Almost a year ago, VIZ Media debuted the first issue of Shonen Jump Alpha, the weekly, all-digital version of their manga magazine. But on Monday, January 21, VIZ Media, Shonen Jump and Shueisha took things one step closer to fulfill the wishes of North American manga fans: they unveiled the new Weekly Shonen Jump, featuring the latest chapters of Naruto, Bleach, One Piece and more, in English, on the same day that these same chapters appear in the Japanese print edition of Weekly Shonen Jump magazine appear on newsstands in Japan.
I checked out this new, revamped Shonen Jump and after I was done, I sent off a few questions to Weekly Shonen Jump Editor-in-Chief Andy Nakatani to get his take on the changes, and get a few hints on what the WSJ crew has in mind for the weeks and months to come.
SO WHAT'S NEW ABOUT THE NEW WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP?
Besides a new logo and a new look to the website, the January 21 issue also included a new series: One-Punch Man, a goofy, action-packed superhero comedy/adventure by ONE and Yusuke Murata (Eyeshield 21), and the promise of even more fun in store with the announcement that the January 28 issue would feature Kintoki, a brand-new one-shot story by Akira Toriyama, the creator of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z.
Sounds like good news all around right? Finally, the most frequently heard wish of manga fans was heard: their favorite series are now available in English, at the same time as it's published in Japan, via legit channels, online, on iOS, Android and Kindle phones and tablets and at a reasonable price. But is everyone happy? Come on, it's the internetz! Of course not!
While many fans were excited and grateful for this new, improved version of Weekly Shonen Jump, a few peeps weren't -- or at the very least were confused that they were reading what they had hoped would be the latest chapter of Bleach but was instead something they had already read online a few days earlier.
Check out my Q&A with Andy Nakataniand see what he had to say about these fans' response to the 'simultaneous' US/Japan publication of Shonen Jump manga, plus his outlook on non-North American fans' prospects for getting Shonen Jump online in their countries, how much say U.S. fans have on what'll show up next in Weekly Shonen Jump, and much more.
YOUR TURN: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NEW WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP?
Are you a Shonen Jump subscriber? If so, what do you think about the new Weekly Shonen Jump? What would you like to see in the pages of this weekly manga mag?
Are you a U.S./Canada fan thinking about subscribing? Well, now's a good a time as any to get started -- to get your feet wet, check out the Shonen Jump Starter Pack -- it's free, and it gives you an intro to all of the current series featured in Weekly Shonen Jump. If you're ready to give it a shot, sign up for a subscription today!
So you say you don't live in U.S. or Canada, but you love Shonen Jump manga? That's cool too -- you can have your say and talk back to VIZ Media/Shueisha/Shonen Jump by filling out this survey, just for readers from outside of North America, or talk back to VIZ via their Twitter feed or Facebook page.
So what do you think of this new change to Weekly Shonen Jump? Like it? Not sold on it? Think it needs a little something more? Add your comments and suggestions below!
Image credits: NARUTO © 1999 by Masashi Kishimoto/SHUEISHA Inc., © Deb Aoki