Tuesday, January 25, 2005

ShoPro Entertainment and Viz to merge

Anime licensor ShoPro Entertainment and manga publisher Viz announced today that they'll merge this spring to form a new entertainment company. The two companies previously had collaborated on such properties as Inuyasha and MegaMan NT Warrior, and share a parent corporation.

ShoPro Entertainment is an affiliate of ShoPro Japan, which is a subsidiary of Shogakukan Inc., one of Japan's largest publishing companies. Viz is a subsidiary of Shogakukan Inc. and Shueisha Inc.

Here's Osamu Kamei, executive director of Shogakukan Inc., on the creation of the still-unnamed company:

"In order to nurture and grow the worldwide exposure of Japanese manga and animation, we have decided to step beyond the corporate framework that exists in Japan, and form a new globally oriented company by merging VIZ and ShoPro Entertainment. I strongly believe that the partnership of the three companies, Shueisha, Shogakukan and ShoPro Japan, will be a major step forward for the Japanese contents business."