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Original "Witchblade" Anime to Debut on Japanese TV

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Official Press Release

GDH K.K ("GDH"; HQ: Tokyo; President: Shinichiro Ishikawa) announced today that GDH has obtained the rights to create an animated version of the popular US comic Witchblade by Top Cow Productions, Inc. ("Top Cow"; HQ: California, USA; President & COO: Matt Hawkins). GDH group company GONZO K.K. ("GONZO"; HQ: Tokyo; President: Koji Kajita) will create the animation.

Witchblade has been a very popular American comic published by Top Cow Productions for more than 10 years. Product and media spinoffs have included successful toy lines, and a live-action TV drama. The concept of this action/adventure fantasy involves the Witchblade itself, an ancient weapon passed down throughout time, that selects one female bearer each generation. The original Witchblade concept is used in the Witchblade animated series, but the story has been localized for the Japanese market by Gonzo. The main character is a Japanese woman, and the setting is Tokyo of the near future . GONZO's strength in 3D CG will be used to create impressive action scenes surrounding the main character.

Witchblade will air every Thursday morning on Japanese TV's CBC, beginning Thursday April 6th at 1:45 am, and every Saturday morning on TBS, beginning Saturday April 8th at 2:25 am. Also, prior to its TV run, Internet previews will be available to a limited number of applicants via Web sites such as BIGLOBE and ShowTime. Previews will run for three days from Friday, March 31st to Sunday April 2nd.

GONZO titles have received high ratings overseas, and GDH will take this opportunity to further disseminate the GONZO brand inside and outside Japan while attempting to expand its business opportunities, including secondary use of titles, and will make a continuing effort to provide excellent titles based on the unique nature of Japanese animation.

Main staff

Concept: Top Cow Productions,Inc.

Director: Yoshimitsu Ohashi

Series composition: Yasuko Kobayashi

Character design, general drawing director: Makoto Uno

Setting research, concept design: Shinya Ogura

Design works: Kazuyuki Matsubara

Color design: Yuko Sato

Art director: Junichi Higashi

Film director: Akinori Kinoshita

Editing: Kiyoshi Hirose

Sound director: Jin Aketagawa

Music: Masanori Takumi

Animation Production: GONZO

Production: Chupu-Nippon Broadcasting Co., Ltd., SKY Perfect Well Think Co., Ltd., GDH

Official Web site: http://www.witchblade.jp

About Top Cow Productions

Top Cow Productions, Inc. was founded in 1992 by artist Marc Silvestri who co-founded the revolutionary Image Comics. Top Cow publishes its line of comic books in 21 languages in over 55 different countries. The company has launched 20 franchises (18 original and 2 licensed) in the industry's Top 10, seven at #1, a feat accomplished by no other publisher in the last two decades. Its flagship franchise Witchblade was TNT's #1 original film of 2000. Virtually all of Top Cow's other properties are in development as feature films, live action television or animation. Top Cow has also successfully licensed and merchandised its franchises into toys, statues, clothing, lithographs, puppets, posters, magnets, shot glasses, lighters, lunch pails, wall scrolls, mouse pads, die cast cars, calendars, Christmas ornaments, Halloween masks, trading cards, standees, video games and role playing games.

About GDH K.K

GDH (Security code: TSE Mothers 3755) is a globally-focused Japanese media company founded in February 2000. The group produces cutting edge entertainment for teens and young adults including the famous GONZO animation brandand for kids and family under the recently launched GONZO FILMS and GONZINO brands. GDH is a world leader in content development that actively targets both domestic and international audiences with Japan's trend-setting animation culture and, usually, GDH controls licensing management and international distribution for the content it produces. GDH group companies include GONZO K.K., G-creators K.K., Future Vision Music K.K., GONZINO K.K., GONZO Rosso Online K.K., GDH Capital K.K. and GK Entertainment K.K. For additional information, visit www.gdh.co.jp (for GDH) and http://www.gonzo.co.jp/index.html (for GONZO).

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