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June 12, 2002

Get Inside Their Heads

Ever wonder what your young students get up to outside class? If they're boys, chances are they're into Beyblades or manga. Well, Mistubishi is selling the rights to the popular Bakuten Shoot Beyblade animation show in 20 countries, including the US. The 21st-century spinning tops are all the rage among younger boys. Meanwhile, their big brothers are reading comics like "Weekly Jump". This hugely popular ¥220 manga shifts something like 3.4 million copies a week in Japan and Viz Communications - a subsidiary of Shogakukan - plans to capitalize on the Japan pop-culture boom in the US with an English version. Starting in November, the company aims for a circulation of a million within three years. The target demographic is boys aged 8-16.

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