San Francisco, CA, October 14, 2011 – VIZ Media, the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in the North America, announces the countdown to the launch of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA (WEEKLY SJ ALPHA), a weekly serial anthology of some of the most popular manga series in the world: BAKUMAN｡, BLEACH, NARUTO, NURA: RISE OF THE YOKAI CLAN, ONE PIECE, and TORIKO. The first issue of WEEKLY SJ ALPHA goes on sale January 30, 2012, and will be available through VIZManga.com and the VIZ Manga apps for iPhoneTM, iPodTM touch and iPadTM.
Each new digital issue of WEEKLY SJ ALPHA brings manga fans in North America the latest chapters of their favorite series only two weeks after it debuts in Japan’s massively popular WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP Magazine. Currently, Japanese releases are often several months to years ahead of North American print titles; WEEKLY SJ ALPHA eliminates the delay in unprecedented fashion.
“Simultaneously publishing an official translation of the most popular comics magazine in the world has been a dream since manga publishing began in North America in the 1980s,” said Alvin Lu, Senior Vice President & General Manager. “This is how manga is meant to be read in English – weekly, current, authorized and on the go. Now with WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA, it’s about to happen for real.”
WEEKLY SJ ALPHA will be made available through an annual membership that provides access to 48 weekly issues for 52 weeks for just $25.99. Single issues of WEEKLY SJ ALPHA can be read for a four-week rental from the time the reader purchases it for only $0.99. Each issue, once received on one device, can be read on all other enabled devices through the easy-to-use integrated VIZ Manga app and website.
To prepare fans for the debut of WEEKLY SJ ALPHA, VIZ Media is also offering the SHONEN JUMP DIGITAL WARP, a limited collection of digital graphic novel speed-ups that will bring North American readers up-to-date with Japanese releases. In some cases, the digital speed-ups will jump ahead of the print releases in North America. The SHONEN JUMP DIGITAL WARP will begin with NARUTO Volume 53 (available now) and BLEACH Volume 49 (coming soon).
As more fans migrate to the digital WEEKLY SJ ALPHA edition, VIZ Media plans to phase out the print edition of SHONEN JUMP Magazine. The popular, one-of-a-kind monthly magazine led the rapid growth of the manga market for much of the last decade and was VIZ Media’s flagship publication since it launched in 2003. The farewell April 2012 issue hits newsstands March 2012.
About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan. Owned by three of Japan's largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular monthly manga anthology SHONEN JUMP magazine and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and INUYASHA, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages. VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products. Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at www.VIZ.com.
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