Naruto Press Releases - RUROUNI KENSHIN Top Seller

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Samurai manga tops the list of best selling graphic novels and breaks into Top 100 Overall Adult Fiction according to Nielsen BookScan.

San Francisco, Calif, February 24, 2004 -- VIZ, LLC, one of the leading publishers and distributors of manga and anime for North American audiences, announced today that RUROUNI KENSHIN, Volume 3, has secured the number one spot on BookScan's list of best selling graphic novels for two weeks running. Since its release on January 24, 2004, RUROUNI KENSHIN, written by Nobuhiro Watsuki, has sold over 8,500 copies, outselling every other comic and graphic novel in the past two weeks.

Nielsen BookScan, the international sales data monitoring and analysis service for the English-language book industry, also listed VIZ's graphic novel, RUROUNI KENSHIN, on its Overall Adult Fiction Top 100 list. The list, which is a true reflection of mainstream American book purchases, includes such literary winners as Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain and Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code. As a result, RUROUNI KENSHIN is not only the best-selling comic, but also one of the best-selling fiction titles in the country

RUROUNI KENSHIN is part of the SHONEN JUMP Graphic Novel line, known as the world's most popular manga. Each graphic novel title under the SHONEN JUMP brand has the unique style and voice of its creator and is presented in the right-to-left format, just as they are in Japan. This format allows the panels to be displayed as the artists intended, and increases the authenticity and fun for the reader's experience. The SHONEN JUMP Graphic Novel line also includes DRAGON BALL, DRAGON BALL Z, KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC, NARUTO, ONE PIECE, SAND LAND, SHAMAN KING, ULTIMATE MUSCLE, YU-GI-OH!, and YUYU HAKUSHO. In partnership with Shueisha, Inc., the Japanese publisher of Weekly Shonen Jump, VIZ, LLC brings the best of Japanese comics to American fans.

"We are pleased to announce such impressive sales for RUROUNI KENSHIN," states Mr. Seiji Horbuchi, president and CEO of VIZ. "The Company is set on an aggressive growth path for 2004 and the popularity of RUROUNI KENSHIN among both adults and younger readers is a good indicator of things to come. It's exciting to see such a diverse range of readers embracing the graphic novel genre in general, and KENSHIN in particular. As the year progresses, we look forward to continuing this momentum with other VIZ titles as well."

The wildly popular manga series, RUROUNI KENSHIN, is about the adventures of a wandering swordsman who helps those in trouble. RUROUNI KENSHIN is set in Japan during the second half of the 19th century during the Meiji era, a time of enormous change in Japanese society. In Volume 3, Kenshin and his sidekick, Sanosuke, bring back a mysterious woman from their latest trek, the beautiful Takani Megumi. Megumi unwittingly participated in the production of a super-powerful form of opium and is now in danger. Much to the dismay of Sanosuke, Kenshin knows he must save Takani Megumi from the wrath of evil industrialist Kanryu. Filled with historical detail, spectacular battles and romantic comedy, the story accurately depicts the exciting and chaotic early days of modern Japan.

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