FUNimation Toons Hit iTunes

Navarre Corp.’s FUNimation Ent. today announced that it has signed a deal with Apple to make popular anime series available for download in the iTunes Store at www.itunes.com. Starting today, fans of such Japanese animated shoes as Desert Punk, Speed Grapher and Akira Kurosawa’s Samurai 7 can download episodes to the computers and iPods for $1.99 a pop.

‘Our anime series will be the first offered on the iTunes Store and will expose a wider audience to the unique storytelling style and graceful animation inherent in this Japanese style of entertainment,’ says FUNimation president and CEO Gen Fukunaga. “This is a great opportunity to offer our top-rated anime series through the world’s most popular online music and video store.”

Desert Punk is described as a stark and darkly comedic series that employs strikingly realistic weaponry and gritty character design to offer a bold new direction for anime in terms of both story and style.

Speed Grapher is a stylish action series set in the near-future full of intensity, forbidden lust and conspiracy. Using a fast-moving, high stakes plotline, the series breaks new ground with its realistic, fashionable character design and acrobatic fight choreography. Speed Grapher creates an experience that is founded on great story and real-world trendsetter style, but is also laced with exactly the kind of cool tech and sci-fi elements that make anime so unique! This combination is geared specifically to attract fans outside of anime circles as well as satisfy the core anime audience.

An animated retelling of the classic film Seven Samurai from legendary director Akira Kurosawa, Samurai 7 is set in a futuristic world that has just seen the end of a massive war. Many villages are being terrorized by Nobuseri bandits, who were once men but modified themselves with machinery during the war to become living weapons. To protect themselves, a group of villagers decide to hire a rag-tag team of samurai.

FUNimation Ent. acquires hit anime series from Japan and tailors it for North American audiences. The company manages a full spectrum of rights for most of its brands including broadcasting, licensing, production, internet and home video sales and distribution. The entity’s most recent initiative is the FUNimation Channel, a 24/7 digital cable channel that is now available to more than 34 million households throughout the United States.