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Viz announces schedule for 'Zoids'

Official Press Release

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - March 28, 2002 - Through a licensing agreement withHasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS) Viz Communications, Inc. today announced thepublishing schedule for its ZOIDS manga and anime titles. Currently airingweekday afternoons on The Cartoon Network as part of the Toonami block,ZOIDS has experienced increasing ratings since its debut. Viz will releaseboth 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 withPioneer 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 combatmachines when piloted by their teenaged partners. Viz will release animefrom the series currently airing on The Cartoon Network and manga titlesfrom the classic series, ZOIDS: Chaotic Century, which is set in a worldwith powerful living mechanical creatures that wreak havoc in the vastdesert lands outside civilization, and where a young teenaged boy named Vansearches for adventure alongside his mysterious organoid friend, Zeke. Whenpresented with unexpected trouble, Van's all set to fight a series of ZOIDbattles in order to defeat the ambitious PROZEN.

"We're excited to welcome ZOIDS to the Viz family," said Sales & MarketingDirector, Dallas Middaugh. "With companies like Hasbro, Pioneer and TheCartoon Network, and the growing popularity of the series thus far, we areconfident that ZOIDS will entertain fans of all ages. We look forward toexpanding the series in the U.S."

With story and art by Michiro Ueyama, Viz's publishing schedule for ZOIDS isas follows:

ZOIDS: Chaotic Century, Volume 1 - Van is lucky if he can even get a ZOID tomove, despite being the son of the best pilot in town. While being chased bya rampaging scorpion-like ZOID, Van finds himself in some old ruins. Behinda secret door is a mysterious machine that gives birth to a new type ofZOID-Zeke. Can Van find a way to make friends with Zeke before thedestructive scorpion ZOID destroys them both?MARCH 2002

ZOIDS: Chaotic Century, Volume 2 - Van and Zeke are now friends, but thatstill doesn't mean Van has inherited any of his father's skills. So when adark young man threatens the town with a monster-sized ZOID, Van and Zekeare in for the fight of their young lives. Van must discover Zeke's unknownpotential while being cautious of the new girl, Fiona. How does she knowZeke? What strange powers does she possess?MARCH 2002

ZOIDS: Chaotic Century, Volume 3 - Van sets out into the desert with Zekeand Fiona in order to protect the village and discover more about what'sbehind this life form. In the midst of their journey, they encounter aquestionable character-a mercenary by the name of Irvine. Who's side will hetake? But more importantly, once he takes sides, can he be trusted?APRIL 2002

ZOIDS: Chaotic Century, Volume 4 - The bandits kidnap Fiona, and her ransomis 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 heavilyarmed bandits and their loyal ZOIDS. Enter the one ZOID that can help them:the Shield Liger ZOID, Caesar!MAY 2002

ZOIDS: Chaotic Century, Volume 5 - Van, Zeke, Fiona and Moonbay finallyarrive at a beautiful port town, and meet the perky Rebecca, who justhappens to be Irvine's sister! But there is trouble brewing in the brightmarket stalls and bustling harbor! A spy of the Republic has secured vitalEmpire information and the Empire isn't about to let him escape without afight! Out of the Aircraft-Carrier ZOID Leviathan comes an Iron Kong, dozensof flying ZOIDS, and-most fearsome of all-Raven! Is the information the spyis carrying worth the destruction of an entire town?

JUNE 2002

ZOIDS: Chaotic Century, Volume 6 - It's the showdown between Van and Ravenin 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 therare power-generating ZOID of the town, Wendeen, will fall to Raven's insanehatred of all ZOIDS.

JULY 2002

Viz also licensed the video rights to ZOIDS from Hasbro, which holds themaster U.S. license, and will release the anime on VHS and DVD, which willbe manufactured and distributed by Pioneer. Each anime release will includefour 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 inJune 2002.

About Viz

Viz Communications, Inc., is the leading U.S. publisher of Japaneseanimation 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 ofconsumer entertainment that includes magazines, comics, graphic novels,videos, DVDs and audio soundtracks.

Based in San Francisco, California, Viz is one of the top five comicspublishers in the U.S. and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Shogakukan, oneof Japan's three largest publishers. With some of the most innovativeproducts in the industry, Viz has expanded its offerings to its loyal fansthrough 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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