Viz acquires 'Spirited Away' publishing rights

Press Release

Viz Communications, Inc. today announced its acquisition of the publishing rights to Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away. Through a partnership with Studio Ghibli, Viz plans to publish graphic novels, art and coffee table books, which will also serve as the official print adaptations of the movie being released by The Walt Disney Studios this September. Viz will begin releasing Spirited Away in August, marking the debut of this long-awaited and beloved story in English.

The critically acclaimed box office hit (box office totals to dateequal $234 million) and winner of the Berlin Film Festival's GoldenBear Award, Spirited Away tells the story of Chihiro, a ten-year-oldgirl who discovers a secret, magical world while traveling with herfamily. When her parents are turned into pigs, Chihiro must learn tonavigate this secret world full of ghosts, spirits and goblins, whilestruggling to maintain her identity and free her parents from itsmagic spell. A fabulous supernatural adventure full of action,suspense, bizarre creatures and compelling human characters, SpiritedAway is the pinnacle of animated fantasy and the latest fantasticalcreation by animation master Hayao Miyazaki.

Hayao Miyazaki is the most beloved animator in Japanese history andthe creator of several successful films, including Princess Mononoke(winner of the Japan Academy Award for Best Film release of 1997), MyNeighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service. Though famous worldwidefor his anime, Hayao Miyazaki is also a great manga artist. His majorwork was Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (also available from Viz),which tells the story of a gentle young princess, Nausicaä, and herstruggle to negotiate peace between kingdoms battling over the lastinhabitable land after a future ecological disaster. Whether workingwith comics or animation, Miyazaki's work is known for itsentertaining plots, compelling characters, and breathtaking art. Hecurrently works out of Studio Ghibli, where he writes, draws anddirects with partner Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies).

With full color artwork, Spirited Away, Volumes 1-5 present the entiremovie in a manga-like format, with thousands of beautiful stills fromthe film arranged to read as a comic book, complete with translateddialogue. Each title will be presented in its original Japanese format(reads right-to-left) and feature distinctive Japanese sound effectswith a bonus translation in the back. Beginning in July, Viz willrelease the following Spirited Away print titles:

SPIRITED AWAY, Volume 1 - Mom, Dad and their daughter, Chihiro, aredriving on their way to their new home, but when Dad takes a wrongturn, the family becomes lost in a forest. Eventually, they find theirway to a strange abandoned amusement park and when Chihiro wandersoff, she returns only to find out Mom and Dad have turned into pigs.Frightened as night falls, Chihiro discovers she's in a worldinhabited by ghosts, demons and strange gods. A mysterious boy namedHaku helps her and tells her that to survive in this world, Chihiromust find work. She must go down to the boiler room and seek out anold man named Kamaji...

$9.95 USA/$16.50 CAN, paperback, 168 color pages

SPIRITED AWAY, Volume 2 - Into the boiler room! Chihiro encounters theold arachnoid Kamaji and his bizarre army of soot balls who keep thehot water running. Chihiro tries to help but she's not really suitedfor this kind of work. When Lin the slug girl comes to deliver lunch,though, Kamaji tells her to take Chihiro with her. Lin introducesChihiro to the bizarre bathhouse wonderland where she works and to herboss, the giant-size matriarch Yubaba. After a demonstration of herpowers, Yubaba renames Chihiro "Sen" and puts her to work. Sen goesthrough a grueling first day of scrubbing floors and being made fun ofby the other workers for being human, but she forges on. In the middleof the day, while everyone's asleep, she sneaks outside to meetHaku...

$9.95 USA/$16.50 CAN, paperback, 168 color pages

SPIRITED AWAY, Volume 3 - Haku takes Sen to visit her parents, whohave turned into pigs. Sen promises to rescue them and get them out oftheir predicament one day. Back to work, Sen is forced to do thegrossest jobs, like cleaning out the giant tub. And then the dreadedStink God pays a visit to the bathhouse and Sen is sent to serve him.Through pluck and determination, though, Sen perseveres and wins avaluable prize in the process. Meanwhile, the mysterious No-Facemonster is lurking about. What does he want?

$9.95 USA/$16.50 CAN, paperback, 168 color pages

SPIRITED AWAY, Volume 4 - Sen finally sees Haku's real identity: aflying white dragon. But it may be too late for Haku as he's chased bya flock of paper birds and dying from a fatal spell that's been put onhim. Sen discovers that Haku's stolen a precious ink stamp fromYubaba's twin sister and it's she, a powerful sorceress, who's putthis spell on him. To save Haku's life, Sen must journey to SwampBottom and return the stamp to Yubaba's sister. Meanwhile, why is theNo-Face monster randomly devouring the workers of the bathhouse?

$9.95 USA/$16.50 CAN, paperback, 168 color pages

SPIRITED AWAY, Volume 5 - The exciting conclusion! No-Face reveals histrue nature. Sen escapes from his wrath and, with two new friends,makes for Swap Bottom in search of Yubaba's sister. Haku, meanwhile,revives and goes off in search of Sen. After they are reunited,No-Face finds a new job with Yubaba's sister and Sen learns Haku'sreal identity. Now, to save her parents, all she has to do is identifythe right pig!

$9.95 USA/$16.50 CAN, paperback, 168 color pages

THE ART OF SPIRITED AWAY - A large, hardcover coffee-table bookfeaturing artwork from the renowned animated film, Spirited Away,directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Features color stills, sketches,storyboards and illustrations used to envision the rich fantasy worldof the film. Also includes extensive production notes and a completeEnglish-language script from the film.

$34.95 USA/$57.95 CAN, paperback, 240 color pages

SPIRITED AWAY PICTURE BOOK - A large, hardbound book for kids thattells the entire story of the hit animated feature film, SpiritedAway, directed by Hayao Miyazaki and being distributed this fall byDisney. Generously illustrated by color stills from the film.

$19.95 USA/$32.95 CAN, hardbound, 168 color pages

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