VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has selected Grupo Editorial VID S.A. de C.V. of Mexico (GEV) and Panini Brazil Ltda. (Panini Brazil) to release the Shonen Jump™ NARUTO™ manga from Shueisha Inc. in their respective countries in April and May 2007.
‘We are excited to partner with GEV and Panini Brazil to build on the success of NARUTO in Latin America,’ said Hyoe Narita, Executive Vice President of VIZ Media. ‘Based on the success of the anime series in Latin America and the ongoing anticipation by fans for the release of the unique manga series that was its inspiration, we expect the NARUTO manga will find success among teens and young adults and we look forward to new fans discovering this unique and fantastic tale.’
‘We are very pleased to be partnering with VIZ Media to launch the NARUTO manga in Mexico,’ said Francisco Jimenez, Editor-in-chief of GEV. ‘We are honored to present fans with the compelling characters, story arcs and incredible action that have made NARUTO an international sensation.’
‘NARUTO is currently the most popular manga in all the world,” said Marcio Borges, Commercial Director of Panini Brazil. “Panini Brazil is proud to publish this famous manga in this country, and we’ll surely use all of our editorial, marketing and distribution resources to give NARUTO all the importance it truly deserves.”
NARUTO has become one of VIZ Media’s most successful manga properties in terms of sales. The series, by creator Masashi Kishimoto, depicts the adventures of a young boy who trains to become a ninja, and has sold more than 70 million copies in Japan since Shueisha Inc. began publishing the manga in 1999. In North America, the massive amount of fan interest in the brand continues to build. NARUTO has emerged as one of the best selling and most popular manga series throughout North America, regularly placing in both Graphic Novel and Overall General Fiction categories on noted literary sales rosters including BookScan and the USA Today Top 150. In addition to the manga series, the NARUTO anime counterpart is a ratings powerhouse on Cartoon Network. VIZ Media also recently released the first few volumes of the anime series on DVD and it continues to be a huge seller.