VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced a variety of special events, programming, speaker panels and giveaway opportunities scheduled for the 2006 Anime Expo ®, taking place at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA, July 1-4. VIZ Media is a major sponsor of the event, now in its 15th year. Anime Expo has become the largest anime and manga convention in North America - attendance for 2006 is expected to top 50,000.
As always the VIZ Media booth will be the main location for fan freebies and collectibles as well as ‘the place’ for fans to purchase their favorite manga and anime titles. VIZ Media will feature a spacious and vivid display on the main convention floor front and center. An extensive library of manga and anime DVD items will be on display and available for purchase. New this year will be the availability of licensed items for purchase in the retail area, which will include NARUTO headbands and wristbands, INUYASHA messenger bags, Kagome backpacks and more. There will also be an array convention exclusives including advance release manga and exclusive gift-with-purchase premiums including a free SHONEN JUMP NARUTO baseball cap with purchase of the NARUTO Uncut DVD Box Set!
The popular VIZ Media Manga Money booth will also be back by popular demand - lucky fans will have a chance to grab as much manga money as possible to trade in for a variety of special prizes. The VIZ Media booth will also offer a video game kiosk where fans can check out the newest SHONEN JUMP NARUTO video game from TOMY.
Special screenings and previews are a major attraction at Anime Expo, and VIZ Media will delight fans with a special preview showing of the film TRAIN MAN on Saturday, July 1st at 7:30pm. KAMIKAZE GIRLS, which quickly became a fan favorite after its winter release, will also be screened on Saturday July 1st at 9:45pm. The convention will be screening select episodes from many popular VIZ Media anime series in the always-packed multiple 24-hour screening rooms. Details will be listed in the comprehensive Anime Expo Program guide, sponsored and published by VIZ Media’s ANIMERICA magazine.
This year, the coveted freebie collectible - The VIZ Media Canvas Convention Bag - will be a vibrant green adorned with artwork from INUYASHA: The Movie 4 and SHONEN JUMP BLEACH. The VIZ Media Bling is back, colorful beads that fans have worn proudly throughout the conventions for the past few years in hopes of being tapped on the shoulder by a roving VIZ Media Prize Patrol! Prize patrols go out onto the show floor several times an hour. New editions of the free VIZ Media manga samplers will be given away all throughout the show. There will be an exciting must be there to win raffle once a day with the prize being one of two NARUTO TCG holographic uncut sheets. Times will be noted on the VIZ Media Events board located at the booth registration desk.
Rounding out the roster of special events will be a variety of VIZ Media panel discussions that will include exclusive previews and news on new and upcoming releases. Dedicated panels are scheduled throughout the show, beginning with a panel on VIZ Media’s smash hit magazine SHOJO BEAT, scheduled for Sunday at 2:00 pm. In addition, a panel on Toonami Jetstream, the recent joint venture with Cartoon Network that will offer a dedicated television broadband platform to stream anime 24/7, is also scheduled for Sunday, 7/2 at 3:00pm. Panels on VIZ Media anime as well as manga topics are scheduled for Monday 7/3 at 1:00pm and 2:00pm respectively.
‘Anime Expo is the premiere event in North America where anime and manga fandom comes together, and it continues to be a highlight of the summer for VIZ Media,’ states Liza Coppola, senior vice president of marketing for VIZ Media. ‘This year’s Expo will likely draw the largest crowd yet seen and we are pleased to continue to be a major sponsor and participant. We always look forward to the opportunity to interact with the fans that have made anime and manga such a phenomenon, and this year we have a variety of special events, exclusives and previews to share with them. The 2006 Anime Expo is definitely not one to miss!’