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One of the largest manga and anime publishers in North America.
VIZ Media was originally founded as VIZ Communications by Seiji Horibuchi in 1986, funded by Japanese publisher Shogakukan. The company published its first manga, Legend of Kamui, in 1987, but sales were so-so; the company moved into publishing art books and other general publishing.
In 1992, Horibuchi began publishing manga and referring to them as "graphic novels" so that mainstream bookstores would be willing to carry them (whereas comic book specialty stores were slow to warm to manga). Sales picked up and VIZ acquired the license to Ranma 1/2, which was an instant hit.
The company eventually expanded--in part thanks to is ownership by Shogakukan and in 2002 Shueisha, two of Japan's biggest manga pulbishers--into the anime market as well, and began publishing a monthly magazine called Shonen Jump (based loosely on the Japanese mangabon Weekly Shounen Jump). VIZ owns some of the largest anime/manga franchises to date, including InuYasha, Bleach, and Naruto.
In 2005, VIZ Pictures was established to release live-action films, usually those with manga counterparts (such as Death Note and Lovely*Complex), but occasionally other films as well (such as Linda Linda Linda or The Taste of Tea). In 2008 VIZ established an office in Hollywood for VIZ Productions, which is intended to broker live-action Hollywood films of VIZ's (and by extension, Shogakukan and Shueisha's) titles.
VIZ also intends to open a J-Pop Culture Center in Japantown, San Francisco in 2009. The center will include a 150-seat movie theater, a cafe, a manga/anime store, and a Japanese clothing store.
November 26, 2012: Viz Media started a new project called WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA. It's a weekly serial anthology.
|Company Name||Viz Media|
|Street Address||295 Main St.|