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VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES NARUTO MANGA SHADOW BOX LIMITED COLLECTOR SET

Most Elaborate Manga Box Set Ever Published In North America Bundles Host Of Extras With 27 Volumes Of Smash Hit Ninja Series

San Francisco, CA, November 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 ultimate NARUTO manga collection – a special NARUTO Shadow Box Limited Collector Set which bundles all 27 volumes of the hit series’ first story arc. With the 2007 holiday season fast approaching, this set, which is the most extensive and elaborate manga box set the company has published to date, will be a highly desired item among many fans. The NARUTO Shadow Box Limited Collector Set is expected to be released today and has a limited production run of 5,000.

The NARUTO Shadow Box Limited Collector Set contains 27 volumes housed in a special wooden display box that is individually numbered and emblazoned with the NARUTO logo. Included are the final three volumes of the first story arc – available in advance of their December 4 general release date. A special mini-manga of the “proto-chapter” of the first NARUTO story ever published is also included, along with a sneak peek of Vol. 28, an exclusive two-sided color poster, collectible graphic novel cover stickers, and a NARUTO trading card exclusive to VIZ Media. The NARUTO Shadow Box Limited Collector Set, with a suggested retail price of $189.95, will be available at select major book retailers and also thru the VIZ Media online store at store.viz.com. Pre-orders on the VIZ Media website are being accepted now. A limited production run of 5,000 makes this a serious collectible for any NARUTO or manga fan.

NARUTO has emerged as one of the best selling and most popular manga series throughout North America, regularly placing in both Graphic Novel and Overall General Fiction categories on noted literary sales rosters including BookScan and the USA Today Top 150. It was also the first manga to ever win a noted literary Quill Award in 2006. NARUTO has become one of VIZ Media’s most successful manga properties in terms of sales. The series, by creator Masashi Kishimoto, depicts the adventures of a young boy who trains to become a ninja, and has sold more than 80 million copies in Japan since Shueisha Inc. began publishing the manga in 1999.

“The NARUTO Shadow Box Limited Collector Set is probably the most elaborate and comprehensive single manga box set ever published in North America and we are extremely excited to release it in plenty of time for the holidays,” says Liza Coppola, Sr. Vice President, Marketing, VIZ Media. “The massive popularity of the manga shows no signs of slowing and this is the ultimate collection for any serious fan. The set is an ideal way to display the entire run of NARUTO and we’ve also included a host of extras that make this a real must-have this holiday season. We expect it to be a feature on many die-hard fans’ wish lists this year.”

The release of the box set is the culmination of NARUTO NATION, a broad campaign launched by VIZ Media earlier this year that began by bringing an unprecedented increase in the frequency of publication of the series. In order to catch up to the present Japanese release schedule and to prepare readers for upcoming notable changes in the main character and story arc, VIZ Media has offered three new volumes of the NARUTO manga per-month since September – a first for any U.S. manga publisher. The company has also released a variety of other related NARUTO products including the DVD release of NARUTO THE MOVIE: NINJA CLASH IN THE LAND OF SNOW, a gorgeous hardcover UZUMAKI: ART OF NARUTO edition, the NARUTO ANIME PROFILES: HIDEN SHIPPU EMAKI, and NARUTO MISSION: PROTECT THE WATERFALL VILLAGE!, the latest addition to the collection of NARUTO novels under the VIZ Fiction imprint.

VIZ Media also plans to launch the manga with the new NARUTO story arc in March 2008, which depicts the next stage of the saga about a boy training to become a ninja with the main character now three years older. Fans can also get a peek at the new NARUTO story in the January 2008 issue of SHONEN JUMP Magazine, on sale December 4, 2007.

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