[PR] Watch Naruto and Win Cool Swag!

VIZ MEDIA LAUNCHES SPECIAL NARUTO SHIPPUDEN WATCH-AND-WIN CONTEST ON OFFICIAL NARUTO WEB SITE NARUTO.COM

Fans Can Watch The Newest NARUTO Shippuden Animated Episode Each Week At NARUTO.com Then Test Their Knowledge To Win Exciting Prizes Including NARUTO Video Games And A Game Console!

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has launched a new watch-and-win contest on its official NARUTO web site at www.NARUTO.com beginning March 27th. Every week, a new NARUTO Shippuden episode (English subtitled) will stream for free on the site and fans are invited to watch and take part in the contest by answering a trivia question about each new installment. The contest runs through September 2009.

Winners will be announced weekly and are eligible for a variety of exciting prizes, from action figures and apparel to video games. Leading video game publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. sponsors the first 4 weeks of the contest and will award each lucky winner a copy of Ultimate Ninja® 4: NARUTO™ Shippuden, the first video game released in North America based on the NARUTO Shippuden animated series. On the fourth week the company will award one lucky fan a copy of the video game and a PlayStation®2 game console.

Ultimate Ninja® 4: NARUTO Shippuden features several unique game modes allowing players to experience perspectives as different characters in this immersive world of the ninja. The video game combines role-playing and action-platforming elements, telling the story of how Naruto returned to the Hidden Leaf Village after his training with Jiraiya – an original narrative arc that fans won’t find anywhere else. Packed with new NARUTO Shippuden characters, as well as updated versions of fan favorites, the game offers a total of 52 playable characters to take into battle and also features the series’ trademark one-on-one ninja battles for one or two players.

“This NARUTO Shippuden watch-and-win contest is a unique and fun way for fans to flex their knowledge of each week’s new episode to win special NARUTO prizes,” says Gonzalo Ferreyra, Vice President Sales & Product Marketing, VIZ Media. “We invite fans to visit the official NARUTO web site, NARUTO.com, regularly over the coming months for more chances to win and updates on future prize sponsors.”

Created by Masashi Kishimoto, NARUTO was first introduced in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in Japan in 1999 and quickly became that country’s most popular ninja manga targeting tweens and teens and has sold more than 80 million copies to-date. The manga series (rated ‘T’ for Teens) and animated counterpart (NARUTO rated ‘T’ for teens, and NARUTO Shippuden rated ‘T+’ for older teens), is one of VIZ Media’s most successful properties and has captivated millions of fans across North America, Europe and South America.

In the NARUTO manga and animated series, Naruto Uzumaki wants to be the best ninja in the land. He’s done well so far, but Naruto knows he must train harder than ever and leaves his village for intense exercises that will push him to his limits. NARUTO Shippuden begins two and a half years later, when Naruto returns to find that everyone has been promoted up the ninja ranks—except him. Sakura’s a medic ninja, Gaara’s advanced to Kazekage, and Kakashi…well he remains the same. But pride isn’t necessarily becoming of a ninja, especially when Naruto realizes that Sasuke never returned from his search for Orochimaru. Plus, the mysterious Akatsuki organization is still an ever-present danger. As Naruto finds out more about the Akatsuki’s goals, he realizes that nothing in his universe is as it seems. Naruto is finding that he’s older, but will he also prove wiser and stronger?

Earlier NARUTO episodes are also currently available for free through a variety of other web-based, video streaming outlets that have partnered with VIZ Media, including iTunes®, HULU and JOOST. 

More information on NARUTO is available at www.NARUTO.com

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 (graphic novel) 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-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa and is a global ex-Asia licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, and DVDs, and develops, markets, licenses, and distributes animated entertainment for audiences and consumers of all ages.