SciFi Japan

    VIZ Media Partners with Online Video Services Joost and Hulu

    Uncut Episodes of NARUTO, DEATH NOTE and BLEACH Available for Free Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press release Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen

    VIZ Media has had a busy week. On Tuesday, the publishing, animation and licensing company announced that Joost, the world`s first broadcast-quality internet television service, will carry the original Uncut (Japanese version/English subtitled) episodes of the hit animated series NARUTO, DEATH NOTE and BLEACH in the United States. Yesterday came word that the original uncut Japanese versions of those three series will also be available subtitled in English on Hulu. NARUTO, DEATH NOTE, and BLEACH have emerged as three of the world`s most popular Japanese animated series, each attracting millions of devoted viewers with a blend of stylish animation, multi-faceted characters and riveting story lines. Each series is based on a popular manga series and enjoys tremendous international popularity.

    JOOST

    Founded by Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström, Joost brings video and social interaction together online. All of the video on Joost is professionally produced and streams on-demand to people around the world for free in a high-quality format. Today, Joost has more than 30,000 program elements, including more than 400 television series and 1,200 movie and short film titles. For more information, visit joost.com. NARUTO, BLEACH and DEATH NOTE episodes will be made available for free at Joost with new installments being added regularly. With Joost, fans will be able to watch these shows in their web browser while interacting with others in the Joost community. Whether they join or form fan groups around their favorite characters, or add their own comments to their favorite shows, Joost’s unique social features help a larger audience find and discover these hit shows. “Joost recognizes a truly diverse community for content and has developed an interactive vehicle that will help build an even larger audience for NARUTO, BLEACH and DEATH NOTE,” Ken Sasaki, Sr. Vice President of Strategy & Business Development, VIZ Media. “VIZ Media shares a vision to use the latest web technologies to make compelling animated content easily accessible in a legal, secure and high-quality format. We look forward to fans sharing their favorite episodes of NARUTO, BLEACH and DEATH NOTE on Joost and taking advantage of its social features to discuss and trade commentary individual episodes and expand the global momentum behind these properties.”

    Danny Passman, global head of programming for Joost, said, “Our goal is to be the leading online destination for premium, legal anime – and VIZ Media is a key partner in this objective. NARUTO, BLEACH and DEATH NOTE have great fan bases because of their amazing artistry and compelling storylines, and with Joost’s social features, these shows will be introduced to an even larger audience.”

    HULU

    Hulu.com is an online video service that offers hit TV shows, movies and clips at Hulu.com and other online destination sites — all for free, anytime in the U.S. Hulu has more than 100 content partners and offers nearly 900 show and movie titles, including 200 full-length feature films and 400 television series with hundreds of videos added to the service each week. NARUTO and DEATH NOTE launched in the United States on Hulu this week. BLEACH and new episodes of each title will be added regularly on Hulu. The launch with Hulu is the latest expansion of VIZ Media’s ongoing strategy to make available a variety of hit animated series through some of the most innovative web-based, video streaming outlets. Hulu, launched in March of this year , provides convenient 24/7 accessibility and offers users the freedom to legally share full-length episodes or clips via e-mail or embed them on other web sites, blogs and social networking pages. “We are very excited to launch NARUTO, DEATH NOTE, and BLEACH on Hulu,” says Ken Sasaki, Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, VIZ Media. “Hulu gives users the ability to customize their viewing experience online. We invite longtime, as well as new, NARUTO, BLEACH and DEATH NOTE fans to check out Hulu.com for the exciting episodes that are available for unlimited streaming.”

    THE SERIES

    NARUTO (Uncut): Rated TV-14 (English subtitled) NARUTO has become the hottest animated series across North America and is one of VIZ Media’s most successful manga and animated properties in terms of sales. Created by Masashi Kishimoto, the series depicts the adventures of a young boy named Uzumaki Naruto who trains to become a ninja. The boy is cursed with the spirit of a nine-tailed fox demon and is forced to live a bullied life discriminated against by his fellow villagers. Naruto is resilient and undaunted in his quest to become a master ninja and his determination often inspires those around him. Through amazing adventures, the young ninja learns the importance of friendship, teamwork, loyalty, hard work, creativity, ingenuity, and right vs. wrong. • NARUTO on JOOST: joost.com/viz • NARUTO on HULU: hulu.com/naruto

    BLEACH (Uncut): Rated TV-14 (English subtitled) BLEACH, an animated, hyperkinetic, ghost-busting action series is the story of a 15 year-old named Ichigo Kurosaki who was born with the ability to see ghosts. When his family is attacked by a Hollow – a malevolent lost soul – Ichigo encounters a Soul Reaper and absorbs her powers. Now he has dedicates his life to protecting the innocent and helping the tortured souls find peace. • BLEACH on JOOST: coming soon • BLEACH on HULU: coming soon DEATH NOTE (Uncut): Rated TV-14 (English subtitled) DEATH NOTE is based on the manga series of the same name and is currently one of the hottest animated titles in Japan. The series depicts the adventures of Light Yagami, an ace student with great prospects but who is bored out of his mind. All of that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals mysteriously begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to investigate, and he is soon hot on the trail of Light, who must now reevaluate his one noble goal. • DEATH NOTE on JOOST: joost.com/viz • DEATH NOTE on HULU: hulu.com/death-note

    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-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa and is a global ex-Asia licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, and DVDs, and develops, markets, licenses, and distributes animated entertainment for audiences and consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; and web site at www.viz.com.

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