Date: 2006 April 27 11:01
Posted by Jeremy
VIZ and Cartoon Network to launch new broadband site, Toonami Jetstream, to feature recent television hits and new shows not yet available.
Like watching anime online? Cartoon Network, home of the anime-dominant Toonami block, and long-time anime and manga licensor VIZ Media have announced a new joint venture called Toonami Jetstream, a broadband service that will provide on-demand, full-length streaming episodes of a number of hit anime and action series. The new site (http://ToonamiJetstream.com) will launch on July 17, and will be a free service supported by advertising that includes both banners and streaming video ads.
Five shows have been announced to appear on Toonami Jetstream when it debuts, two of which have previously appeared on Toonami. First is "Naruto", the recent hit about a young ninja-in-training determined to become his village’s top ninja, despite being shunned for having an evil fox spirit that had previously devastated the village years earlier trapped inside him. Also up is "Samurai Jack", the Emmy Award winning Cartoon Network original about a samurai sent to the future by the evil shape-shifting wizard Aku, who then must search for a way back to his own time while battling Aku’s forces.
The other three series to debut on Toonami Jetstream are ones that have never before been offered on U.S. broadcast or basic cable television. "Hikaru no Go" is about a young boy, Hikaru, who finds an old go board and, after releasing the spirit of the champion player inside, sets out to become the ultimate champion of the game. In "MAR", young Ginta is sent to the fantasy world he’s previously dreamed about, where he uses his new super-strength and Babbo, the magical talking weapon called an ARM, to fight evil and find a way back home. And finally, the sports drama and coming-of-age story "Prince of Tennis" follows the adventures of young Ryoma as he joins the Seishun Academy tennis team, one of the most competitive in Japan.
New episodes for each show will be available each week, with previous episodes available through the Toonami Jetstream archive. Future titles scheduled to be released will include the original Toonami production "IGPX", VIZ Media’s "Megaman NT Warrior" and the all-new "Zoids Genesis". Additional series will be announced in later months.
"Cartoon Network has long been the dominant TV provider of the best anime and action," said Paul Condolora, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cartoon Network New Media. "And we were the first to stream, in 2001, full-length anime series online. Now, with this joint venture with VIZ Media, we will give our fans the chance to view popular shows on-demand and follow new series that cannot be seen anywhere else. We also believe this will bring new fans to the action/adventure genre, create interest in new shows and build the overall popularity of Toonami on Cartoon Network."
"Toonami Jetstream will provide our current fans and new fans alike with unlimited opportunities to view our popular hit shows such as ‘Naruto’," explained John Easum, Executive Vice President of VIZ Media. "It will also give us the opportunity to share with our fans an unprecedented variety of Japan’s newest and most exciting animated series. We are thrilled to be expanding our strong relationship with Cartoon Network. VIZ Media is one of the industry’s leading licensors of Japanese animation and Cartoon Network is the preeminent broadcaster of Japanese animation and we believe that our collective forces will make Toonami Jetstream the online destination of choice for action-adventure animation fans."