Manga Magazines Post Issues for Free After Schools Close Due to COVID-19 Coronavirus
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Both Shueisha and Shogakukan announced that they are posting back issues of some manga magazines digitally for free for a limited time, due to many schools, venues, and events in Japan temporarily closing due to concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus illness.
The first 13 issues of Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine this year are available digitally for free until March 31 through the Zebrack website. This is the first time that the magazine has posted 10 or more issues for free in Japan. The editors said that they hope children who cannot go out easily can enjoy Jump online.
Shogakukan is also posting the first 12 issues of its Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine for free through the Sunday Webry (Sunday Web Every) manga website. The site is posting all volumes of the Shijō Saikyō no Deshi Kenichi, Kekkaishi, and Hayate the Combat Butler for free until Saturday. The first three volumes from over 100 manga series are going online for free in several batches, starting with Detective Conan, Teasing Master Takagi-san, Kimi wa 008, Komi Can't Communicate, and 18 other manga until March 16.
Shogakukan is posting some back issues of its Betsucomi, Sho-Comi, Cheese!, Ciao Deluxe, Petit Comic, and Monthly Flowers magazine available through its e-Comic Store for free until March 15. With people having to spend so much time at home, the editors said they want to do as much as they can for them.
In addition, the January 2020 issue of Monthly Coro Coro Comics magazine is available for free, and Shogakukan will post the February 2020 issue for free on March 9, also through the e-Comic Store. It will make back issues of its Monthly Coro Coro Ichiban! magazine available for free, and it plans to continue the free release for both magazines until mid-March. The editors said that they give their all to make Coro Coro Comics so everyone can always smile every day.
Last Friday, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said that the government is asking elementary, junior high, and high schools to close until the end of spring break in early April to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus illness. The government is also encouraging children and others to stay home and avoid large gatherings for the next few weeks. During the first half of March, such venues and events as Tokyo Disneyland, Universal Studios Japan, Ghibli Museum, Namjatown, AnimeJapan, and Shizuoka Hobby Show are closed, canceled, or postponed.
As of Sunday, the WHO reported that Japan has 239 cases of the virus, with five deaths. These numbers do not include the number of cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama. That cruise ship had 705 infected passengers, and six deaths.
The first reported cases of the COVID-19 disease occurred in Wuhan, China in December, and then began to spread in varying rates and intensities across many parts of the globe through incubation in human hosts. The WHO declared a world health emergency on January 30. As of Sunday, the WHO reported that there are 87,137 infected individuals worldwide, with 79,968 of them in China and 239 official cases in Japan proper. 2,873 individuals have died from the disease in China. The WHO raised its global risk assessment over the virus from "high" to "very high" on Friday.