Viz Media has appointed former Crunchyroll executive Sae Whan Song to the newly-created post of VP of content (animation). He will lead Viz’s content acquisition strategy and be responsible for execution of the company’s co-production strategy.
Song began his career in licensing at Toei Animation before moving over to Crunchyroll where he was instrumental in its transformation. There, he was helped build a successful rights management team before transitioning the company from a licensing and acquisitions model to co-productions and original productions strategy. Crunchyroll was acquired by Sony in 2021 and has since been integrated with Sony’s Funimation. His credits at the company include “Blade Runner: Black Lotus,” with Alcon Entertainment and Warner Media; “Tower of God,” “God of High School” and “Noblesse” with Webtoons; and “Fena: Pirate Princess” and “Shenmue the Animation,” with Adult Swim.
“Sae’s expertise has set an unparalleled standard in today’s highly competitive anime acquisition business. As evidenced in his work with Mappa, Crunchyroll, Toei Animation, and other prestigious organizations, Sae is an exceptional appointment and I am thrilled to have his talents and leadership join us at Viz Media,” said Brian Ige, Viz’s senior VP animation.
Viz Media is the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America. It is currently preparing the re-release later this year of volume 1 of “Bleach,” an iconic comic strip. One of the best-selling manga titles of all time, “Bleach” has sold over 120 million copies since its debut in Japan’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, including 2.7 million copies in the U.S. As an anime TV series, it ran to 366 episodes and spawned four feature films.
The company is also planning the release of the first twenty volumes of the “My Hero Academia,” currently one of the fastest-growing manga series, as a special boxed set, later in the year.