Bleach manga volume 53, Naruto manga volume 58, and One Piece manga volume 64 were the latest iterations of the big 3 series on sale in Japan. Viz Media – the North American distributor, marketer and licenser of the big 3 series – has for the first time in history made the latest Japanese manga volumes available online legally for North American audiences. These events actually happened last week, we’re a bit slow on reporting it so tomorrow when Naruto manga volume 59 and One Piece manga volume 65 are released, Japan will be ahead again. That is unless Viz updates VizManga too!
Anyways, these volumes were released ahead of the print editions as part of the Shonen Jump Digital Warp speed up to get U.S. readers up to date with Japan, just in time for the debut of WEEKLY Shonen Jump Alpha, which launched on Monday, January 30th. Check out the Shonen Jump Alpha launch press release below.
San Francisco, CA, January 30, 2012 – The wait is finally over! Viz Media, LLC (Viz Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, launches the debut issue of its new digital manga (graphic novel) magazine – WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA – today! The first issue is available now through VIZManga.com; it will also be part of the upcoming update to the VIZ Manga apps for iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod touch®.
Each new digital edition of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA treats manga fans in North America to the latest chapters of some of the world’s most popular manga series only two weeks after they debut in Japan’s massively popular WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP magazine. The first issue of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA also includes part 1 of an exclusive of an interview with NARUTO creator Masashi Kishimoto, where he discusses the inner workings behind his creative process and how he creates a story that captivates audiences from all over the world.
To further celebrate the launch, WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA has joined forces with Konami to delight Duelists and manga fans with a special offer! Fans that sign up for an annual membership to WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA will receive highly collectable YU-GI-OH! game cards four times a year, delivered right to their doorstep before anyone else has them.
Debut manga chapters featured in WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA include:
BAKUMAN｡(rated ‘T’ for Teens) Chapter 162:
BLEACH (rated ‘T’ for Teens) Chapter 476:
NARUTO (rated ‘T’ for Teens) Chapter 569:
NURA: RISE OF THE YOKAI CLAN (rated ‘T’ for Teens) Chapter 185:
ONE PIECE (rated ‘T’ for Teens) Chapter 652:
TORIKO (rated ‘T’ for Teens) Chapter 171:
WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA is available through an annual membership that provides 52 weeks of access to 48 weekly issues for just $25.99. Single issues of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA can be read for four weeks for only $0.99. Each issue may be read on VIZManga.com, and once available, on the updated VIZ Manga App for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Subscribers to WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA will also receive an annual collector’s yearbook and access to exclusive content, including creator interviews and videos.
For more information on WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA and exclusive subscriber offers, please visit SJAlpha.com.