Active comic-book artists such as Tetsuo Hara, Tsukasa Hojo and Ryuji Tsugihara are on our Board of Directors and are able to make a positive, hands-on contribution to the control and management of copyright and the development of our business. In order to compound and expand our entertainment business, in future we plan to represent not only animation and comic -book artisis, ut also novelists, scriptwriters and other authors of original material. we believe that planned, positive business development and long-lasting, quality entertainment products will drive exponential market growth. Our aim is to undertake this kind of business development hand in hand with the creative artists themselves.
In October, 2005, Mitsui Sumitomo bank and SMBC Friend Security Company announced the launch of the Hokuto Fund - Legends of Hero. This is a trust fund to invest in films financed under a trust-fund structure. All the shares offered were immediately sold out. The total amount raised was over 23 billion yen, with 5 billion coming from private investors. The fund was created to finance five original works by Bronson and Tetsuo Hara, three films for theatrical distribution and two OVA(original video animation) works. these works were based on the extremely popular "Hokuto-No-Ken," a 20-year success story. It was the first time that a fund had been created to finance entertainment product based on such a popular and successful work. This was the starting point for North Stars Pictures and we aim to focus in future on the establishment of similar funds for the production of animation.
One of our dreams is to bridge the gap between parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren and, with this in mind, North Stars Pictures is also entering the illustrated-book business. Aiming to re-vitalize communication between generations, we are adapting original works by famous comic-book artists into illustrated books that can be read aloud to children. The first work in the series will be "Bonoron, The Warrior of the Forest," by Tetsuo Hara. We are launching the characters in an illustrated book and also on the Internet. we are now preparing the launch of the second part of the series, an illustrated book produced by publishing of illustrated books and own and manage the copyright of the material. We plan to expand this business, first within Japan and then on an international level.
Comics and illustrated books are already a rapidly growing field within the digital world. North stars Pictures plans not only to provide a variety of online entertainment such as comic books, games, and the sale of goods over the internet, but complete oversight of the quality and appeal f the entertainment delivered by digital streams. We are already involving the comic-book artisits themselves in the development of projects to provide unique content and the newest, most-exciting information to be delivered over mobile phones. In future, North Stars Pictures will play an ever-expanding role in the production and delivery of digital entertainment.