VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive manga and animation licensing and publishing companies, announces the further expansion of its successful SHOJO BEAT imprint with the launch of SHOJO BEAT Home Video, which will deliver a variety of compelling anime series aimed at female fans in North America.
The first title to be offered by SHOJO BEAT Home Video will be FULL MOON, a bittersweet tale of puppy love, tragedy and aspirations to pop star fame. In Japan, the series was originally broadcast on TV Tokyo. The first DVD volume of the new series, ‘I Want to Sing,’ will contain four episodes and have an MSRP of $24.98. It will be available at retail outlets nationwide on June 27 with future volumes to be released quarterly. A special preview disk containing the first episode of FULL MOON will be included as a free premium in the June 2006 issue of SHOJO BEAT magazine, on sale May 16th nationwide.
FULL MOON made its first North American appearance in graphic novel form in June 2005 under the SHOJO BEAT manga imprint, and has quickly established itself as a favorite among sh?Žjo manga readers, with more than 150,000 copies in print to-date. It is now into its fourth volume. SHOJO BEAT magazine also continues to perform impressively since its launch in July 2005 with its rollout into the mass market, proving the increasing viability of the sh?Žjo genre in North America.
The FULL MOON anime series debuted in Japan in 2002 and ran 52 episodes. Based on the manga by Arina Tanemura, it depicts the trials and tribulations of 12-year old Mitsuki, who longs to become a pop singer to fulfill a promise she made long ago to her first love, Eichi. However, she has a malignant tumor in her throat, which might only be cured at the cost of her voice. Time to achieve her goal is also running out because Mitsuki has been told by doctors that she only has a year before she loses her voice entirely. But hope comes in the form of a pair of comedic harbingers of death who transform her into a 16-year-old girl so she can perform at a singing audition. After passing the audition brilliantly, she embarks on the road to fame as Fullmoon, the latest pop sensation. But the clock is still ticking and Mitsuki still only has a year before she will no longer be able to sing. Drama ensues as she seeks a cure while also pursuing the life of a pop star and the demands that it brings.
On the surface FULL MOON might first appear as a cute and typical sh?Žjo story of a young girl overcoming obstacles and finding romance while pursuing a goal, but there is a serious and often heart wrenching drama that lies beneath.
‘Based on the runaway success of SHOJO BEAT magazine, the only monthly sh?Žjo manga anthology published in the United States, the timing is ideal for the launch of SHOJO BEAT Home Video,’ states Anthony Jiwa, Director of Marketing for VIZ Media. ‘FULL MOON is an emotional rollercoaster that will tug at viewers’ heart strings, and we believe that fans will respond enthusiastically to the story of this talented and spunky young girl.’