Overview

Strange Little Zatch

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VIZ Media, LLC. (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive manga and animation licensing and publishing companies, announced today the forthcoming releases of the manga and anime series for ZATCH BELL!. The first two volumes of the manga series will debut in August with a rating of “T” for teens and have an MSRP of $9.99 each. Limited quantities of the second volume will also include an exclusive promotional card from the ZATCH BELL! collectible card game.  The first volume of the anime series will debut on home video and DVD in November and feature 4 episodes retailing for $19.98.

Written and illustrated by Makoto Raiku, ZATCH BELL! tells the story of 14-year old Kiyomaro Takamine, a brilliant junior high school student whose inflated ego and ability to blow the grading curve make him a major target for teasing and harassment by his fellow students. His holier than thou personality and apathetic attitude towards life concern Kiyo’s father and he decides to try to help his son with the aid of a mysterious birthday present – a strange little boy named Zatch whom he finds unconscious in the woods in England. Zatch has no memory of who he is, but he possesses a strange and powerful red volume of magic spells. The father sends Zatch to Japan to meet his son, hoping he can help reform Kiyo’s bad attitude and help him make friends. When Kiyo looks through Zatch’s mysterious book he notices that there is one word he can read, and when he does, lightning comes out of Zatch's mouth.

It turns out Zatch is a “mamodo,” an imp-like creature from another world, and he has been sent to the human world along with 99 other mamodo children to fight a battle to determine who will be the next king of the mamodo world. All the mamodo have their own books, which enable them to awaken their inner powers when they find human partners who can read the spells inside. Exciting, hilarious, and heartwarming adventures ensue throughout the series as other mamodo children keep coming to Zatch and Kiyomaro to try to beat them, and the duo tries to defeat their enemies, make friends, and find out more about Zatch's shadowy past!

“We are pleased to expand our manga and anime libraries with this popular and well-loved title and are confident that fans in North America will embrace the magical adventures of this impish and brazen young boy.” said Anthony Jiwa, director of marketing for VIZ Media. “The positive messages contained in the story about a person’s ability and willingness to change and the power of friendship are inspiring and we look forward to the title’s success.”

ZATCH BELL! first debuted in Japan in the Shonen Sunday manga anthology, published by VIZ Media’s parent company Shogakukan, and quickly established a dedicated following. A collection of related video and trading card games followed, as did a hit anime series from Toei Studios which aired on Fuji TV. In North America, the animated series currently airs on Cartoon Network in the United Sates and will debut on YTV Canada in September 2005.

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