Official Press Release
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – March 28, 2002 – Through a licensing agreement with
Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS) Viz Communications, Inc. today announced the
publishing schedule for its ZOIDS manga and anime titles. Currently airing
weekday afternoons on The Cartoon Network as part of the Toonami block,
ZOIDS has experienced increasing ratings since its debut. Viz will release
both black-and-white, square-bound graphic novels in a special 5″ x 7 1/8″
format ($5.95 USA/$9.95 CAN) on a monthly basis and, in conjunction with
Pioneer Entertainment, VHS and DVD throughout 2002.
Named as the #1 upcoming kid-culture trend in Big Blue Dot’s November 2001
“Trend Update Forecast,” ZOIDS are “mechanoid” beasts that act as combat
machines when piloted by their teenaged partners. Viz will release anime
from the series currently airing on The Cartoon Network and manga titles
from the classic series, ZOIDS: Chaotic Century, which is set in a world
with powerful living mechanical creatures that wreak havoc in the vast
desert lands outside civilization, and where a young teenaged boy named Van
searches for adventure alongside his mysterious organoid friend, Zeke. When
presented with unexpected trouble, Van’s all set to fight a series of ZOID
battles in order to defeat the ambitious PROZEN.
“We’re excited to welcome ZOIDS to the Viz family,” said Sales & Marketing
Director, Dallas Middaugh. “With companies like Hasbro, Pioneer and The
Cartoon Network, and the growing popularity of the series thus far, we are
confident that ZOIDS will entertain fans of all ages. We look forward to
expanding the series in the U.S.”
With story and art by Michiro Ueyama, Viz’s publishing schedule for ZOIDS is
ZOIDS: Chaotic Century, Volume 1 – Van is lucky if he can even get a ZOID to
move, despite being the son of the best pilot in town. While being chased by
a rampaging scorpion-like ZOID, Van finds himself in some old ruins. Behind
a secret door is a mysterious machine that gives birth to a new type of
ZOID-Zeke. Can Van find a way to make friends with Zeke before the
destructive scorpion ZOID destroys them both?
ZOIDS: Chaotic Century, Volume 2 – Van and Zeke are now friends, but that
still doesn’t mean Van has inherited any of his father’s skills. So when a
dark young man threatens the town with a monster-sized ZOID, Van and Zeke
are in for the fight of their young lives. Van must discover Zeke’s unknown
potential while being cautious of the new girl, Fiona. How does she know
Zeke? What strange powers does she possess?
ZOIDS: Chaotic Century, Volume 3 – Van sets out into the desert with Zeke
and Fiona in order to protect the village and discover more about what’s
behind this life form. In the midst of their journey, they encounter a
questionable character-a mercenary by the name of Irvine. Who’s side will he
take? But more importantly, once he takes sides, can he be trusted?
ZOIDS: Chaotic Century, Volume 4 – The bandits kidnap Fiona, and her ransom
is Moonbay’s stone. Van and Zeke can’t do it alone and Moonbay and her ZOID,
Gustav, don’t have enough firepower to take on an entire fortress of heavily
armed bandits and their loyal ZOIDS. Enter the one ZOID that can help them:
the Shield Liger ZOID, Caesar!
ZOIDS: Chaotic Century, Volume 5 – Van, Zeke, Fiona and Moonbay finally
arrive at a beautiful port town, and meet the perky Rebecca, who just
happens to be Irvine’s sister! But there is trouble brewing in the bright
market stalls and bustling harbor! A spy of the Republic has secured vital
Empire information and the Empire isn’t about to let him escape without a
fight! Out of the Aircraft-Carrier ZOID Leviathan comes an Iron Kong, dozens
of flying ZOIDS, and-most fearsome of all-Raven! Is the information the spy
is carrying worth the destruction of an entire town?
ZOIDS: Chaotic Century, Volume 6 – It’s the showdown between Van and Raven
in a bustling port town! If Van fails, his friends will be put in danger,
the Republic spy will be found, the port town will be destroyed, and the
rare power-generating ZOID of the town, Wendeen, will fall to Raven’s insane
hatred of all ZOIDS.
Viz also licensed the video rights to ZOIDS from Hasbro, which holds the
master U.S. license, and will release the anime on VHS and DVD, which will
be manufactured and distributed by Pioneer. Each anime release will include
four episodes per tape/disc and retail for $14.98 U.S. (VHS) and $19.98 U.S.
(DVD), with the first release in April 2002 followed by a second release in
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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