Highly Anticipated New Manga Story Arc Launches Featuring A Teenage Naruto And Offers New Volumes Every Two Months
San Francisco, CA, February 20, 2008 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced the launch of the long-awaited new NARUTO manga story arc beginning with Volume 28, which is the first to feature Naruto as a teenager. The volume is expected to hit stores nationwide on March 4 with an estimated retail price of $7.95 and will include an exclusive full-color poster insert in the first print run. New editions of the hit series will now debut every two months.
NARUTO, rated T for Teens, has captivated millions with its story of a young ninja in training. The new volume picks up two years after Naruto left to train with Jiraiya. Now a teenager, he reunites with his old friends to find out everyone is stronger than before — and maybe even stronger than he is! Gaara has even become the Kazekage, the leader of the Village Hidden in the Sand. But even with all that power, Gaara is kidnapped! Who is behind this shocking abduction and what do they want? Can Naruto save Gaara without becoming a victim himself?
First introduced in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in Japan in 1999, NARUTO quickly became that country’s most popular ninja manga (graphic novel) targeting tweens and teens and has sold more than 80 million copies to-date. Today, Naruto is considered one of the most popular animated series in Japan’s history and has achieved immense success not only as a manga and TV series, but also in the realm of licensed categories such as toys, trading card games and video games. NARUTO currently enjoys widespread domestic success where it debuted as the best selling manga title in North America. NARUTO has sold over three million copies to date and regularly appears on USA Today’s Bestseller list and Bookscan’s Graphic Novel Top 50. Volume 7 also won the prestigious 2006 Quill Award in the Graphic Novel Category. VIZ Media also distributes the NARUTO animated series on DVD (which has sold over 350,000 copies domestically.) For more information go to www.NARUTO.com
“Japan’s favorite ninja has become the world’s favorite ninja and we are very excited to announce the debut of the new teenage Naruto!,” says Liza Coppola, Sr. Vice President, Marketing, VIZ Media. “The release of Volume 28 is the culmination of our Naruto Nation campaign that began in 2007 and brought an unprecedented increase in the publication of new NARUTO volumes – 3 per month. With lots of new characters and stories, readers who grew up with our young ninja in training will delight in the new changes. For those who have yet to see what the buzz is about, this volume is a wonderful entry point into an action packed series that has captivated millions of readers!”
About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including, magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos, DVDs and audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and web site at www.VIZ.com.