Naruto Press Releases - VIZ to Preview Shonen Jump

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VIZ COMMUNICATIONS TO PREVIEW U.S. SHONEN JUMP MAGAZINE AT COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL

SAN DIEGO, July 31, 2002—Viz Communications, Inc., the leading U.S. producer of manga and anime, and Shueisha Inc. of Japan, the largest manga publisher in the world, will unveil a special preview issue of the U.S. SHONEN JUMP (Issue "0") tonight at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

The 56-page preview edition is an abridged version of U.S. SHONEN JUMP that will launch this fall with 250 pages. The editorial content, as well as marketing plans for the new magazine, will be detailed by Mr. Seiji Horibuchi, founder and President of Viz Communications, Inc., and Mr. Kazuhiko Torishima, Senior Editorial Director of Shueisha Inc., at a reception for industry VIPs and press at the Westin Horton Plaza from 7 P.M.- 10 P.M. (Note: Press wishing to attend should contact Mary McGeachy, DJG/PR, 917-334-6813).

Patterned after Shueisha's WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP, which has a circulation in Japan of some 3.4 million, the U.S. SHONEN JUMP will be published monthly. It will target the growing segment of boys, teens, and young adults who identify with the "anime lifestyle" in America. The magazine will contain manga's most popular titles including several that are already well known as anime in the U.S. market, such as "DRAGON BALL Z" and "YU-GI-OH!" Other initial titles to be announced tonight are: "YUYU HAKUSHO," "NARUTO," "SHAMAN KING," "ONE PIECE," and "SANDLAND."

The U.S. SHONEN JUMP will be printed in English and retain the Japanese right-to-left format, enabling the manga artwork to appear as intended by the artists. Viz plans to achieve a circulation of over 1 million for the publication within three years. The magazine will be advertiser supported.

Starting this week, preview issue "0" will be distributed by Viz in partnership with the Musicland Group and Diamond Comic Book Distributors. The Musicland Group will immediately distribute 50,000 free issues in stores nationwide, with Diamond Comic Distributors circulating an additional 40,000 free copies in August.

Set to go on-sale in November, U.S. SHONEN JUMP will be available through subscription, single-copy sales on newsstands, and in specialty stores throughout the country. The cover price will be $4.95. An introductory subscription rate of $19.95 for 12 issues is being offered to charter subscribers. Readers may access www.shonenjump.com to subscribe.

A unique promotional relationship is also being developed with Cartoon Network. Currently seen in 81.1 million U.S. households and 145 countries around the world, Cartoon Network is the 24-hour ad-supported cable service offering the best in animated entertainment. Showcasing popular titles such as "DRAGON BALL Z," "YUYU HAKUSHO," Cartoon Network is a leading source of anime in America. Adult Swim, Cartoon Network's weekend late-night block of original comedy and action-oriented cartoons, is dedicated to action on Saturday nights Ð featuring several popular anime titles. Users visiting the Web site, Adultswim.com, will be able to sample pages from SHONEN JUMP, view streamed video content associated with the magazine's titles, and have the opportunity to subscribe.

"Bringing SHONEN JUMP to America is an important milestone in realizing the vision our company was founded on 16 years ago — to introduce U.S. audiences to the joys of manga," said Viz' President, Mr. Seiji Horibuchi. "SHONEN JUMP is the first English language manga publication targeted at the mainstream mass-market. Manga has long been immensely popular in Japan. Thanks to the Web and American television, it is now becoming an exploding phenomenon in the U.S."

"The manga titles featured in SHONEN JUMP are always positive, as the main characters are forward looking and give kids hope. Our Japanese artists have created characters and adventures which are very appealing and require a great emotional investment on the part of the reader, more so than the normal comic book," says Mr. Kazuhiko Torishima, Senior Editorial Director of Shueisha.


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