Illumitoon & Westlake Acquire Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo
Joint Venture Enterprise Acquires Distribution Rights for Popular Cartoon Network Series
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — FORT WORTH, TEXAS — Illumitoon Entertainment and Westlake Entertainment announced today that they have joined in acquiring North American distribution rights for a series from Toei Animation titled “BOBOBO-BO BO-BOBO”. Illumitoon and Westlake are rolling out with the first 50 episodes of the series currently broadcast on Cartoon Network’s Toonami Block. Westlake, recently purchased by Larry Cohen and Luke Stefanko, has been repositioning itself into more original content, specifically in the anime and features areas. Together with Illumitoon Entertainment, whose stated mission is to “focus on acquiring accessible anime for the US market,” the team expects big results.
“We’re thrilled at the BO-BOBO acquisition. It’s a quirky series that’s poised to do great in the US. The ratings are strong and the series has a lot of support” stated Barry Watson, Illumitoon’s President/CEO.
It’s based on a popular comic that sold over 5 million copies in Japan. Tony Vandeveerdonk, Vice President of Sales for Westlake Entertainment says, “the series has a very strong fan base among the anime community. But additionally, the television exposure has increased its appeal to a more mass audience as well.”
The series is an offbeat saga of a hero who defends people’s right to hair. The surreal title character, with his golden afro, struggles to defend the citizens in the kingdom of Margarita from the authoritarian tyrant, Czar Boldy Bold 4th, who has initiated a “Hair Hunt” to crack down on individuals who insist on holding on to their curly locks.
The BOBOBO-BO BO-BOBO anime series is based on stories from Japanese publisher Shueisha Inc.’s popular manga magazine Weekly Shonen Jump, which is known for introducing other well-loved content such as Dragon Ball Z, Yu-Gi-Oh!, YuYu Hakusho, Naruto and One Piece. BO-BOBO manga is available in North America from VIZ Media, LLC, a subsidiary of Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc. and Shogakukan Production, Co. Ltd. VIZ Media also publishes SHONEN JUMP magazine, the North American counterpart of Weekly Shonen Jump.
The new releases are initially planned to street as early as January, 2007.
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About Illumitoon Entertainment, Ltd.
Illumitoon Entertainment, Ltd. is a newly formed collaboration of business and creative professionals focused on delivering customized, quality entertainment to the North American markets. The company’s principals have more than 20 years combined experience in acquiring, producing, and distributing anime, as well as creating original productions for the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. For more information, visit the company online at http://www.illumitoon.com/.
About Westlake Entertainment
Westlake Entertainment is a film and TV distributor focusing on the release of premium first run features, as well as substantial catalogue of Latin content. The company was founded in 1991 and distributes content from such labels as Phoenix Entertainment, Red Bull USA, Illumitoon Entertainment, Cineville Films and Rigel Entertainment. For more information, visit the company online at http://www.westlakeent.com/.
About Toei Animation
Headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, Toei Animation Inc. is an affiliate company of Toei Animation Co., Ltd. Toei Animation Co., Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is Japan’s largest animation production studio since 1956, and have produced many celebrated works ranging from feature films such as “The White Snake” and “Puss ‘N Boots” to TV series such as “Ken, the Wild Boy” on to “Dragon Ball,” “Sailor Moon,” “Digimon Adventure,” “Zatch Bell” and “One Piece.” Toei Animation’s library contains approximately 8,500 episodes, which accounts for about 4,200 hours of programming.
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