Manga Sees Starz in New Deal

Japanese animation distributor Manga Entertainment has just entered into an agreement with Starz for thirteen of Manga’s anime films. The films will be featured on Starz’s Action Channel.

Among the titles in the pact are a number of Manga’s most highly-acclaimed titles including two seminal works by veteran animation director Mamoru Oshii, Ghost in the Shell and the Patlabor movies. Ghost in the Shell is the ground-breaking cybernetic magnum opus based upon the works of Japanese comic book legend Masami Yuuki. Other Shirow comics-turned movies are the first two films in the mecha-infused Patlabor franchise, including Patlabor 1 and Patlabor 2: The Movie, which has also spawned a long-running Japanese television series.

"We are pleased to add this cutting-edge selection of films to our anime library," says Nancy Silverstone, Starz VP of program acquisitions. "This (deal) further underscores our commitment to this genre and to our anime-loving addicts who know they have a dedicated channel to satisfy their movie-viewing preferences."

Other Manga titles in the agreement include Production I.G.’s Blood: The Last Vampire, the masterful psychological thriller Perfect Blue from director Satoshi Kon (whose Tokyo Godfathers is currently playing in U.S. theaters), Black Magic M-66, Macross II: Lovers Again, Macross Plus, New Dominion Tank Police, Shadow Skill, X and the long-running video game-inspired series Street Fighter IIV and Fist of the North Star.

Starz’s subscriber service Action Channel features action movies 24/7, including a packed schedule of martial arts, action-hero, war, crime stories and anime films. Chicago-based Manga Ent., meanwhile, specializes in the production and distribution of Japanese animation for theatrical, DVD and home video release worldwide.