This new series is just the latest bit of good news that is leading up to the day when Shonen Jump Alpha transforms into Weekly Shonen Jump, the weekly online magazine that will feature the latest chapters of popular Shonen Jump manga series like One Piece, Bleach, and Naruto on the same day that it hits the newsstands in Japan. No more two week delay! That's right -- when North American fans read next week's issue of Shonen Jump on Monday, January 21 via VIZ Media's VIZmanga.com website, or via VIZ's iPad, iPhone/iPod, or Android apps, or via the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, they'll be seeing it the same time as Japanese fans (except in English, of course!)
The other nice surprise? If you're a subscriber to Shonen Jump, you'll be able to download and keep these issues. Previously, the understanding was that access to this content would 'expire' after one year.
So to sum up, for $25.99/year, you'll get online access to 48 weekly issues, plus 4 Yu-Gi-Oh! cards mailed to you, plus other surprise extras, like the print edition of the Shonen Jump Yearbook that was sent out to subscribers this past month. Ready to subscribe? Go to Shonen Jump's subscriber page and get started.
INTRODUCING ONE PUNCH MAN!
The latest addition to the Weekly Shonen Jump line-up is One Punch Man, an INSANE superhero comic series by ONE and Yusuke Murata, the artist of Eyeshield 21. One Punch Man is currently serialized as a webcomic on Shueisha's Young Jump website, and is currently up to two collected print volumes.
The premise of the story is simple: Saitama is a bald-headed young man who has an incredible superpower: he can knock the crap out of any opponent with just ONE PUNCH. No matter how big, fierce, fast, or strong his opponents are, Saitama can end the fight just by landing one extremely potent blow.
The downside to being this powerful and invincible? Well, it can be pretty boring to win all the time. So as adversary after adversary crosses his path, Saitama is practically yawning, as his opponents come barreling toward him, hollering their battle cries and boasts, and inevitably are defeated.
What makes One Punch Man more than just a one-joke comic is how ONE and Murata cheerfully tweak the conventions of superhero comics and shonen battle manga, and mock it mercilessly and hilariously. The other reason why One Punch Man kicks butt is Murata's artwork. Eyeshield 21 fans already know that he's a master of drawing action-packed adventure. His characters are so expressive and dynamic; each has a distinct look and personality that is recognizable, even when they're drawn as background characters.
But even I was wowed to see the leaps and bounds Murata has made with this new series. He uses digital effects, perspective, and cinematic composition in a way that will astound you -- especially as the series progresses.
Be sure to check it out when the January 21 issue hits the Interwebz to get your first look at One Punch Man, and see if you agree!
MORE COMINGS AND GOINGS AT SHONEN JUMP
The January 14 issue is also worth checking out too -- it features the final chapter of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan in full color, as well as the latest chapters of old favorites like Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, and Toriko, as well as new favorites like Blue Exorcist, Cross Manage, Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal, and Nisekoi.
So what are your favorite Shonen Jump series so far? If you live in North America, and you're not already a subscriber, will these changes to Shonen Jump nudge you toward pulling the trigger to sign up? Add your comments below!
Image credits: ONE-PUNCH MAN © 2012 ONE, Yusuke Murata/Shueisha Inc., VIZ Media LLC / Shueisha Inc.