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Viz Announces Anniversary Edition of 'Shonen Jump'

Official Press Release

San Francisco, Calif. ­ VIZ, LLC, one of the leadingpublishers and distributors of manga comics and anime content for NorthAmerican audiences, has announced the content for the First AnniversaryIssue of SHONEN JUMP, which will be available nationwide in December2003.

The 360 page commemorative issue will feature the debut of a brand newseries ­ Hikaru no Go. The comic, from creator Yumi Hotta and artistTakeshi Obata, is based around the ancient Chinese strategy game Go andhas sat atop Japan's manga sales charts for many years and also spawneda popular anime television series. For its American debut, the openingpages of Hikaru no Go will be presented in full color. Building on atradition established in the premiere issue of SHONEN JUMP, VIZ willagain offer an added bonus to Yu-Gi-Oh! fans ­ an exclusive, fullyplayable and tournament legal monster trading card available nowhereelse but this issue. Rounding out the edition are the continuingserialized adventures of Dragon Ball Z, Naruto (which has consistentlyranked first in VIZ reader response surveys as their favorite manga),Yu-Gi-Oh!, YuYu Hakusho, One Piece, and Shaman King. Later in November,the award-winning Shaman King creator, Hiroyuki Takei, is expected topay an in person visit to VIZ's offices for an exclusive interview thatwill be forthcoming next year. He'll also autograph a bevy of ShamanKing premium items for a contest that will be announced shortly forSHONEN JUMP.

"I am gratified to see that SHONEN JUMP has garnered such a popularfollowing among manga and anime fans," states VIZ President Mr. SeijiHoribuchi. "Since its debut in 2002, SHONEN JUMP has achieved the goalof becoming the first English language manga publication expresslytargeted at mainstream audiences. This special anniversary edition willdebut our newest serial - Hikaru no Go ­ an intense psychological dramathat will captivate readers. Manga has been immensely popular in Japanfor many decades and I am pleased that a diverse American audience haswholeheartedly embraced the stories and format presented in SHONEN JUMP.VIZ is committed to offering unique titles that feature positivecharacters in a medium that remains true to the artistic integrity ofthe original Japanese artists."

Hikaru no Go, or HikaGo (as it's known to fans), tells the story ofHikaru Shindo. An average 12-year-old, Hikaru likes comics and videogames, struggles in school, and keeps looking for ways to make moneybecause his parents dock his allowance for bad grades. When he finds adusty old Go board in his grandfather's attic, Hikaru awakens a1,000-year-old ghost named Sai. During Japan's Heian period, Sai tutoredthe emperor in the ancient and complex game of Go, but he was unjustlyaccused of cheating and died in disgrace. Now Sai lives in Hikaru'smind, and all he wants is to play Go and continue his pursuit of the"Divine Move." However, Hikaru is not interested ­ he thinks Go is agame for old men. But when he finally relents and lets Sai play a fewgames, the seriousness and intensity of the game surprises him, andHikaru finds himself wanting to play Go himself. Soon, inspired by arivalry with Go prodigy Akira Toya and armed with a natural talent forthe game, Hikaru's dedication even surprises Sai, and puts the young boyon the path to become the undisputed Go champion.

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