VIZ Media has launched a brand new service that can make English variations of the newest chapters of choose manga titles accessible to subscribers as quickly as they’re launched in Japan. The service, known as VIZ Manga, options manga printed by Shogakugan and Shueisha and prices $2 a month. Its present “simulpub” or simultaneous publication catalogue has 15 titles that embody Inuyasha sequel Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon and Mao by Rumiko Takahashi. Followers may even learn their three most up-to-date chapters at no cost. The subscription service additionally offers followers entry to a library with over 10,000 chapters, together with Junji Ito’s GYO and Uzumaki, Yuu Watase’s Fushigi Yuugi, Rumiko Takahashi’s Ranma 1/2 and Ai Yazawa’s Nana.
“As a result of explosive success of the Shonen Leap digital service, this new growth will exponentially develop VIZ Media’s digital providing,” the corporate stated in its announcement. The Shonen Leap subscription service got here out in 2018 and supplied followers the possibility to learn its newest releases as quickly as they arrive out in Japan. VIZ Media stated that is the primary time English-speaking followers can get titles from the publishers — legally, that’s — on the similar time Japan does. The hope is prone to steer followers away from unauthorized translations, which might come out as quickly as just a few hours after a chapter is printed in Japan, and to in the end tackle the business’s piracy drawback.
Based on the Tokyo-based Content material Abroad Distribution Affiliation, the Japanese manga business misplaced 395.2 billion (US$2.9 billion) to 831.1 billion Yen (US$6.2 billion) in 2021 as a consequence of on-line piracy. Korean webtoons have additionally been steadily rising in reputation over the previous few years whereas the Japanese manga business has been shrinking. Webtoons are digital comics optimized for smartphones, and their publishing format makes them a lot simpler to devour these days. Manga has at all times been a print-first business, however publishers have been on the lookout for methods to develop their digital presence.
In the mean time, VIZ Manga is simply accessible within the US and Canada, accessible by way of the corporate’s Android or iOS app and its web site. (Subscriptions, nonetheless, can solely be bought by way of the app.) VIZ Media plans to develop the service’s availability to different areas, although, so followers outdoors these two international locations could need to maintain a watch out for future bulletins.
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