VIZ Media, LLC. (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive manga and animation licensing and publishing companies, has announced the highly anticipated launch of its latest anime series, and the first title in the SHONEN JUMP Home Video line, with the release of Volume 1 of HIKARU NO GO on DVD available in stores now. The debut volume contains four episodes, is rated ‘A’ for All Ages, and retails for $24.98.
HIKARU NO GO is based on a unique story premise that revolves around the ancient Japanese strategy game of Go. The anime series follows the manga counterpart written by Yumi Hotta and illustrated by Takeshi Obata which is also published domestically by VIZ Media and serialized in SHONEN JUMP Magazine. The series opens when Hikaru Shindo, a young elementary school student, stumbles across a dusty old Go board while exploring his grandfather’s attic. Trapped inside is Fujiwara-no-Sai, the ghost of an ancient Go master. Somehow, Hikaru is able to communicate with this spirit, and Sai, newly awakened, wishes for nothing more than to play Go again. Urged on by Sai, Hikaru reluctantly begins playing Go. As he begins to taste victory, Hikaru makes it his quest to become the ultimate Go champion.
In Japan, HIKARU NO GO has achieved tremendous success as a manga and anime series since its debut in 1998 in the Weekly Shonen Jump comics anthology. Twenty-three volumes of the manga have now been published and the corresponding animated series featuring 75 half-hour episodes soon followed. The success of HIKARU NO GO spurred a nationwide interest in the game among children in Japan. This success has similarly begun to take shape in North America since VIZ Media began publishing the manga series in 2004.
‘HIKARU NO GO is an exciting adventure that has captivated millions,’ says Anthony Jiwa, director of marketing for VIZ Media. ‘With its unique storyline, compelling characters and beautiful artistry, we look forward to this series delighting plenty of new anime viewers and fans, as well as readers already familiar with the manga.