Media Release — San Francisco, CA, June 9, 2009 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, is launching as a VIZ Media channel in the new Anime category on the PlayStation Networks video delivery service. VIZ Media is launching with three of the most popular and successful anime series in North America – BLEACH, DEATH NOTE and NARUTO and is available on the PlayStation Network, which is accessible for download via PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™) and PSP® (PlayStation Portable®) systems in the United States. The episodes are available for $1.99 each via the Network’s new VIZ Media Channel page.
NARUTO UNCUT is launching with 13 episodes, BLEACH will debut with 20 installments and the DEATH NOTE series will be available immediately with all 37 episodes. Episodes will be English dubbed and presented in Standard Definition.
“NARUTO, BLEACH and DEATH NOTE are compelling additions to the PLAYSTATION Network and an ideal complement to the dynamic library of content, games and applications available for the PS3 and PSP,” says Ken Sasaki, Vice President of Strategy & Business Development, VIZ Media. “Together, these series have set a new standard for anime throughout the world and the ease of download, combined with portability and interoperability between many media devices, will allow fans to watch their favorite ninjas in training, Soul Reapers and Shinigami Death Gods whether at home or on the go, wherever and however they want.”
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 www.naruto.com.
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 www.bleach.viz.com.
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 www.deathnote.viz.com.
The PlayStation®Network is an entertainment network that unites people and innovative entertainment to deliver captivating experiences worldwide. In addition to offering new and original forms of entertainment, the PlayStation Network supports free and community-centric online gameplay, communication tools, and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) and PLAYSTATION®3 connectivity. As of May 2009, the PlayStation Network has more than 24 million registered accounts worldwide.
About Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
Recognized as the global leader and company responsible for the progression of consumer-based computer entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) manufacturers, distributes and markets the PlayStation® game console, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system and the PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3®) system. PlayStation has revolutionized home entertainment by introducing advanced 3D graphic processing, and PlayStation 2 further enhances the PlayStation legacy as the core of home networked entertainment. PSP is a new handheld entertainment system that allows users to enjoy 3D games, with high-quality full-motion video, and high-fidelity stereo audio. PS3 is an advanced computer system, incorporating the state-of-the-art Cell processor with super computer like power. SCEI, along with its subsidiary divisions Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd., and Sony Computer Entertainment Korea Inc. develops, publishes, markets and distributes software, and manages the third party licensing programs for these platforms in the respective markets worldwide. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. is an independent business unit of the Sony Group.
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.