After having large-scale success with Pioneer's anime distribution networks, Viz announced in a press release last week that it would be switching over its entire back catalog of video releases, including the popular Ranma 1/2 series.
The success between the companies is credited mostly to Pokémon, a joint distribution effort between Viz and Pioneer. "Having experienced great success with Viz Video within the marketplace, we are very pleased to be expanding the partnership between the two companies," says James Kobayashi, President of Pioneer Entertainment.
The new partnership will begin this month, and was unveiled at the East Coast Video Show last weekend. The new distribution deal includes Viz's entire 500+ tape back catalog, including Ranma 1/2, Fatal Fury, Maison Ikkoku, Mermaid's Scar, One Pound Gospel, Please Save My Earth, Gray, and Galaxy Express 999 among others, as well as the titles already released through Pioneer.
Viz hopes to expand its marketing presence by freeing itself from the confines of distributing its videos through its old comic book venues. This explains why many have noticed fewer Viz titles on retailer shelves than those of other vendors.