Illumitoon Ent. and Westlake Ent. have jointly acquired North American distribution rights to Toei Animation’s toon series Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo, which currently airs during Cartoon Network’s Toonami Block in the U.S. The companies will roll out the first 50 episodes of the series with initial home video releases planned for as early as January of 2007
Based on Shueisha Inc.’s manga comic which sold more than five million copies in Japan, Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo is the 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 authoritarian tyrant Czar Boldy Bold IV, who has initiated a ‘hair hunt” to crack down on individuals who insist on holding on to their curly locks.
The characters in Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo first appeared in the popular manga magazine Weekly Shonen Jump, which is known for introducing such hit properties 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.
Recently purchased by Larry Cohen and Luke Stefanko, Westlake (www.westlakeent.com) has been repositioning itself to handle more original content, specifically in anime and features. Illumitoon (www.illumitoon.com), meanwhile, is focused on acquiring accessible anime for the U.S. market.