Meanwhile, digital manga is coming on a more timely basis, as Japanese publishers wise up to the fact that piracy thrives on the immediacy and availability. Brigid Alverson rounds up the news on JManga, a daily spin-off of the still-getting-up-to-speed JManga site.
Pushed by fans who want to see their manga in weekly installments close to the Japanese release dates, manga publishers have been experimenting with online serialization in the U.S. for some time. Viz’s weekly digital magazine Shonen Jump Alpha publishes chapters of Naruto, Bleach, and other Shonen Jump series two weeks after they appear in print in Japan. Yen Press’s monthly magazine Yen Plus publishes chapters of Soul Eater NOT simultaneously with the Japanese release. Subscribers must pay for both magazines, however. Viz did have a free manga site, SigIKKI, which released some series chapter by chapter, but it has not been updated recently.
JManga is a web portal sponsored by 39 Japanese publishers, so the potential pool of material is vast. Furthermore, unlike Shonen Jump Alpha, which is available only in North America, JManga is available worldwide (although some series are restricted to particular regions), and presumably JManga7 will be as well.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.