North American anime and manga company VIZ Media has announced on Saturday (Philippine time) that their English-language Shonen Jump magazine will soon be relaunched as a digital manga service.
Starting December 17, the latest chapters of all ongoing manga titles, including One Piece, Boruto and My Hero Academia, will be released on the same day as Japan on shonenjump.com and their mobile app, which will be available to everyone for free.
VIZ Media also announced a new membership plan where paid members will have access to their digital vault, featuring over 10,000 chapters of back catalogue, for only USD1.99 (under PHP110) per month with a 7-day free trial offer, also starting December 17.
The new digital manga service will be available to the following territories: United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Singapore, India and the Philippines.
The publication of the English-language Weekly Shonen Jump digital magazine will also be discontinued.
In a video released by the company, Shonen Jump’s Global Vice-President Hisashi Sasaki explained that the brand has to “evolve”, similar to how they transitioned from print magazine to digital magazine in 2012.
“They saw many new readers come to Shonen Jump when they posted free chapters this year,” Sasaki added. “We learned that free access gets more people to read manga.”
Sasaki also assures readers that the manga coming from the new service will be legitimate, authentic and safe.
The English-language version of Shonen Jump started in November 2002 as a monthly print anthology, which is in contrast to the weekly print publication of the original Japanese magazine.
The print publication had published its final edition in April 2012, where VIZ Media transitioned its focus to their weekly digital manga anthology, initially known as Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha, that launched three months earlier.
The digital magazine has started its global expansion in 2013, where it became available for purchase in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
In 2016, the magazine had expanded its reach much further, with the addition of India, Singapore and the Philippines.
Some of the titles that are currently being published in the digital magazine include Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma, Blue Exorcist, One Piece, My Hero Academia, Boruto, and most recently, We Never Learn (Bokutachi wa Benkyo ga Dekinai).
USD1.00 = PHP52.82, as of December 07, 2018.