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'The Big O' coming from Viz in February

Official Press Release

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - November 1, 2001 - As announced at theSan Francisco Metreon Anime Festival over the Halloween weekend, Viz Communications, Inc. today announced the February 2002 release of Hitoshi Ariga's manga The Big O. This manga is an adaptation of Bandai's hit Cartoon Network TV series and will expand upon the story told in the anime version by going beyond the series finale to give the full story climax. As part of the extensive line of Viz Comics, The Big O will release in a monthly, 48 page, black and white format with a retail price of $3.50 in the U.S. ($5.50 Canada).

Paradigm City is the city of amnesia - 40 years ago, SOMETHING happened that wiped out the memories of the residents, forcing them to recreate their culture from scattered fragments. In this world only 40 years old, Roger Smith is a "negotiator" - a go-betweenfor police, citizens and criminals in high-risk diplomatic situations. But something else survives from the forgotten past. They are the MegaDeus - giant robots created by the city's former inhabitants, or perhaps by the forgetful citizens themselves. When crime and madness strike, Roger Smith brings the guilty to justice with the giant robot called The Big O.

In the premiere issue, The Big O #1, Roger Smith becomes involved with a mysterious dark-haired woman whose lover is a hardened criminal. Breaking into a memory repository, the pair threatens to destroy the memories of the city's residents unless their demands are met. Police lieutenant Dan Daston calls in Roger Smith to negotiate a settlement, but the two criminal lovers are only pawns in a scheme orchestrated by the master criminal Beck, who, like Roger Smith, has a MegaDeus at his command.

Author and artist Hitoshi Ariga, a robot fan with a distinctively bold, cartoon style, is best known as the most popular artist of manga based on Capcom's MEGA MAN (known as ROCK MAN in Japan). His personal Japanese website, "Ariga Megamix", is at http://www.din.or.jp/~ariga/. The Big O Anime original story is a creation of Hajime Yatate at Sunrise, the studio that also created Mobile Suit Gundam.

About Viz

Viz Communications, Inc. is the leading U.S. publisher of Japanese animation and comics (anime and manga) for English-speaking audiences, serving a growing market of dedicated fans of all ages. Founded in 1986, Viz publishes over 20 titles every month including Ranma 1/2, Pokémon, Gundam and Dragon Ball Z. Viz also offers an integrated product line of consumer entertainment that includes magazines, comics, graphic novels, videos, DVDs and audio soundtracks.

Based in San Francisco, California, Viz is one of the top five comics publishers in the U.S. and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Shogakukan, one of Japan's three largest publishers. With some of the most innovative products in the industry, Viz has expanded its offerings to its loyal fans through web sites such as www.animerica-mag.com, www.pulp-mag.com, www.j-pop.com and its corporate site, www.viz.com.

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