Dentsu Inc., a Japanese company best known for sponsoring many an anime (fansub watchers, it's one of those logos you always see during the "kono bangumi wa goran no suponsaa no teikyou de okurishimasu" bit) and for primarily being an advertising company, announced today that they've launched a new subsidiary called Dentsu Entertainment USA.
But what is the company going to do here? For the most part it's going to handle Dentsu's interest in a variety of franchises, such as the Deltora Quest anime-- which is based on a series of novels written by Australian author Emily Rodda; the books are published by Scholastic. Other franchises Dentsu will manage are Chub City (toys) and Mameshiba (a character-based franchise). Here, have some Mameshiba:
Now, if you've been paying very close attention, you may remember that word came out in January about a new project being developed by Dentsu, an anime and toy line called Monsuno. This is probably also being set up to assist that project, since Dentsu specifically said they'd aim the franchise at Asia, Europe, and North America.
I also wonder: Dentsu was once invested in Geneon Entertainment, which if I recall caused some problems when a dying Geneon attempted to strike a deal for ADV to handle the sales and marketing; I believe there was a conflict between investors (Dentsu with Geneon, ADV with Sojitz), but that's only if memory serves.
On to more practical matters: I don't think we're going to see Dentsu pick up any of the anime that's usually marketed to us in North America, but it's entirely possible that it'll find a way to be involved in whatever may be the next Naruto-- or Pokemon. It'll be interesting to watch in the meantime.