by Chris MaGee
Viz Pictures is a company that has consistently brought the best in new Japanese film to North America shores. It's too bad you won't see their name around anymore. Now, wait! Before you start rushing to your favorite online retailer to buy up the Viz DVD catalogue because you think they're going under, well, don't worry. They aren't! What they are doing is a little bit of savvy business re-branding and with that comes a name change. Farewell Viz Pictures, hello New People Entertainment!
As many of you will know, Viz Media opened the New People Theater in San Francisco's Japan Town in 2009. The Theater was so much more than just a movie theatre specializing in Japanese films though. Viz used the space as an exhibition space for gallery shows, a retail locations not only for their DVDs but for pop art items designed by contemporary Japanese artists and a meeting place for West Coast Japanophiles. Shortly after the Theater's opening New People lent its names to a series of artist documentaries that Viz released. Now under the guidance of president Seiji Horibuchi New People Inc. has come into being and will combine the best of Viz and the New People Theater.
Horibuchi is quoted on the New Poeple site that the company has "also expanded our corporate operations to include a recently opened office in Tokyo that will act as a channel to help facilitate future creative endeavors and partnerships with Japanese-based artists and film and media companies, as well as work to bring select U.S. brands to Japan.”
Here's wishing New People Entertainment the best of luck in their continued goal of bringing the best of Japan to North America!