JMPR hired to push Tokyopop cartoon into US auto media

LOS ANGELES: Tokyopop, a Japanese anime distributor, has chosen automotive boutique agency JMPR to introduce its latest entertainment property to US consumers.

LOS ANGELES: Tokyopop, a Japanese anime distributor, has chosen automotive boutique agency JMPR to introduce its latest entertainment property to US consumers.

Called Initial D, the cross-platform animated series is billed as a mix between The Fast and The Furious and '60s cartoon Speed Racer, and features a teenage tofu delivery driver named Tak. The show is already popular in Japan, and JMPR is charged with introducing the characters and concept to an American audience.

JMPR plans on approaching automotive outlets first to create a "groundswell" of interest, and later move on to entertainment and youth outlets, said agency principal Joe Molina. JMPR is also planning a campaign around comic conventions.

"Basically, we're taking them not only to the lifestyle publications for middle teens to early 20s, but also to car magazines," explained Molina. "In general, we're making the

character cool."

Initial D is set to launch on DVD by the end of the summer, and comic books featuring the character are already available.

JMPR has previously worked on a few other car-themed entertainment accounts, including The Discovery Channel series Monster Garage as well as Paramount films Days of Thunder and Tucker.

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