VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, announced today that it has secured from the worldwide licensors, TV TOKYO Corporation and Shueisha Inc., the television, home video and merchandising rights to SHONEN JUMP’S BLEACH in the Americas, Europe and Oceania. The appointment of VIZ Media as Master Licensor was facilitated by TV TOKYO Medianet, the licensing arm of TV TOKYO.
VIZ Media plans to introduce a dynamic rollout strategy that will leverage the strong manga (graphic novels) and entertainment brands into a broad licensing and marketing program. BLEACH’s television broadcast partner and key licensing partners will be determined shortly.
‘It is a great privilege to be bringing such an outstanding property to so many parts of the world,’ said John Easum, executive vice president, VIZ Media. ‘BLEACH is one of the most powerful and successful new series coming out of Japan, and it has already established a very large fan base in the U.S. due to the enormously successful manga, published by VIZ Media under our SHONEN JUMP imprint. Working together with VIZ Media B.V. in Europe, we look forward to making BLEACH a global success.’
BLEACH is the story of an average 15-year old, Ichigo Kurosaki, who never asked for the ability to see ghosts–he was born with the gift. When his family is attacked by a Hollow - a malevolent lost soul - Ichigo becomes a Soul Reaper, dedicating his life to protecting the innocent and helping the tortured spirits find peace.
BLEACH is author Tite Kubo’s second title and has spawned 21 volumes to date that have sold over 28 million copies in Japan. BLEACH has already been translated into more than seven languages and has achieved immense success in Japan not only as a manga and TV title, but also in the realm of licensed categories such as toys, trading card games and video games.