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Trio of Anime Heavyweights Form Joint Venture

10 Nov, 2004 By: Edwin De La Cruz

ADV Films, Funimation Productions and Geneon Entertainment — three of the largest producers and distributors of anime in America — have announced plans to form a joint venture for the development and marketing of anime.

The announcement for this as yet unnamed venture was made at last month's MIPCOM in Cannes, France, by executives from all three companies.

“An official announcement on our specific plans are still three to four months away,” said Gen Fukunaga, president of Funimation Productions, but sources indicate that this new joint venture will focus on developing high-quality entertainment series primarily targeted at children and young adults.

This targeted demographic is an area in which the team can best maximize their respective resources, talent and expertise because together they reach an estimated 70 percent of the anime home video market in the United States, according to various anime experts.

Geneon, for instance, was instrumental in making Pok?mon a household name in the mid-1990s; Funimation hit it big by successfully making Dragon Ball Z a craze among teens that spawned dozens of merchandising licenses including apparel, toys and video games. ADV Films has the honor of launching the first video-on-demand anime channel that has evolved into a 24/7 channel (in selected markets), which began this past summer.

The combination of these companies into one strategic alliance makes for a potentially impressive synergy, analysts said.

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