VIZ Media has launched a new digital subscription service that is similar to its Shonen Jump app but includes a broader selection of titles. VIZ Manga is a new service that runs in the existing VIZ app, which previously only allowed readers to purchase full volumes. The price is $1.99 per month for unlimited access to over 10,000 chapters of manga, including Nana, Komi Can’t Communicate, and Ranma 1/2. As before, both subscribers and non-subscribers can read the most three most recent chapters of a number of series for free, with new chapters released simultaneously with Japan. The service is currently available only in the U.S. and Canada, but VIZ plans to expand it to more territories in the future.
The key difference between the VIZ Manga and Shonen Jump subscription services is the content: Shonen Jump carries series from Shueisha, which publishes Shonen Jump magazine and best-sellers such as Chainsaw Man, One Piece, and Spy x Family. The content leans heavily toward action and adventure titles in the shonen and seinen categories.
The VIZ Manga service, on the other hand, carries manga from Shogakukan, and because it’s not tied to the Shonen Jump brand, it offers a broader variety of series, including shonen, seinen, shojo, and josei titles. At launch, the service includes manga by Rumiko Takahashi, Junji Ito, and Arina Tanemura, as well as many from VIZ’s Shojo Beat imprint.
The two apps don’t overlap, so readers who want to subscribe to content from Shueisha will have to pay $2.99 per month for Shonen Jump. Like Shonen Jump, VIZ Manga is available for Apple and Google devices, both smartphones and tablets, with some mature manga titles available only on the web.
VIZ launched the new service one day before manga publisher Kodansha’s app, K Manga, is due to go live (see “Kodansha to Launch Digital Manga App in May”).