VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced the highly anticipated launch of SHONEN JUMP’s NARUTO anime series on DVD.
NARUTO has been a top-rated favorite on Cartoon Network and the manga (graphic novel) series, also published by VIZ Media in both SHONEN JUMP magazine and in graphic novel format, consistently ranks as a top seller on several national literary sales charts. Most recently the manga hit an unprecedented #29 on the USA TODAY Top 150 list. The first volume of the new anime series, ‘ENTER NARUTO,’ will contain four episodes and an exclusive Naruto mini-poster and will retail for $19.98. It hits retail outlets nationwide on March 28.
The story of NARUTO takes place in another world where ninjas are the ultimate power. In the village of Konoha Gakure live some of the stealthiest and most respected ninjas in the land. But 12 years prior, Konohagakure faced a fearsome threat - a nine-tailed fox demon which terrorized the village and caused massive destruction before it was finally defeated. The Hokage, the village leader and most powerful ninja, was able to subdue the fox by sealing its soul inside the body of a baby boy. Now that boy, Uzumaki Naruto, has grown up to become a ninja-in-training, learning the art of ninjutsu with his classmates Sakura and Sasuke. The trio of student ninjas study under the instruction of their teacher, Kakashi. With Kakashi, the group faces a series of dangerous and daunting tests and challenges. Through their adventures, the young ninjas learn the importance of friendship, teamwork, loyalty, hard work, creativity, ingenuity, and right vs. wrong.
First introduced in Japan’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in 1999, NARUTO became one of the country’s most popular ninja manga, selling more than 59 million copies. The series, by Masashi Kishimoto, drew an equally zealous following in North America when it was serialized in VIZ Media’s SHONEN JUMP monthly manga anthology. The company’s SHONEN JUMP manga imprint also offers NARUTO in a best-selling graphic novel series that is now into its ninth volume. The anime series has been a staple on Cartoon Network’s Toonami action block of programming since September 2005 and the domestic launch of NARUTO on DVD has been highly anticipated by fans nationwide.
‘We are extremely pleased to offer the NARUTO series on DVD,’ says Anthony Jiwa Director of Marketing for VIZ Media. ‘NARUTO has become one of VIZ Media’s most successful properties and, based on the continued popularity of the series on Cartoon Network and sales of the manga, we predict a strong debut for the DVD. The release of NARUTO is the newest in an expanding catalog of new anime offerings from VIZ Media, and reaffirms our commitment to deliver the latest and most unique anime series from Japan.’