The New English Shonen Jump and The Promises It Brings

At the time of writing this, Viz’s english version of Shonen Jump has made an incredible announcement on December 7th, 2018 that they are changing their service around and making Shonen Jump more accessible than ever before. According to multiple publications such as the Anime News Network, “Shueisha’s “Weekly Shonen Jump” Magazine will offer free chapters of manga the same day that they debut in the Japanese version of the magazine beginning on December 17th.” (Sherman, Anime News Network) Alongside that, Viz’s Shonen Jump service is switching from its current structure of $0.99 per issue or $25.99 a year, to a subscription service that gives you access to the entire english Shonen Jump catalog. All for a grand total of $1.99 a month.

Paying that amount gets you the entire english Shonen Jump catalog at your fingertips and they are also offering a simulpub release of manga like Haikyu!!, Chainsaw Man, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, and many more. That is an insane value to the consumer and is overall excellent news for manga fans! For a while, I’ve been dabbling with the thought of getting a Shonen Jump subscription. However, the only problem with that is that I’m already behind on titles that I know I like such as “The Promised Neverland” and “Dr. Stone”. By getting the former subscription it wouldn’t allow me to binge read previous chapters to get caught up to where they are in their published run. 

While yes both of these are getting an anime adaptation next year (“The Promised Neverland” January 10th, 2019 and “Dr. Stone” July, 2019) those will only cover a small portion of the manga and while they could get sequel seasons, they likely will only run covering a specific arc at a time. Yet, with this big change it’s giving me, someone who isn’t a fully invested manga reader a chance to actually get caught up with both of these series and maybe a chance to check out other manga as well.

Not to mention it’s affordable, two dollars a month is a fair amount to pay considering what you are getting with that monthly subscription. While more and more services that have anime go up along with that the subscription for that going up to high end prices. If you are already are caught up to a recent manga series then current chapters will be available to you for free on the same day as they come out in Japan. If not well in order to read older chapters past the previous three issues, you have to pay but that is including everything that currently runs or has ran in the english Shonen Jump so you are getting a large library of titles for two bucks a month which is a pittance compared to the cost of buying manga volumes or continuing to buy the former years worth of “Weekly Shonen Jump” magazine which only nets you the current chapters.

I can also see this working well on cutting down on piracy. While I don’t think piracy will go away be it anime piracy or scanlations, the best these companies can do is make this content as available as possible to the consumer. Scanlations have been a problem for the industry for years. So much so that even manga creators, such as Kohske the creator of “Gangsta”, who earlier this year took to Twitter to ask people to stop translating his work and uploading them to scanlation sites. https://twitter.com/go_kohske/status/1056575030513922048?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1056575030513922048&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.animenewsnetwork.com%2Finterest%2F2018-10-29%2Fmanga-creator-kohske-asks-scanslators-to-stop-sharing-gangsta%2F.138787

This is still a major problem with both mediums and while anime seems to have adapted much quicker with simulcasts already coming out day and date it releases in Japan on services like “Crunchyroll”, “Funimation”, and “HIDIVE”; with the only exceptions to the rules right now being “Netflix” where they don’t simulcast at all and “Amazon” being hit and miss with their “simulcasts”. However, for manga it seems to be more challenging. While simulpub options do exist like on “Crunchyroll” where titles like “Eden Zero” are currently being simulpubed. However, it seems like manga is behind the curve. While Japan is planning to enforcing a much harsher punishment with fans for downloading illegal books with such penalties like, “up to two years prison time or up to a 2 million yen (about US $17,740) fine.”(Ressler, Anime News Network) it likely still won’t fully prevent piracy from happening and more seems like a small hurdle to cross over, rather than a large gap between sea and land. The law may go through in Japan but it still doesn’t really stop the issue internationally where fantranslation are abundant and rampant both with scanlations and illegal anime services. Those are the big issues since outside of Japan the western market has proven to be healthy at bringing new and old into anime and manga. So much so, that manga like “My Hero Academia” has outsold titles like “Batman” and “Spider-Man”. While copyright laws can get rid of illegal sites it is only temporary since these sites always close down whenever a DMCA take down is issued and they go back up once the storm has passed. And while Japan is, “planning to submit a proposal to ban “leech sites” that aggregate and provide hyperlinks to pirated media.” (Ressler, Anime News Network) the law and or proposed bill hasn’t been passed yet but still this would likely be a roadblock more than an official halt. There’s nothing stopping someone from finding the source somewhere and them scanning it, translating it, and putting it up on illegal sites elsewhere in the world or for that matter inside of Japan. There are workarounds for everything and history has taught us that no matter how many rules are enforced their are always ways to break them. However, while piracy may still kick around their are ways of combating it. Such as competitive structures of rewarding the consumer. You can’t beat free but a good value and the content you are getting with that price is certainly something that the customer will be looking at. Not to mention having it readily available the moment it comes out. While scanlations may still have access to early prints of manga having official translations to come out within the same day as the publication could easily cut down on those using pirate sites for convenience purposes. Not to mention, the entire catalog of english Jump which contains a lot of manga to read and all of that at a low cost.

It is still too early to tell, but I see great things for this service and hopefully this helps cuts down on scanlations while also getting non manga readers to subscribe. For the price they are charging it’s a competitive price that is cheap, so much so that they have won me over. I can’t wait to sign up and see what this service has to offer.

Cited Sources

Viz’s Shonen Jump Switches to Free Simultaneous Publication (Updated)

announced on Friday that its digital English Shonen Jump version of ‘s magazine will offer free chapters of manga the same day that they debut in the Japanese version of the magazine beginning on December 17. Hisashi Sasaki , former editor-in-chief of the Japanese magazine who has worked with the English version for 15 years, appeared in a video for the announcement.

Japanese Government Aims to Impose Penalties for Downloading Illegal Books

Current laws only punish the consumer of pirated media in cases where the media in question is music or video. The proposal will expand the law to include books. The agency is also planning to submit a proposal to ban “leech sites” that aggregate and provide hyperlinks to pirated media.

VIZ Blog / New Shonen Jump Simul Series!

A new era for Shonen Jump begins Dec. 17th. Read this special message from Editor in Chief Andy Nakatani! Special Message From Andy Nakani, Editor in Chief! We’re really excited about the new Shonen Jump, and we hope you will be too.

La mangaka Kohske demande aux scantrads d’arrêter de partager son manga Gangsta.

websites and spread information about financial losses due to illegal scans. Publishers also worked together to shut down the pirate manga site Mangamura in April and creators took to the web announce an uptick in sales after the site went down. Some manga creators are still having trouble with piracy though, including Gangsta.’s Kohske.