SciFi Japan

    Major New Distribution Deals for VIZ Media

    Latest News Includes Partnerships with Warner Home Video and Canadian iTunes Store Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen

    Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga 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. VIZ has made several recent announcements about new and upcoming distribution deals including a partnership with Warner Home Video and the release of their popular shows NARUTO, BLEACH and DEATH NOTE on the iTunes Store in Canada. In celebration of this launch, iTunes users in Canada will be able to download the first episode of NARUTO, BLEACH and DEATH NOTE for free until January 6, 2009.

    VIZ Media and Warner Home Video Forge Distribution Alliance

    VIZ Media, LLC and Warner Home Video (WHV) have reached agreement for the home entertainment distribution in the United States and Mexico of new and catalog DVD releases from VIZ Media. The announcement was jointly made by Hidemi Fukuhara, President and CEO of VIZ Media and Jeff Brown, WHV Executive Vice President and General Manager, TV, Family and Animation.

    Effective April 1, 2009, WHV will be the exclusive home entertainment distributor for new and catalog DVD content based on well-known franchises such as NARUTO, BLEACH, DEATH NOTE and INUYASHA as well as the POKÉMON animated television series and catalog features. The first new DVD releases from VIZ Media and WHV are scheduled to be NARUTO Uncut Box Set 13, NARUTO Uncut Box Set 13 Special Edition and HUNTER X HUNTER Box Set Volume 2 on April 7, 2009. VIZ Media is one of the leading purveyors of Japanese animated content (anime) and manga (graphic novel) publishing in North America. VIZ Media is one of the largest U.S. studios in the non-theatrical anime DVD segment and has played a major role in helping anime gain widespread mainstream popularity. A leader in the video distribution industry, over the years WHV has successfully signed agreements with content owners of some of the world’s most renowned brands including BBC, National Geographic, Peanuts, Dr. Seuss, Popeye, American Girl, Cartoon Network, Leap Frog, Scholastic, The Wiggles, NFL, NBA and NHL. Other perennial animated properties in the Warner Bros. library include Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, Hanna Barbera, Scooby-Doo, Batman, Superman and all of the other DC Comics characters. Regarding the announcement, Mr. Fukuhara remarked, “We look forward to joining forces with Warner Home Video and are confident that in working with their strength in sales and distribution, we will continue to grow the anime category even more effectively than we have over the last several years. We’re very encouraged by Warner Home Video’s enthusiasm for this category and our properties and look forward to our titles reaching an even wider audience as a result of this relationship.” Brown added, “The association between Warner Home Video and VIZ Media demonstrates our continued commitment to the growing sector of anime. Adding to our previous success with THE ANIMATRIX and APPLESEED: EX MACHINA, we are looking forward to a successful relationship with VIZ Media, one of the top players in the anime genre and children’s animation.” About Warner Home Video With operations in 90 international territories Warner Home Video, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, commands the largest distribution infrastructure in the global video marketplace. WHV`s film library is the largest of any studio, offering top quality new and vintage titles from the repertoires of Warner Bros. Pictures, Turner Entertainment, Castle Rock Entertainment, HBO Video and New Line Home Entertainment.

    NARUTO, BLEACH and DEATH NOTE Now available on the iTunes Store in Canada

    VIZ Media has announced the availability of action-packed episodes from some of the most anticipated animated series have come to the iTunes Store in Canada.

    English dubbed versions of NARUTO (Uncut Version) Season 1, 2 and 3 (Volumes 1 & 2), three story arcs of BLEACH (The Substitute, The Entry and The Rescue), and all 37 episodes of DEATH NOTE are now available for purchase and download on the iTunes Store in Canada. To celebrate the availability of this highly sought after anime content, VIZ Media is offering the first episode of NARUTO, BLEACH and DEATH NOTE as a free download on the iTunes Store in Canada until January 6, 2009. NARUTO, BLEACH and DEATH NOTE 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. “We are excited to make NARUTO, BLEACH and DEATH NOTE available on iTunes in Canada," says David Rewalt, Senior Director, Retail Development, VIZ Media. "The flexibility and convenience of iTunes will allow Canadian fans to watch their favorite episodes whenever and wherever they want on their iPod or iPhone. It`s very natural for a hip entertainment and pop culture phenomenon like anime to take full advantage of the latest in digital media delivery and we invite fans in Canada to become part of the growing audience enjoying these VIZ Media titles on iTunes.” DEATH NOTE: Rated T+ for Older Teens 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. Dedicated website at

    BLEACH: Rated T for Teens 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. Dedicated website at NARUTO (Uncut): Rated T+ for Older Teens 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. Dedicated website at Episodes on the iTunes Store in Canada are C$1.99 each or full seasons can be purchased. These titles are also available on the iTunes Store in the US.

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