VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive manga and animation licensing and publishing companies, has announced that the recently released volume 9 of the popular NARUTO manga series, which is published under the company’s SHONEN JUMP imprint, placed at Number 29 on USA Today’s Top 150 Best Seller List for the week of February 26, 2006. This is the highest placement any manga title has ever achieved on the daily’s noted literary sales list, which compiles sales traction for fiction, non-fiction, hardcover as well as paperback titles.
The impressive sales of the newest NARUTO volume places it amongst a diverse array of top fiction and non-fiction titles like Memoirs Of A Geisha, The Da Vinci Code and The Kite Runner. Two other VIZ Media manga titles also published under the SHONEN JUMP imprint - RUROUNI KENSHIN volume 24 and DEATH NOTE volume 4 - placed at Number 116 and 118 respectively for the same week.
NARUTO has become one of VIZ Media’s most successful manga properties in terms of sales. The series, by Masashi Kishimoto, depicts the adventures of a young boy who trains to become a ninja and has sold more than 59 million copies in Japan since its 1999 debut. In North America, a groundswell of fan interest in the brand continues to build. In addition to the manga series, the NARUTO anime counterpart is a ratings powerhouse on Cartoon Network, where it is featured as part of the network’s Toonami block of action programming. VIZ Media is set to release the highly anticipated first volume of the anime series on DVD on March 28.
‘We are extremely gratified to see the latest volume of NARUTO place so high on USA Today’s Top 150 Sales List and it’s quite an achievement for a manga title to be in such strong company with books like Memoirs Of A Geisha and The Da Vinci Code,’ states Liza Coppola, senior vice president, marketing, VIZ Media ‘The steadily increasing sales traction of several of our manga series offered by the SHONEN JUMP imprint validates the unique quality and storylines these titles offer to readers of all ages and interests. NARUTO is a compelling action story that instills a variety of positive messages and as we prepare to release the first volume of the NARUTO anime series on DVD, we feel confident that it will be a hit.’