Viz Media, the current leader in manga publishing in North America (especially after Tokyopop’s branch closed), has announced that it is ending the publishing of one of the world’s biggest and most popular manga magazines – Weekly Shounen Jump. The last edition is planned for March, 2012; it is considered a “farewell April issue”. The magazine has been published in North America since 2003 and has been the origin of many young children’s love for manga. This will definitely be a sad, sad farewell and a very nostalgic ending for one of the biggest names in the otaku world.
In the magazine’s stead, Shounen Jump Alpha will be published. This is a digital variant of the print edition. It will be available on the official vizmanga.com website, as well as for the iPhone, iPhone touch and iPad Viz Media applications. A yearly membership will be available for purchase for just $25.99 for all 48 weekly releases (we all know the year has 52 weeks, those few weeks off are just the original Japanese editions’ days for relax and vacations!). Separate editions will cost $0.99 each and will be rented for four week’s time. All purchased items can be viewed through the website or applications even from a different device than the original, but only using the same user account. The Weekly Shounen Jump Alpha will be released from January 30, 2012 on. Bakuman, Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, Toriko and Nura: Rise of the Youkai Clan will all have their weekly position on the digital pages of the media.
Both announcements were made at this Friday’s New York Comic Con.
Is this great news or not-so-great? What do you think? Comment below.