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

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
New US$1.99/month membership plan announced for back catalog

Viz Media announced on Friday that its digital English Shonen Jump version of 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 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.

The latest three chapters of all ongoing series will be available on Viz Media's Shonen Jump website for a limited time. In addition to the free manga available to all users on the website, a new membership plan will offer more than 10,000 manga chapters that Viz Media previously released in English. The membership will cost US$1.99 per month and will also launch on December 17. A seven-day free trial will also be available. There will be no annual subscription rate.

Viz Media already offers new chapters of many series for free on its website. The company's digital English edition of Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, however, costs US$25.99 per year or $0.99 for a single issue. The digital magazine serializes a selection of Weekly Shonen Jump manga series, including One Piece, My Hero Academia, Black Clover, Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma, Dr. Stone, We Never Learn, Hunter X Hunter, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, and The Promised Neverland. The magazine also publishes some monthly series – such as Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V, World Trigger, Blue Exorcist, and Seraph of the End – from other Shueisha magazines, and serializes One-Punch Man irregularly. The digital magazine also offers a "Jump Start" initiative, in which it publishes the first three chapters of a new manga simultaneously with the Japanese release.

Viz launched the American edition of Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in November 2002 after releasing "Issue #0" in July of that year. The magazine ended its monthly print run in 2012, but instead launched as a weekly digital publication. The magazine currently publishes its weekly chapters simultaneously with Japan.

The Twitter account for the English version of the magazine teased on Thursday that the magazine would have a big announcement on Friday.

Hiroyuki Nakano, the new editor-in-chief of Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, revealed in 2017 that while sales of the print versions of the Japanese magazine had been decreasing, sales of the magazine's digital version were increasing by just as much. The magazine's verified average circulation number dropped below 2 million in 2017.

Sources: Viz Media's website and YouTube channel, English Shonen Jump's Twitter account

Update: Viz confirmed that it will no longer release issues of its English digital edition of Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. Current subscribers will be automatically transferred to the new subscription plan and annual subscribers will receive an addition three months for free at the end of their current paid subscription period.

Viz Media also clarified that subscribers will currently be limited to reading 100 chapters per day.

The company will also no longer offer Yu-Gi-Oh! trading cards as a promotion for subscribers.

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