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Press Release: VIZ Media Announces Conclusion of Beloved Ranma 1/2 Manga

VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES THE EXCITING CONCLUSION OF THE BELOVED RANMA 1/2 MANGA SERIES

Final Volume To Be Released November 14th And Will Be Complemented By Farewell Letter to North American Fans

San Francisco, CA, November 6, 2006 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced the long-awaited conclusion to the RANMA 1/2 manga series. The final edition, volume 36, will hit store shelves nationwide November 14 and will retail for $9.99.

Rumiko Takahashi’s RANMA 1/2 series has been a staple of the VIZ Media catalog for over 14 years and remains one of the company’s longest running manga titles and one of the longest running manga series in North America. Many volumes are now in their second printing. Takahashi is one of Japan’s most prolific and respected manga artists and is the creator of several long running series including MAISON IKKOKU, MERMAID SAGA, and INUYASHA – all published in North America by VIZ Media. RANMA 1/2 has sold more than 49 million copies in Japan, and is one of the most recognized and acclaimed series ever produced. A 7-season anime series with over 150 episodes, two feature length movies and a OAV set are also available from VIZ Media on DVD.

A hilarious story with plenty of eccentric characters, martial arts action and quirky romantic subplots, RANMA 1/2follows the comic problems of Ranma Saotome, a 16-year-old martial artist in training, and the unfortunate victim of a certain set of cursed hot springs – whenever he gets wet he turns into a girl. Hot water returns him to being a boy. It could be worse – his father also falls into a cursed hot spring and henceforth turns into a giant panda whenever he gets wet. Ranma’s father has arranged a marriage for him with Akane Tendo, the beautiful daughter of a fellow martial artist. Akane is also a martial artist in training but she hates boys. For Ranma and Akane, it’s hate at first sight but their initial loathing slowly turns into mutual affection and finally love as the series progresses. A quirky cast of supporting characters lends even more humor and complicates the romantic twists even more. A boy named Kuno has a crush on Akane but falls in love with the female Ranma, initially unaware of his alter-ego. Another boy named Ryoga has known Ranma since junior high and secretly wants to kill him, but is himself cursed after falling into a magic hot spring and turns into a piglet whenever he gets wet. Akane, not realizing this is the transformed Ryoga, adopts him as a pet naming him P-Chan. Then there is Shampoo, another martial artist from China. She was defeated by Ranma in his female form and has traveled to Japan to kill the female Ranma. But she doesn’t know about Ranma’s secret and falls madly in love with the male Ranma. She also happens to fall into a cursed pool and turns into a cat when she gets wet. And guess which animal Ranma is phobic about? The final volume will provide a zany and fitting end to this much loved epic series and readers will delight in the crazy antics that happen when Ranma and Akane finally get married.

“RANMA 1/2 has been the longest running VIZ Media manga series and also one of the best loved by fans,” states Liza Coppola, senior vice president of marketing for VIZ Media. “We are excited to publish the concluding volume to this critically acclaimed title, fans will delight in the culmination of this wild adventure, which has been in print for more than 14 years.”

The final volume of RANMA 1/2 will be celebrated with a farewell letter to North American fans from series creator Rumiko Takahashi.

About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including, magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos, DVDs, audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages.

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