Official Press Release
San Francisco, CA, September 17, 2004 – VIZ, LLC, one of the leading publishers and distributors of manga and anime for North American audiences, has announced that in response to overwhelmingly positive fan support and strong sales, the popular RUROUNI KENSHIN manga title will be published on a monthly basis beginning with Volume 7 available October 2004. RUROUNI KENSHIN, with story and art by Nobuhiro Watsuki, has remained a consistent best seller since the first volume. Each of the six volumes has repeatedly occupied the top spot on the Nielsen BookScan list of best selling graphic novels and recently, volumes 3, 4 and 6 appeared for several weeks on USA Today's Top 150 Best Selling book list.
RUROUNI KENSHIN centers on the adventures of a wandering samurai in Meiji-era Japan, just as the country began to reluctantly open its doors to Western influences in the mid-19th century. KENSHIN has attracted legions of both male and female fans from a variety of age groups with its accurate historical detail, compelling characters, battles and romantic comedy. "The decision to step up the publication of the KENSHIN title is a direct reflection of the favorable impact of fan support and reader interest. We are gratified to see so many fans embrace RUROUNI KENSHIN," said Yumi Hoashi, vice president of SHONEN JUMP. "The ongoing impressive sales figures for the title, combined with growing national interest in the entire graphic novel genre, make this a perfect time to offer RUROUNI KENSHIN to readers on a monthly basis."
In the first monthly edition of RUROUNI KENSHIN, Volume 7, Kenshin is challenged to a duel by Saitô Hajime, Captain of the third unit of the Shinsengumi revolutionaries, now an officer of the law known as "Fujita Gorô." The challenge will force a reawakening of Kenshin's past and the beginning of something that will involve the future of the new Japan.
RUROUNI KENSHIN is part of the SHONEN JUMP Graphic Novel line, known as the world's most popular manga. Each Graphic Novel title under the SHONEN JUMP brand has the unique style and voice of its creator. All of the manga in SHONEN JUMP are presented in right-to-left format, just as they are in Japan. The format allows the panels to be displayed as the artists intended, and increases the authenticity and fun for the reader. The SHONEN JUMP Graphic Novel line includes DRAGON BALL, DRAGON BALL Z, YU-GI-OH!, YUYU HAKUSHO, ONE PIECE, NARUTO, BLEACH, THE PRINCE OF TENNIS, HIKARU NO GO, WHISTLE!, BEET THE VANDEL BUSTER, SAND LAND, KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC and SHAMAN KING. In partnership with Shueisha, Inc., the Japanese publisher of Weekly Shonen Jump, VIZ, LLC brings the best of Japanese comics to American fans.
About VIZ, LLC
Founded in 1986, VIZ is a multi-media entertainment company specializing in Japanese entertainment properties for U.S. audiences. VIZ offers an integrated product line including magazines, graphic novels, videos, DVDs and audio soundtracks. Each month, VIZ publishes three magazines – ANIMERICA, ANIMERICA EXTRA and SHONEN JUMP; over 20 graphic novel titles, including ALICE 19th, BOYS OVER FLOWERS, DRAGON BALL Z, FUSHIGI YÛGI, GUNDAM, INUYASHA, RANMA 1/2, and YU-GI-OH!; and distributes home video for BOYS OVER FLOWERS, HAMTARO, INUYASHA, POKéMON, PROJECT ARMS, and ZOIDS.
Based in San Francisco, VIZ is one of the top five comics publishers in the U.S. and a subsidiary of Shogakukan and Shueisha Inc., two of the top publishers in Japan. VIZ is the leading publisher of manga for English speaking audiences, serving a growing market of dedicated fans of all ages. Estimating a core audience of nearly 15 million fans, the company holds more than a 50% market share of Japanese comics in the U.S. 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.shonenjump.com, and its corporate site, www.viz.com.
Contact VIZ, LLC at: 655 Bryant Street, San Francisco, CA 94107-1612; Phone: (415) 546-7073; Fax: (415) 546-7086; Web site: www.VIZ.com