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VIZ Media Q3 2007 Manga Releases

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Press Release

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced the North American debut of six new manga titles for the Third Quarter of 2007. The new releases are aimed at Teen and Older Teen readers and include TOGARI, GIN TAMA, LOVE*COM, PRETTY FACE, KUROHIME and the full-color Ani-Manga(tm) for NARUTO(tm) THE MOVIE: NINJA CLASH IN THE LAND OF SNOW.

These latest releases deliver a unique and intriguing mix of action and swordplay dramas, mixed with supernatural characters and historical settings that will captivate core fans. New comedic and heartwarming romantic shojo stories will also delight the growing number of female manga readers and shojo manga fans.

“Our latest titles for the summer are quite diverse and offer something for almost every interest,” states Wes Harris, Director, Marketing, VIZ Media. “Summer is the ideal time to relax and manga provides a compact and engrossing activity for all ages. Samurai and action fans will love TOGARI and GIN TAMA, while shojo fans can delight in the quirky gender bending PRETTY FACE and LOVE*COM, which won the 2003 Shogakukan Manga Award. Fall will also see the release of the long awaited KUROHIME, which has caused a sensation in Japan with its blend of black comedy and supernatural action. We look forward to everyone checking out the latest offerings beginning this July!”

TOGARI * Rated “T+” for Older Teens * MSRP: $9.99 * Available Now!
A unique 8-volume action series from award-winning manga artist Yoshinori Natsume, TOGARI is the latest addition to the VIZ Media imprint and tells the adventures of Tobei, a ruthless samurai from feudal Japan who was executed and damned to hell for the past 300 years for his heinous deeds. But Tobei is given a chance for redemption when he is sent to the modern world to vanquish 108 malevolent spirits called Toga in only 108 days. Armed with a mysterious wooden sword named Togari (which feeds off of the malice and evil of the user to become more powerful), Tobei struggles to make sense of the modern world and its often baffling customs while searching relentlessly for the evil demons he must defeat. He must also obey two cardinal rules – he cannot commit any new sins or crimes in the modern world, or he risks being beheaded again, and secondly, he cannot harm and mortal human, no matter how evil, for if he does, he shall receive similar damage. Originally serialized in Japan’s manga anthology Shukan Shonen Sunday, TOGARI enjoys an international audience, having been translated into Spanish, Korean, Chinese and French.

GIN TAMA * Rated “T+” for Older Teens * MSRP: $7.99 * Available Now!
GIN TAMA is an irreverant comedic samurai meets sci-fi manga series created by Hideaki Sorachi that has become a smash hit in Japan. GIN TAMA is set in feudal Japan in the ancient capital city of Edo, now modern Tokyo. The country has been taken over by aliens called Amanto who have banned carrying swords in public, much to the consternation of the now vanquished class of samurai. The story focuses on an eccentric samurai with a natural perm named Sakata Gintoki, his (partial) apprentice Shimura Shinpachi, and a superstrong teenage alien girl named Kagura. All three are “freelancers” who search for work and perform odd jobs in order to pay the monthly rent, which ultimately usually goes unpaid. GIN TAMA premiered in Japan’s Weekly Shonen Jump in 2004 and a popular animated series followed, premiering on Japanese TV in April 2006. The manga series has become one of the top ten best sellers in Japan, with the first four volumes selling more than 2.7 million copies. Laughs and action ensue in this unique manga series, from SHONEN JUMP ADVANCED, which blends out-of-this-world characters (literally) with historical drama.

LOVE*COM * Rated “T” for Teens * MSRP: $8.99 * Available Now!
Risa Koizumi is the tallest girl in class, and the last thing she wants is the humiliation of standing next to Atsushi Ôtani, the shortest guy. But fate and the whole school have other ideas, and the two find themselves cast as the reluctant stars of a bizarre romantic comedy duo. Rather than bow to the inevitable, Risa and Atsushi join forces to help each other and pursue their true objects of affection. But in the quest for love, will their budding friendship become something more complex? Creator Aya Nakahara won the 2003 Shogakukan Manga Award for this unique romantic breakthrough hit, which was also made into a major motion picture and a PS2 game in 2006. VIZ Media will release LOVE*COM through its SHOJO BEAT imprint.

PRETTY FACE * Rated “T+” for Older Teens * MSRP: $7.99 * Available August 2007
He wanted to be her boyfriend, but he’ll settle for being her twin sister! PRETTY FACE is an intriguing series by Yasuhiro Kano revolving around a high school boy who impersonates a girl as a result of an operation gone terribly, but comically awry. When his school bus crashes, teenage karate star Rando is sent into a coma. A year later he wakes up to find that his disfigured face has been reconstructed in the image of his secret crush, Rina! Not knowing what Rando originally looked like, the mad plastic surgeon Dr. Manabe used a photo in Rando’s pocket as the model for his reconstructive surgery. Abandoned by his friends and parents, the all-new Rando is mistaken for his would-be girlfriend’s long-lost twin sister and adopted into her family. Can he put aside his feelings and be a good “big sister” to Rina, even when he’s still a teenage boy from the waist down? Find out in this new series from SHONEN JUMP ADVANCED.

KUROHIME * Rated “T+” for Older Teens * MSRP: $7.99 * Available September 2007
Kurohime is a big busty witch with the command of magical guns. She was once foolish enough to challenge the Gods and in doing so was punished. A curse was put on her that turned her into a little girl. The only way she can break this curse and turn back in to her old big bad buxom self is to fall in love! This premise leads Kurohime on all kinds of crazy adventures in a magical land full of dangerous surprises in this new series from SHONEN JUMP ADVANCED. Creator Masanori Ookamigumi Katakura made his debut as the artist for GENOCIDER MAMI, a three-volume manga collaboration with writer Takeshi Narumi. Katakura wrote and illustrated his next work, GO DA GUN, which was serialized in Japan’s Monthly Shonen Jump and concluded after 16 volumes. Katakura’s most recent series, KUROHIME, first appeared in Monthly Shonen Jump Extra in 2000, and has been running in Monthly Shonen Jump since 2003. The enormous popularity of the series spawned the creation of a KUROHIME game for the PS2, released in Japan in March 2006.

NARUTO(tm) THE MOVIE: NINJA CLASH IN THE LAND OF SNOW ANI-MANGA(tm) * Rated “T” for Teens * MSRP: $14.99 * Available September 2007
All the action from the smash hit first NARUTO feature film is depicted frame-by-frame in this full-color Ani-Manga! NARUTO is now one of the most popular and successful manga and anime properties in North America. NARUTO THE MOVIE: NINJA CLASH IN THE LAND OF SNOW is a theatrical side story based on the continuity of the animated TV series and was a box office hit upon its initial release in Japan. VIZ Media screened the movie to thousands of enthusiastic fans nationwide earlier this summer. New and existing fans of the hit title will not want to miss this exciting latest addition to the NARUTO collection. The general storyline of both the NARUTO manga and animated series depict the adventures of a young boy named Naruto Uzumaki who is training to become a ninja. Naruto, cursed with the spirit of the nine-tailed fox demon sealed within his body, was forced to live a bullied life discriminated against by his fellow villagers. But Naruto was resilient and undaunted, and his determination often inspires those around him. Naruto is thrilled when he is sent on a mission to protect his favorite actress, Yukie Fujikaze, on the set of her new movie, The Adventures of Princess Gale. But when the crew ventures out to film in the icy, foreboding Land of Snow, Yukie mysteriously flees! Naruto and his squad set off to find her…unaware that three Snow Ninja lie in wait, with a sinister purpose that will force Yukie to face her hidden past!

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