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Shueisha invests in Shogakukan, Shogakukan renamed to Shogakukan-Shueisha Prods.


Japanese publisher Shueisha has invested in Shogakukan Prods., the licensing and merchandising subsidiary of Japanese publisher Shogakukan. Shogakukan Prods. (ShoPro) will be renamed Shogakukan-Shueisha Prods. Masao Yagi has been named prexy.

The deal will give "more flexibility in developing titles for the overseas marketplace, including the burgeoning graphic novel and manga market in North America and Europe, and to streamline internal operations," companies said in a joint statement.

Forty-year-old ShoPro handles Shogakukan manga and animated properties including "Pokemon," "Doraemon," "Inuyasha," "Hamtaro," "Detective Conan" and "Megaman.

Shogakukan-Shueisha Prods. will handle properties related to manga from Shogakukan and Shueisha.

Both companies are part-owners of San Francisco-based Viz Media, the animation and licensing company.

"The formation of Shogakukan-Shueisha Prods. by two of our key parent companies will undoubtedly speed the licensing process of future properties for domestic release," said Viz Media CEO Hidemi Fukuhara.

"Our close relationship with both Shueisha and Shogakukan has played a key role in the success of VIZ Media and allows us to continually offer some of the best and most unique manga titles from Japan. We look forward to working with Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions to prepare new properties for release in North America as well as for other emerging markets in Europe and Oceania."

VIZ Media was established in 1986 with seed money from Shogakukan under the name VIZ Communications. Shueisha became an investor in VIZ in 2002, and was a key collaborator on the development of SHONEN JUMP magazine, which is the leading monthly manga anthology in North America. When VIZ and Shogakukan's ShoPro Entertainment merged in 2005, the new company was named VIZ Media.

Both VIZ and Shogakukan release the Pokemon anime and manga. Hopefully we will see a reduction in the time it takes them to prepare and release products outside of Japan with the streamlining of their internal operations.

Source 1: http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117987890.html?categoryId=14&cs=1
Source 2: http://news.awn.com/index.php?ltype=top&newsitem_no=23671
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