VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced that it has licensed from Nippon Television Network Corporation (NTV) the Download to Own (DTO) and Download to Rent (DTR) rights for the United States for the smash hit DEATH NOTE anime series, currently airing in Japan.
The deal is significant because it marks the first time a well known Japanese anime property will be made legally available to domestic audiences for download to own while the title still airs on Japanese television. VIZ Media will seek to make the series available to consumers through a number of online providers in order to reach the widest audience possible.
DEATH NOTE, based on the Shueisha manga series of the same name, is currently one of the hottest anime titles in Japan. Published in North America by VIZ Media, it depicts the adventures of Light Yagami, an ace student with great prospects but who is bored out of his mind. All of that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to investigate, and he is soon hot on the trail of Light, who must now reevaluate his one noble goal.
‘We are pleased to team with a leading anime and manga company like VIZ Media to bring the DEATH NOTE anime series to eager fans in the United States digitally,’ states NTV Spokesperson. ‘VIZ Media understands how the Internet can be used to distribute content. With a built-in fan base already generated by the popularity of the DEATH NOTE manga series, we are looking forward to the success of this innovative partnership.’
‘With Shueisha’s support and the agreement with NTV to bring DEATH NOTE to the American market, we will establish a new benchmark for bringing our audience the content they want when they want it,’ says Daniel Marks, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, VIZ Media. ‘The success of the DEATH NOTE manga has created tremendous anticipation for its anime counterpart and we are committed to delivering the best content through a variety of platforms to our tech savvy fan base.”