North America’s larget distributor of manga and anime has just announced the official release date to a weekly serial anthology of some of today’s most popular manga including Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, and Toriko to be available on your iOS device and online through VIZManga.com.
The biggest news however, is that new releases will be available just two weeks from their release in Japan! In a statement released by VIZMedia, Senior Vice President and General Manger, Alvin Lu had this to say, “Simultaneously publishing an official translation of the most popular comics magazine in the world has been a dream since manga publishing began in North America in the 1980s. This is how manga is meant to be read in English – weekly, current, authorized and on the go. Now with WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA, it’s about to happen for real.”
Getting a fully published and translated issue within two weeks of original release is truly a manga fan’s dream come true and having it available on my iPad, well, that’s just icing on the cake. Look for SJ Alpha starting January 30, 2012 in one of two flavors: annual subscription ($25.99) and single issue rentals ($.99). Both will offer readers the ability to read their on multiple devices and on the web.
In preparation for the January 2012 launch, VIZ is offering a special digital offering called Shonen Jump WARP to ensure that their North American readers are caught up in time. The latest volume of Naruto is currently available on SJ WARP and Bleach volume 49 is due out soon.
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, VIZ is phasing out the monthly print version of Shonen Jump and though we’ll miss the monthly offering having the latest titles two weeks after their Japanese publish date is not such a bad tradeoff.
Stay Tuned for more NYCC 2011 news!