Death Note on Direct2Drive

Viz Media teams up with IGN Entertainment to bring you one of Japan’s hottest anime series in record time after airing in Japan. Could this set a new standard for anime imports?
May 3, 2007—Powerhouse anime/manga publisher Viz Media announced that Death Note will be available on IGN Entertainment’s innovative digital media download service. The series debuted in October of last year in Japan and is scheduled to run for 37 episodes. In the beginning of 2007, Viz announced that it had acquired the rights to Death Note from Nippon Television Network Corporation (NTV) and anticipation has been building for the U.S. debut. With the technology of IGN’s Direct2Drive service, Death Note will be available in the U.S. starting May 10, 2000 – a record turnaround time between Japanese and U.S. release dates.

Death Note, based on Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s manga of the same name, has soared to the top of the charts since October with it’s twisting plot and intense drama. The story stars Light Yugumi, a teen depressed by the corruption and crime in the world. Stumbling upon the mysterious notebook left behind by a Shinigami named Ryuk, known as “Death Note,” Light sets out to rid the world of dangerous criminals by signing their names in the Death Note and thus sentencing them to die. The sudden wave of deaths among criminals sets the International Police Organization and the eccentric detective “L” on Light’s trail.

It’s unprecedented for an anime series to still be airing in Japan and available for legal download in the U.S. simultaneously. In the case of longer titles such as Naruto and One Piece, the episodes are broken into seasons (or series) and licensed in chunks, thus allowing no overlap between U.S. and Japanese releases. With IGN’s Direct2Drive providing everything from blockbuster films to top-rated video games, it was only a matter of time before anime found its way onto the D2D marketplace. Viz Media’s forward-thinking attitude towards Direcr2Drive may influence many anime marketing decisions in the future, especially for titles that have a hard time finding a U.S. TV audience despite their popularity (e.g. Monster).

Information on Direct2Drive is available at; for more information on Viz Media titles and products, go to
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