Simon & Schuster Inc. will be the domestic manga distributor for Viz, Llc., one of the leading publishers and distributors of manga and anime content for North American audiences. VIZ titles were previously distributed by Publishers Group West (PGW).
The agreement, which goes into effect June 1, 2004, covers the entire Viz catalog including best-selling manga like Rurouni Kenshin and Fushigi Yûgi. The company will also handle Shonen Jump titles like Yu-Gi-Oh! and new graphic novels like The Prince of Tennis and Bleach, the first volumes of which are set to ship in April and May respectively.
Viz is confident that the deal with Simon & Schuster will help strengthen its reach into the domestic manga market by attracting new consumers while continuing to serve longtime fans.
Simon & Schuster is part of the entertainment operation of Viacom Inc. Its divisions include the Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Online and international companies in Australia, Canada and the U.K.