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Robot Anime Series Is a Multimedia Hit (February 15, 2006)

The main characters of the anime series Eureka Seven (c) 2005 BONES / Project EUREKA•MBS
Kokyo Shihen Eureka Seven is a new anime series about robots that is currently on the airwaves in Japan. With TV broadcasts as the main plank in the success of the series, a multifaceted mix of related projects has been launched in a whole range of media, including the Internet, publishing, and toys. This anime is on the cutting edge of multimedia content distribution in the twenty-first century.

Youthful Perspective
Eureka Seven is a TV animation series that was launched in April 2005 on Japan's MBS/TBS network. The story takes place on an imaginary planet inhabited by humans where Renton, a 14-year-old boy who is waiting for an opportunity to escape his hometown, meets Eureka, a beautiful girl who is the pilot of a robot. Renton gets caught up in a battle, after which he decides to leave with Eureka and her cohorts.

Eureka Seven is similar to the popular Gundam series in that both are robot anime featuring battles fought with human-controlled robots, but Eureka portrays the world from the viewpoint of a 14-year-old boy, telling the story of the boy's growth through a variety of adventures. The anime imbues Renton with the perspective of today's youth by having him talk about such "in" topics as surfing, street fashion, and techno music. The creators of Eureka Seven have dubbed the series PF (philosophy fiction) robot anime.

Due to its early timeslot at 7:00 a.m. every Sunday morning, Eureka Seven does not command high viewer ratings. However, this anime is unique in that a line of products linked to the series was developed in advance of its launch, so the reach of Eureka Seven extends far beyond the confines of TV.

Media Might
Numerous companies in a variety of media are involved with Eureka Seven. At the core of these is toy maker Bandai Co. Three group companies of Bandai, anime producer Bones Co., and media business developer Hakuhodo DY Media Partners together formed Project Eureka, which produces the anime in partnership with MBS.

In addition, a group of five companies that includes publisher Kadokawa Shoten Publishing Co., music and software giant Sony Music Entertainment Inc., and broadband provider USEN Corporation is participating in the project under the moniker of Eureka Partners. A total of 11 companies across the whole media spectrum are involved in the anime.

Through this media partnership, each week's episode of Eureka Seven is delivered over the Internet to subscribers following its original TV screening. The episodes can be viewed free of charge for one week, with past episodes available for a fee. The partnership also supplements the TV show's unfavorable Sunday morning timeslot by distributing the anime to mobile phones. In December 2005, Eureka Seven won an award for excellence in the domestic digital content category at the 20th Digital Content Grand Prix.

Kadokawa Shoten Publishing's comic magazine Monthly Shonen Ace runs a serial comic version of Eureka. A series of CDs containing the anime's theme song and music played within the shows has been released. And a video game based on the series, DVDs, action figures, and plastic models have also been released, adding to enormous mix of media that now surrounds the world of anime.

Broadcasts of Eureka Seven will begin on a major US TV station in April, and Bandai Entertainment Inc., one of Bandai's group companies, is promoting the series in America with a similar strategy to the one pursued in Japan.

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Copyright (c) 2006 Web Japan. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.

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