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14 October 2011 @ 12:31 pm
Viz will launch Digital "WSJ Alpha" in January + "Digital Warp"  
According to Anime News Network, Viz announced at NY Comic Con that it is launching Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha on January 30, 2012. This will be a weekly digital release of the latest chapters of Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, Toriko, Bakuman, and Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan two weeks after their release in Japan.

As explained by ANN: "Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha will be available on VizManga.com and Viz Manga apps for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices. An annual membership will cost US$25.99 for 48 weekly issues. (Weekly Shonen Jump takes a few weeks off during the year in Japan.) Single issues will cost US$0.99 for a four-week rental. Any issue on one device can be read on another device with the same user account via VizManga.com or the Viz Manga app."

As most North American fans know, Bleach in North America is ridiculously behind Japan in volumes. Volume 36 is the most recent North American release (Turn Back the Pendulum arc), while Volume 52 was just released in Japan. As such, Viz is also launching "Digital Warp":
"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)."

ANN says: "After Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha launches, Viz Media plans to stop publishing the print edition of its Shonen Jump magazine next March with the "farewell April 2012 issue." Viz has been publishing the monthly magazine since 2003."

So basically, Viz is going digital for Weekly Shonen Jump and will cease the print edition next year. New chapters for select WSJ titles will be released in North American digitally two weeks after their release in Japan, and Viz will catch up with the latest Bleach volumes in Japan by skipping Volumes 37-48 to release Volume 49+ digitally (they will still be printing the 37+ volumes physically, just the digital releases will be skipping them). (Volume 49 is the start of the Lost Shinigami Substitute arc.)

Manga fans have been asking for this sort of thing for years, so this is definitely a big step in the right direction. The price seems quite good as well. The only question is whether fans will be patient enough to wait for two weeks? Cynically, I have to wonder, especially since the current scanlations come out a few days before their release in Japan, so this is really like a 2 1/2 week wait. I think one week would've been much better, and two weeks may be pushing it. (This is also not addressing the issue of the quality of Viz's translations, which some find lacking.) Anyway, it seems Viz has finally recognized the importance of getting its releases out there on the Internet soon after the Japanese releases, in an attempt to thwart off the effect of scanlations. One also has to wonder how this will affect scanlations (if some groups will stop scanlating and if Viz will start to use more cease&desists on groups).
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Danielwdboldstar on October 14th, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
I will honestly probably subscribe to this because I firmly believe in rewarding companies that work to get me the content I want as swiftly as I want it with my money. But I also don't know that I'll be able to bring myself to wait 2 weeks, so I may, uh, "indulge in spoilers" beforehand.
shuryoushuryou on October 14th, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC)
I hope they'll pull a physical speed up soon, but this is pretty cool.
oh gallant piglet,aizome on October 14th, 2011 04:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah, me too. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I'd rather have a volume in my hand than strain my eyes reading the whole thing digitally.

But it's a good step forward.
hinodeh: Rirukahinodeh on October 14th, 2011 05:00 pm (UTC)
It's definitely a great move on Viz's part.

That being said, past legal actions have not been able to root out scanlations completely. It may be possible that some scanlation groups and sites will die like onemanga did, but getting rid of scanlations in general has been so far a pretty hopeless battles, especially since the servers for sites like mangafox are located in China, to my knowledge.
(Anonymous) on October 14th, 2011 06:36 pm (UTC)
I think/hope some scanltors will stop. Though of course not all will. I think Mangastream might stop, since they at least have some honor system (they remove the chapters when the tankobon comes out and they always tell you to support the english release at the end). I hope the manga community can get some patience and support things the right way. 2 weeks might be a bit much compared to what scan readers are used to, but they have several series to do. And yes, I know scanlators do it in days, sometimes mere hours, but quite frankly, I highly doubt the quality of most of the speed scans.

And for anyone wondering, the physical books will be getting speed ups. Though I'm not sure how fast. It seems like bimonthly from the listings on Simon & Schuster, but I hope they go a bit faster with Bleach, which is a little too far behind still.
(no subject) - qwirky on October 14th, 2011 06:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hinodeh on October 14th, 2011 06:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - escarboucle on October 14th, 2011 08:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blue_eyesgirl on October 14th, 2011 08:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - escarboucle on October 14th, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
jnotjane on October 14th, 2011 06:11 pm (UTC)
i will happily wait the two weeks to pay for the service. I've been hoping for something like this for a long time. wish Tokyopop had done this, they might still be in business...
qwirky on October 14th, 2011 06:49 pm (UTC)
Not to derail (okay, so I am kind of), but I think Tokyopop had much bigger problems than not embracing digital distribution, mostly surrounding its CEO. (It's now claiming it wants to do manga again, but with all its licenses except Hetalia gone, one wonders if it'll do well given its history.)
(no subject) - jnotjane on October 15th, 2011 01:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
franzigafranziga on October 14th, 2011 06:37 pm (UTC)
Not worth it for me in Canada with the dollar the way it is right now. I really hate official translations, and all the Bleach volumes I own are in Japanese anyway (which I usually get for free from my friend's family back in Japan). If Viz actually translated things properly and honoured the Canadian dollar when it is at or above par with the U.S. dollar, maybe I would consider it.

