Shueisha invests in Shogakukan

Prod. co. handles 'Pokemon,' 'Inuyasha'

Japanese publisher Shueisha has invested in Shogakukan Prods., the licensing and merchandising subsidiary of Japanese publisher Shogakukan.

Shogakukan Prods. (ShoPro) will be renamed Shogakukan-Shueisha Prods. Masao Yagi has been named prexy.

Deal will give “more flexibility in developing titles for the overseas marketplace, including the burgeoning graphic novel and manga market in North America and Europe, and to streamline internal operations,” companies said in a joint statement.

Forty-year-old ShoPro handles Shogakukan manga and animated properties including “Pokémon,” “Doraemon,” “Inuyasha,” “Hamtaro,” “Detective Conan” and “Megaman.

Shogakukan-Shueisha Prods. will handle properties related to manga from Shogakukan and Shueisha.

Both companies are part-owners of San Francisco-based Viz Media, the animation and licensing company.

“The formation of Shogakukan-Shueisha Prods. by two of our key parent companies will undoubtedly speed the licensing process of future properties for domestic release,” said Viz Media CEO Hidemi Fukuhara.

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