Official Press Release
San Francisco, Calif, March 9, 2004 - VIZ, LLC, one of the leading publishers and distributors of manga and anime content for North American audiences, announced today the inclusion of several exciting premiums in upcoming issues of SHONEN JUMP. The one-of-a-kind collectibles will be included beginning with the May 2004 issue, due on newsstands April 6th.
The May issue will include an exclusive pinup featuring the only new DRAGON BALL and DRAGON BALL Z artwork drawn to-date in the 21st century from artist and series creator, Akira Toriyama. The giant gatefold illustration shows Son Goku leaping into action as DRAGON BALL cohorts Bulma and Oolong look on. The drawing is the first in a series of seven pinups to be included in future SHONEN JUMP issues. Originally created for the re-issued DRAGON BALL graphic novels in Japan, these color illustrations appear for the first time in North America as large-format images in SHONEN JUMP. The pinups will span the history of Son Goku's adventures, from the whimsical battles of early DRAGON BALL to the Super Saiyan slugfests of DRAGON BALL Z!
Akira Toriyama possesses an artistic style that is immediately identifiable, and fans have come to adore his short, round, tough male characters that feature a combination of saucer eyes, throbbing muscles and laughing, toothy mouths. His female characters also have their own unique brand of solid sexiness and cuteness.
Additional Toriyama pinups will be available exclusively through SHONEN JUMP and will be included in each month's issue beginning with the May edition thru November 2004. Also included in the May issue will be an exclusive DRAGON BALL GT Erratic Energy Drill tournament collector/playing card and a preview of THE PRINCE OF TENNIS, a forthcoming new SHONEN JUMP graphic novel manga series that will be available beginning in June 2004.
The exclusive DRAGON BALL GT Erratic Energy Drill card is numbered P6 in the promo card series. It is a beautifully rendered, foil embossed card that will complete the DRAGON BALL GT Super 17 Saga promo set. This card is tournament legal, allowing the holder to effectively shut down an opponent's energy attacks. Up to three cards may legally be included in a single deck, so players will be enticed to seek out multiple copies of this exciting issue.
"We are excited to partner with SHONEN JUMP to make this DRAGON BALL GT promo card available for the first time," adds Jonathan Quesenberry, director of marketing for Score Entertainment, one of the premier trading card game companies in the marketplace today. "The Trading Card Game category continues to see tremendous support from today's youth, with the DRAGON BALL GT TCG near the front of the pack. We look forward to fans strengthening their decks further with the availability of this new card."
As a final exclusive special, a new sports-driven manga SHONEN JUMP graphic novel called THE PRINCE OF TENNIS will be given an advance preview in the May issue. The exciting adolescent coming-of-age sports drama set against the backdrop of high school tennis goes on sale in graphic novel format in June. THE PRINCE OF TENNIS has become immensely popular in Japan, with 21 graphic novel volumes published to date that have sold almost 26 million copies. Combined with an equally popular anime series that has aired over 100 episodes, THE PRINCE OF TENNIS has also been credited with inspiring many young Japanese adults and children to take up the sport.
"SHONEN JUMP is thrilled to be able to offer a dynamic, premium-filled May issue as a way to thank fans of Akira Toriyama and DRAGON BALL for their support," says Hyoe Narita, senior vice president of editorial, and editor-in-chief of SHONEN JUMP. "The premium new Toriyama artwork pinup, combined with the inclusion of a beautiful foil embossed DRAGON BALL GT tournament playing card and a preview of the exciting new graphic novel series, THE PRINCE OF TENNIS, makes this issue a must-have."