Publishing, animation and licensing company VIZ Media has secured the download rights to the hit supernatural action anime series BLEACH from TV Tokyo and Shueisha. Twenty episodes of both the dubbed and subtitled versions of the series will be made available for download in the United States beginning on Aug. 31, 2007, on direct2drive.com and totalvid.
"We are excited to announce we have acquired the download-to-own and download-to-rent rights to BLEACH," states Daniel Marks, SVP, Strategy & Business Development. "Broadband delivery of anime content serves as a compelling counterpart to traditional formats such as DVD. We will continue to respond to the growing demand for high quality content on digital platforms."
BLEACH is based on the best-selling manga by Tite Kubo, also published in North America by VIZ Media. The anime series, as seen on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, follows the adventures of Ichigo, a 15-year old student with the ability to see ghosts. When his family is attacked by a Hollow -- a malevolent lost soul -- Ichigo encounters Rukia, a Soul Reaper, and absorbs her powers. The pair encounters plenty of action as they investigate an intriguing range of spiritual mysteries and frequently run into all manner of malevolent and usually violent spirits and demons that are reluctant to return to their own world peacefully.
BLEACH is the latest VIZ Media series to be readied for digital delivery. The company previously made the highly acclaimed DEATH NOTE series available for download in the United States, marking the first time a well-known Japanese anime property had officially been made available for download while the title still aired on Japanese television.