FUNimation Channel Picks Up Top VIZ Media Series

by Jeff

Media Release — FLOWER MOUND, TX, April 6, 2008 – The FUNimation® Channel, the premiere anime network from FUNimation Entertainment and OlympuSAT, is adding five new animated series from VIZ Media, LLC to debut throughout late Spring and summer line-ups. Titles include “NANA”, “HONEY AND CLOVER”, “MONSTER”, “BUSO RENKIN” and “HUNTER X HUNTER.”

DEBUTING SERIES INCLUDE:

NANA (drama/relationship/comedy, TV-MA)

Based on the popular manga by Ai Yazawa, NANA follows the adventures of two girls both named Nana. While they share the same name, they couldn’t be more different. Nana “Hachi” Komatsu follows her boyfriend to Tokyo in the hopes of making a new start, while Nana Osaki, who arrives in the city at the same time, is a punk rock beauty who has the ambition of making it big in the world of rock and roll. Although these two young women come from different backgrounds, they quickly become best friends while chasing their happiness and dreams.

HONEY AND CLOVER (drama/relationship/comedy TV-14)

Based on the popular manga by Chica Umino HONEY AND CLOVER is a romantic comedy about a group of art school students who try to find their way. But when an innocent and talented 19-year-old girl enters their lives, things get a lot more complicated as love triangles result.

Naoki Urasawa’s MONSTER (Thriller TV-MA)

What would you do if one of the young lives you saved turned out to be a monster… An ice-cold killer is on the loose, and brilliant Dr. Kenzo Tenma is the only one who can stop him! Conspiracies, serial murders, and a top-secret project with origins that trace deep within the mysterious past of former East Germany are all masterfully woven together in this compelling thriller. Tenma risks his promising medical career to save the life of a critically wounded young boy. Unbeknownst to him, this child is destined for a terrible fate. Who could have known that Tenma would create a monster!

BUSO RENKIN (Action/Fantasy TV-14)

High school student Kazuki Muto thinks he’s saving a girl from a monster, but it turns out that he’s the one who needs saving! Kazuki is killed while fighting a homunculus, a malevolent creature that feeds on humans. The girl, Tokiko Tsumura, revives him by replacing his heart with an alchemical device called a kakugane. With this device Kazuki can create his own Buso Renkin, an alchemical weapon in the form of a huge lance, capable of destroying homunculi. With his new weapon in hand, Kazuki decides to join forces with Tokiko to eliminate the homunculi and destroy their master, the strange and eccentric Papillon Masked Creator!

HUNTER X HUNTER (Action/Fantasy TV-14)

Hunters are a special breed, dedicated to tracking down treasure, magical beasts, and even humans. But such pursuits require a license, and less than one in a hundred thousand can pass the grueling qualification exam. Gon might be a country boy, but he has high aspirations. Despite his aunt’s protest, Gon decides to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a legendary Hunter. The journey begins on the long, arduous road to the Exam Hall, where he meets Leorio and Kurapika, two applicants with the same determination. Gon and his two companions must now prove their worth and earn the right to call themselves Hunters!

“Funimation Channel’s acquisitions of these top VIZ Media titles further show Funimation Channel’s commitment to our viewers to deliver the best programming available. Not only are these US television premieres for both the 24/7 channel but also will be available at certain times through VOD (Video On Demand) options. Fans can even get a sneak peek before DVD Box Sets are released. Schedules will soon be available (April 20) on Funimation Channel.com” states Bill Saltzgiver, Director of Network Operations.

“We are thrilled to partner with FUNimation to debut these exciting series on its premiere 24-hour digital anime network,” says Bill Germain, Director, Animation, Production, VIZ Media. “The multi-faceted plots and dynamic characters that made all these titles so successful as manga translates wonderfully with depth and color to their anime counterparts adding a captivating new visual dimension to the storylines. We look forward to fans taking full advantage of all the flexibility and convenience of VOD to explore these new series on the FUNimation Channel.”

About the FUNimation Channel

The FUNimation Channel was conceived as a vehicle to expose a wider audience to the unique storytelling style and graceful animation inherent in the Japanese style of animation. In addition, it provides anime and entertainment fans direct access to FUNimation Entertainment’s exclusive portfolio of leading anime titles as well as top titles from other U.S. anime companies. FUNimation Channel in affiliation with OlympuSAT offers video providers across the nation the FUNimation Channel linear feed as well as top syndicated & multiplatform transactional programming.

For a full list and descriptions of these series and others, or for more information on the FUNimation Channel, its availability or how to get it, visit www.funimationchannel.com.

About OlympuSAT

OlympuSAT, Inc. is the nation’s top owner and service provider of independent television networks. Currently the company represents more than two dozen diverse channels through their Hispanic, Digital I and Faith & Families Packs. OlympuSAT facilitates technical related services including satellite and uplink along with affiliate sales and marketing services. Additional services provided to networks include, as needed, master control, advertising sales and traffic and billing services. The OlympuSAT network portfolio is distributed via Intelsat Galaxy 23. An affiliate of Ocean Communications, OlympuSAT is based in West Palm Beach Florida, serving homes nationwide. www.olympusat.com

About FUNimation Entertainment

FUNimation® Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navarre Corporation, is the leading company for Japanese animation in the United States. FUNimation is known for acquiring top-rated anime series from Japan and for being the market share leader for home video sales of anime in the United States. The company has a proven formula for launching and advancing brands, and manages a full spectrum of rights for most of its brands including broadcasting, licensing, production, internet, and home video sales and distribution.
About 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; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and web site at www.VIZ.com.

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