It's such a different experience reading manga in Japanese, especially if you understand it.
blue_eyesgirl: Shuuhei sparksblue_eyesgirl on October 14th, 2011 06:38 pm (UTC)
Well that's all well and good for North America but what about the rest of us? :/ (I'm assuming this is only going to be available in North America considering a lot of streaming sites - including viz - block people that aren't in the United States or well there IP address shows they're not) I assume that if there's a browser or android version it'll allow people to pay by paypal or debit card so people in other countries can use the service.

At the moment Viz to me is so bad that I would rather pay extra to get it in French, my second language and that would take me soooooo much longer to read, but the translation is so much better and it only takes them 8 weeks to release a volume >> (hell the German release of Bleach is up to 48 (49 out 15th December) and they started publishing it after Viz)

So all in all I find this too little of a gesture. When fan translators can translate better (and faster!) than you without being paid, you're doing it very very wrong.

Though I will agree that the price isn't unreasonable but I would be expecting Viz to step up on their translation skills
Eva: Thinking [Uta no Prince-sama]animeangel4eva on October 14th, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC)
This so much. The whole region protection is such nuisance for everyone unless they are in the United States. On top of that, I'm not particularly fond of Viz's translations either and it's rather silly how fan translators do a better job than the paid.
(no subject) - qwirky on October 14th, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blue_eyesgirl on October 14th, 2011 07:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - qwirky on October 14th, 2011 07:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blue_eyesgirl on October 14th, 2011 08:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - escarboucle on October 14th, 2011 08:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blue_eyesgirl on October 14th, 2011 08:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - escarboucle on October 14th, 2011 08:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blue_eyesgirl on October 14th, 2011 08:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - escarboucle on October 14th, 2011 09:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blue_eyesgirl on October 14th, 2011 09:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - escarboucle on October 14th, 2011 09:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blue_eyesgirl on October 14th, 2011 09:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - escarboucle on October 14th, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blue_eyesgirl on October 14th, 2011 09:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - qwirky on October 14th, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - liaciferlawliet on October 14th, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blue_eyesgirl on October 14th, 2011 09:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - qwirky on October 14th, 2011 10:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - liaciferlawliet on October 14th, 2011 11:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
outside us releases - (Anonymous) on October 15th, 2011 02:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: outside us releases - aizome on October 15th, 2011 02:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: outside us releases - (Anonymous) on October 15th, 2011 02:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: outside us releases - aizome on October 15th, 2011 02:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: outside us releases - velvetsword on October 15th, 2011 02:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: outside us releases - (Anonymous) on October 15th, 2011 02:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: outside us releases - aizome on October 15th, 2011 02:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
vince_moon: Bleach Hisagi Shuuheivince_moon on October 14th, 2011 07:31 pm (UTC)
Ack! How can we be so far behind in this modern world. We need more Bleach!

Edited at 2011-10-14 07:34 pm (UTC)
Super Nintendo Chalmersstrawberries_85 on October 14th, 2011 11:41 pm (UTC)
I didn't think this would actually happen, but I think this is a step in the right direction. You simply cannot ignore digital publishing these days.

However, Viz's translations of Bleach still leave a lot to be desired, but I doubt they'll be addressing that issue at all. :( I mean, I DO want to support Bleach, but Viz's treatment of the manga really, really bothers me. :(
The Main Gauche of Enlightenment: Saya is horrified with hands on facevelvetsword on October 15th, 2011 01:41 am (UTC)
No thank you; I could really go the rest of my life without being subjected to Viz' pedestrian translation style.

'Uryuu', 'Winter Cherry' etc
jnotjane on October 15th, 2011 01:47 am (UTC)
i just realized the article mentioned ipad, i-touch and ipods, but what about the other e-readers out there? I have a Nook Color and am not interested in buying an ipad just to read manga.

