jetstream exemplifies our commitment to bring the best action and adventure series to the Toonami audience. We invite everyone to check out EYESHIELD 21 and see what has made this unique series such a hit.”
“We are very pleased to expand our offerings on Toonami Jetstream with the addition of EYESHIELD 21,” says Paul Condolora, senior vice president and general manager, Cartoon Network New Media. “EYESHIELD 21 puts an interesting twist on this American sport and we look forward to fans of all stripes checking out this captivating series.”
About Cartoon Network New Media
Cartoon Network New Media is responsible for the production of Cartoon Network’s popular Web sites, which include CartoonNetwork.com, ToonamiJetstream.com, Awesomehouseparty.com and CartoonNetworkYa.com (the Spanish-language site for kids). These sites are some of the most popular entertainment sites in the world for kids, currently attracting an average of more than 6 million unique users each month in the U.S. (Nielsen//NetRatings). The top attraction is their roster of games, which drew more than 2 billion game plays in 2006. In addition, Cartoon Network New Media is the creative force behind Cartoon Network’s video-on-demand offerings, interactive TV and mobile offerings, which include partnerships with such major carriers as Sprint, AT&T and Verizon.
About Cartoon Network
Cartoon Network (CartoonNetwork.com), currently seen in more than 91 million U.S. homes and 160 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s ad-supported cable service offering the best in original, acquired and classic animated entertainment for kids and families. Overnight from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday (ET, PT), Cartoon Network shares its channel space with Adult Swim, a late-night destination showcasing original and acquired animation for young adults 18-34.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
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 (graphic novel) 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. (ShoPro 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 and 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.