Viz has announced that some massive changes are coming to how Shonen Jump is handled in the United States, and it’s going to be a hard situation to see a downside too.
“To remain competitive, Shonen Jump has to evolve,” said Vice President of Global Shonen Jump, Hisashi Sasaki. “In the past we’ve transitioned from a print magazine to a digital magazine. And now we are excited about the new Shonen Jump. We saw many new readers come to Shonen Jump when we posted free chapters this year. We learned that free access gets more people reading manga. The new Shonen Jump will be legitimate, authentic and safe. You can go to ShonenJump.com or [the] app to read the newest manga for free, the same day as Japan.”
Beginning Dec. 17, the latest weekly chapters of the ongoing manga will be offered for free simultaneously with their release in Japan. This will include some of the hottest current titles such as One Piece, My Hero Academia, Boruto, and Dragon Ball Super.
If you want to dive into the back issues, you can as well. A subscription will be required which will run you a $1.99 a month, and this will give you access to over 10,000 back chapters of English language Shonen Jump. And if you aren’t sure the subscription is right for you, you can kick everything off with a 7-day free trial.
This is a bold move for Shonen Jump, or any publisher for that matter. Going completely free for the hottest new content is a risk, and one that should be saluted. Hopefully this works out for them. It seems highly unlikely that any American comic publisher would ever attempt this, but you know they have to be watching to see what happens.