Also, i have always wanted to learn how to read Japanese so I could buy the Japanese mangas and light novels that have not been translated in English like Saiyuki Gaiden, Trinity Blood, and Until Death Do Us Part. Can anyone here recommend a good program for learning to read Japanese?
林: poke pokehaya5h1 on October 15th, 2011 02:24 am (UTC)
It also says you will be able to read the releases on the Vizmanga.com website as well, so I guess that you should be able to read it on any tablet or device that has Internet access and a web browser.

*edit* just found your earlier comment buried upthread - no longer relevant*

Edited at 2011-10-15 02:34 am (UTC)
(no subject) - jnotjane on October 16th, 2011 12:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - haya5h1 on October 16th, 2011 01:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
Running on Coffee and Schadenfreudearcadiasilver on October 15th, 2011 09:42 am (UTC)
No thank you. Viz's terrible translations are more than enough for me to steer clear of this. The price, to me, is a bit extravagant for waiting two weeks for a translation that probably wont even be enlarged or cleaned up plus Viz's usual slap-dash translations. That is neither speed, quality, or good service. Especially when we probably wont be able to download and keep the pages we pay to see.
LilyJay12lilyjay12 on October 15th, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks a lot for informing us!!
Okay, it's good to hear about Viz speeding up to Japan's releases, but the only thing I've ever been really concerned about is the volume release. I don't care for all the digital releases. I don't have a credit card and neither does my guardian so I can't pay for internet stuff! *cries* I want it, but it's impossible for me to get. Either way, I like having the books in my hand or sitting in the bathtub reading on some Bleach. So, I'm worried about the book releases. Will it just be digital speeding up? Or volume releases as well?
Also, I'm hoping that it won't interfere with scanlators tranlating Bleach, such as MangaStream. I always support Bleach by buying the volumes. But I don't like the censorship Viz does, so I always read the other version of translation. I don't want other scanlations to disappear :(.
I am glad about all this though ^^ and I hope other countries are getting a similar benefit.
jpblackjpblack on October 16th, 2011 04:21 am (UTC)
Viz is owned by Shueisha; if they actually want to compete with scanlators they should get copies of the chapters and have translations ready at least within a few days of the Monday release. Taking into account we're talking about comics aimed at children between the ages of 8 and 12, I think two or three days is plenty of time to crank out a good translation. I'd be willing to wait a week for something like that. Not to mention they're only doing about four series.

The problem is they're photoshopping all the Japanese sound effects into English. Why not cut out all that time with simple SFX notes to the side? I'm glad they care enough to bother at all, but I'll live with Japanese SFX if it means we get the chapters faster.

We need to find a middle ground in terms of translation, I think. Scanlators take too few liberties and we get shit that reads very odd in English(If Person A is talking to Person B, A doesn't have to say "I thought Person B would enjoy it if I showed up." Pronouns, do you know them?) and Viz can take too many liberties where it feels like the character wouldn't talk in such a way.
oh gallant piglet,aizome on October 16th, 2011 08:23 am (UTC)
You bring up a good point about middle ground in translations. Some fans will not accept anything but accuracy, and some (arguably far fewer) fans will accept any embellishments Viz chooses to throw out if it's cheap. The problem Viz faces is: fans who don't care that much about translations also won't care that much about legality, and will download anything for free elsewhere instead of waiting two weeks and paying. And those fans will likely download something closer to the original than what Viz eventually cranks out.

If Viz would hire more competent translators (for BOTH the manga and the anime), I'd have no problem with giving them my money. But say, if the troll above-thread is actually associated with the company, it makes the fact clear that Viz "doesn't care what people think" and also has pathetic, incompetent translators (who think "san" refers to "Mr." and such bullshit).

(Sorry to rant under your comment, man. Not directed at you. D:)
_debbiechan__debbiechan_ on October 16th, 2011 10:42 am (UTC)

Welp, I'm subscribing. Viz should have done this a long time ago--this is certainly a step in the right direction.

I subscribe to the print version of American's monthly Shounen Jump for my son who is in the target demographic (he's 13) and I borrow it EVERY MONTH. Despite the HOLY AWFUL translations of Bleach and the general "dumbed down-ness" and censorship that goes on with Viz, if I get into a series from the VIZ magazine, I'll find the fandom and Japanese-proficient friends who will enlighten me as to what's really going on with the story. So will my son.

This online subscription is cheaper and includes more titles. It's worth it to me and I want to reward Viz for doing what fans have long been asking for. Now, if they'd only step up the translations--because the people reading the titles just aren't teens. They need to realize their audience is broader, much broader.
tamzinconquistadora on October 19th, 2011 07:36 am (UTC)
Well, it's a start.