VIZ PICTURES Announces First Release To Be Train Man: Densha Otoko

Quirky Romantic Tale Of An Otaku Who Finds Love To Make North American Premiere in New York

San Francisco, CA, September 7, 2006 — VIZ Pictures, an affiliate of VIZ Media LLC, the leading U.S. publisher of Japanese animation and comics that focuses on Japanese live-action film distribution, has announced the forthcoming theatrical release of the quirky romantic comedy TRAIN MAN: DENSHA OTOKO. The film, which received widespread critical acclaim and caused a sensation in Japan upon its release in 2005, will have a private press screening on September 12, 2006 at the ImagineAsian Theatre in New York with the theatrical premiere and exclusive one week showing begin on September 22, 2006.

TRAIN MAN: DENSHA OTOKO is the film inspired by the phenomenal bestseller by Hitori Nakano that took Japan by storm. Based on true events that took place on a popular Internet Bulletin Board website (BBS) in Japan called "2ch," this fairy tale-like story has become a media sensation, and been adapted in book, comic, television drama, and movie formats. Released in 2005, the movie became an instant hit, grossing over 35 million dollars in Japan.

TRAIN MAN: DENSHA OTOKO is the story of a computer engineer otaku (the Japanese term for "geek"), who is an average young man dressed in unstylish clothes and dorky glasses. As luck would have it, he encounters a pretty young woman on a commuter train and saves her from a lecherous molester, falling in love with her at first sight. A few days later he receives a thank-you message from the woman along with a set of Hermes teacups. Having never had a girlfriend or received a gift from a girl in his life, the otaku seeks out his pals on the BBS website for advice using his codename Train_Man (Densha Otoko). Deeply interested in Train_Man's first love, his BBS pals eagerly supply him with advice. Encouraged by their support, Train_Man undergoes a total makeover for his first-ever date with "Hermes." Little does he know that he is about to ignite an Internet phenomenon.

"TRAIN MAN: DENSHA OTOKO is a unique and heartwarming romantic story and its focus on what ultimately attracts people will likely make this film a favorite," states Seiji Horibuchi, President and CEO for VIZ Pictures. "Good stories always have an underdog or an unlikely hero to root for, and TRAIN MAN: DENSHA OTOKO presents a believable and genuine protagonist. We are pleased to launch VIZ Pictures with the release of this acclaimed film. The story will make people think fondly about their own first experiences with love and the thrill and rush it caused. Perhaps it will even inspire a few to take a chance on someone they like!"

After its initial premiere in New York the movie will move on to Portland, Chicago, Seattle and other major cities. TRAIN_MAN: DENSHA OTOKO, the manga will be released by VIZ Media on October 3.

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan's largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including, magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and Shojo Beat, graphic novels, videos, DVDs, audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages.