4Kids Entertainment, the American licensee and packager of Pokemon, announced the production of three Japanese series for the American market.  The announcement was made at NATPE, the National Association of Program Executives in Las Vegas.  No broadcast arrangements were announced, but viewers can expect to see at least one of these series on U.S. television by the end of the year.


Tama and Friends

Aimed at the pre-school audience, Tama and Friends is a gentle anime featuring Tama the cat and his dog and cat buddies in a series of mild adventures that teach the virtues of friendship and working together.


Ultraman Tiga

Here's the latest version of the venerable live action series featuring the silver-clad hero who flies to the rescue like a metal covered Superman. Created by the same special effects wizards who brought you the Godzilla films, Ultraman Tiga is now going to save the U.S. just as he has protected the Land of the Rising Sun for the past 40 years.


Kinnikuman: The Ultimate Muscle!!!

Toei Animation, the studio responsible for producing Dragonball Z and Sailor Moon, created this action-packed anime, which pits Japan's most successful superhero/wrestler against a wide variety of over-the-top villains.  This is the one new series announced by 4Kids that has the best chance of making an impression on the anime fans who shop at specialty stores.