Just as the manga series wraps up with volume 12, Viz announces the release of the anime before the end of the year.
VIZ Media, LLC, one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation, and licensing companies, announced the highly anticipated DVD release of the anime series DEATH NOTE today at Anime Expo 2007. The latest addition to the SHONEN JUMP Home Video line is rated T+ for Older Teens and makes its debut in stores on November 20, 2007. The DVD features four original and uncut episodes with English dub and Japanese with English subtitles for $24.98.
DEATH NOTE vol. 1 will also be available with a Limited Edition Collector’s Figurine: Ryuk for $39.98. Previously available only with the Japanese DEATH NOTE DVD product, the rare collectible figurines will be limited to 15K units in North America. Pre-sales for Death Note, vol. 1 w/ Limited Edition Collector’s Figurines begin June 29, 2007, at store.viz.com and deathnote.viz.com. New volumes of the series and figurines will be released on a monthly basis beginning in December.
DEATH NOTE, based on the Shueisha manga series of the same name, is currently one of the hottest properties in Japan. Published in North America by VIZ Media, the manga consistently ranks as one of the top performing graphic novels on BookScan and depicts the adventures of Light Yagami, an ace student with great prospects but is bored out of his mind. All of that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to investigate, and he is soon hot on the trail of Light, who must now reevaluate his once noble goal. The unique storyline and complex characters, combined with visually stunning animation by Madhouse, have made DEATH NOTE one of the most popular anime series in Japan and anticipation for the North American release has built steadily since VIZ Media first began publishing the manga series. DEATH NOTE has also spawned two live-action films and a plethora of related posters, toys and action figures.
“The buzz and anticipation surrounding the release of DEATH NOTE has built steadily among eager fans in recent months and we are pleased to announce the debut of this series on DVD at Anime Expo 2007,” states Wendy Shimamura, Associate Product Manager, Home Entertainment, VIZ Media. “DEATH NOTE is a riveting and intricate story of murder, justice, morality, ambition, and strategic cunning — it is as much a psychological thriller as it is a crime drama. We look forward to fans discovering the series and making it a hit across North America.”
VIZ Media has also made DEATH NOTE available for secure and legal Download-to-Own (DTO) and Download-to-Rent (DTR) through Direct2Drive.com and TotalVid.com. The availability of DEATH NOTE for domestic audiences in this manner is significant because it marks the first time a well-known Japanese anime property is being made available to domestic audiences for download while the title still airs on Japanese television. It further sets a new benchmark for diminishing the gap in time between when series air in Japan and their eventual debut in North America.
That note on the timing is interesting, since I’m not familiar with typical anime release schedules. My pondering is more in relation to the manga. People seem to have enjoyed the series, although the reactions I’ve seen were along the lines of “glad it’s over, that last volume was all talking heads, I wouldn’t have stuck with it much longer”. So are they likely to try the cartoon? Or does it matter, are they two rather different audiences? Do anime viewers tend to already know the ending of what they watch?
And when will we get the live-action film, which I’d be interested in seeing?