A.D. Vision

A.D. Vision (commonly referred to as ADV) is an American international multimedia entertainment company based in Houston, Texas, active in home video production and distribution, broadcast television, theatrical film distribution, merchandising, original productions, magazine and comic book publishing. It is the largest anime company in North America. It was founded in 1992 by John Ledford and Matt Greenfield. Since then, the company has grown immensely in size and diversified with several subsidiary companies, handling an array of properties and original content. Perhaps their most popular property is Gainax's post-apocalyptic anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, originally released by ADV in the U.S. in 1997 and re-released several times since. The company maintains offices in North America, Europe and Asia.


A.D. Vision was founded in 1992 by John Ledford and Matt Greenfield.

Japan's Sojitz announced that Japan Content Investments (JCI), an investment group run by Sojitz, Development Bank of Japan, and film distribution company KlockWorx, will contribute money to A.D. Vision, in return for equity in the company. ADV founder John Ledford will remain the majority shareholder and CEO. JCI subsidiary ARM will also contribute money for ADV to use in acquiring new distribution licenses. The investment will allow ADV Films to raise its output of new anime titles, which had dropped in 2006, back to previous levels or above. In return, ADV will assist Sojitz with the acquisition of North American and European content for importation into Japan. According to ADV, they also reportedly have "big plans" for its manga line.

Distribution of Geneon properties

In August 2007, a notice was sent to retailers stating that ADV Films would be taking over the distribution, marketing, and sales of Geneon properties in the US as of October 1. In preparation, Geneon USA laid off most of its sales division; however, in September the distribution deal was canceled. Dentsu confirmed that the distribution deal was canceled through a press release on September 21, 2007 with no reasons given except that Geneon and ADV were "unable to reach a mutual agreement.

Sojitz Fallout

In June 2006, ADV Films entered in to a partnership with the Japanese Sojitz Corporation. This was done as a means of acquiring more titles in the Japanese market. From this point on, virtually all titles that ADV acquired were with Sojitz's help. However, in January 2008, ADV mysteriously removed a large number of titles from their website. All the titles removed were titles acquired since the Sojitz collaboration including Gurren Lagann, which had test disks sent out with dubbed episodes. As of May 2008, the ownership of these titles has not been confirmed. Gurren Lagann was re-licensed by Bandai Entertainment. ADV Films made booth appearances at the Anime Central 2008 convention, but they canceled their planned panel. In July 2008, FUNimation Entertainment announced the acquisition of thirty of these titles.


ADV Films

For a list of titles licensed by ADV Films, browse the ADV Films
ADV Films is the original core of the company. ADV Films is the home video publication arm of A.D. Vision based in Houston, Texas, specializing in publishing anime and tokusatsu videos, and other live-action material. In 1996, ADV Films opened its U.K. division, and diversified into the realm of live-action television series, such as Andromeda, and Japanese films.

The first title to be licensed and released to video was Devil Hunter Yohko. They were the first North American anime licensor to use all-digital video mastering and transfer (specifically D2 digital video tape), and soon began acquiring an extensive library of titles. Initially, titles were released to video with the original Japanese language track and English subtitles added. A few years later, they began dubbing releases to English using their own voice actors. ADV started out using a nearby production studio as their recording facility, but after a few years they were able to open up their own production and recording facility in Houston, as well as a second studio in Austin, Texas. The studios were named Industrial Smoke & Mirrors (IS&M) and Monster Island, respectively. Monster Island closed down permanently in early 2005 and IS&M became known simply as ADV Studios. In more recent years, ADV has also produced dubs of live action Japanese films, as well as doing some work with the video game industry.

ADV Films offered a program called Anime ADVocates, which provided free screening material and other promotional content to nearly 3,000 anime clubs in North America. To qualify for the program, the club had to be sponsored by a local high school, college, university, or public library and have at least 10 members. Member clubs were also asked to participate in surveys about the content they received. However, in November 2007, ADV Films put the program on hiatus, then on January 18, 2008 ADV Films announced that the program was being suspended indefinitely due to amount of resources the program needed. They will, however, continue to offer anime clubs screening permission for their titles.

As of July 2008, ADV Films and ARM Corporation transferred the licenses to over 30 different shows into the hands of fellow anime distributor FUNimation Entertainment. Those rights include the home video, broadcast, digital, and merchandising rights in North America and other regions.

Soft Cel Pictures

Soft Cel Pictures was the branch of the company which specialized in the release of hentai anime titles. This division was shut down in 2005 and most of its titles were acquired by Critical Mass, the hentai division of The Right Stuf International.

Anime Network

Anime Network is a cable channel in North America dedicated to anime. The network launched in North America in late 2002 and was marketed to multi-system operators (MSOs) as both a stand-alone 24-hour linear network and as a VOD programming service. The Anime Network is the United States' first all-anime cable TV network. On January 4, 2008, Anime Network officially announced that the traditional 24/7 service would cease operations. The network will still offer titles through VOD.

ADV Manga

For a list of titles licensed by ADV Manga, browse the ADV Manga
ADV Manga is ADV's division for the licensing and distribution of English translations of Japanese manga. The division was launched in 2003, with a strong list of titles and an ambitious plan for growth within the U.S. manga market. However, ADV Manga canceled many of their titles in late 2004 and 2005. In late-2005, they began a more scaled-back release, concentrating on monthly released of a few titles, as well as releasing several acclaimed one-shots. In 2006, ADV Manga released the 6-volume Neon Genesis Evangelion: Angelic Days series and in 2007 they resumed releasing several popular titles that had been on hiatus, including Yotsuba&! and Gunslinger Girl.

At Anime Expo 2006, manga publisher Tokyopop announced that it had obtained the licenses for three titles formerly licensed by ADV that had been cancelled: Aria, Tactics, and Peacemaker Kurogane.

ADV Music

ADV Music is the music publishing division which focuses on distributing anime and movie soundtracks. Launched in 2003 after ending their partnership with The Right Stuf International in AnimeTrax, their initial releases include the soundtracks for Super Atragon, Cat Girl Nuku Nuku and Onimusha 2: Samurai's Destiny.


ADV Pro is the company's anime production studio. They have worked on such in house productions as Lady Death and Mutineers' Moon. John Ledford stated that ADV Pro had been "reactivated" and was currently working on Mutineers' Moon, however, with the current financial situation at ADV Films, the current state of the project is unknown.

ADV Toys

ADV Toys is the merchandising and character licensing division.


Newtype USA

Newtype USA was the US edition of Japan's Newtype magazine. A.D. Vision (ADV) has contacted their advertising partners to let them know that the February 2008 issue of Newtype USA was the last edition of the magazine.


PiQ premiered in May 2008 as a replacement for Newtype USA. Published by PiQ, LLC, a now-defunct subsidiary of A.D. Vision the magazine had a broader focus and expanded coverage of topics beyond anime and manga. PiQ retained much of the editorial staff and freelance writers that once worked on its predecessor, as well as the its 15,000 subscribers. In June 2008, after only four issues had been released, PiQ was canceled and the offices abruptly closed down. The July 2008 dated issue, which had already been released when the announcement was made, was the magazine's last issue.


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