On Monday, January 27, Shueisha launched their worldwide manga reading site and app, MANGA Plus. The site is composed of manga currently serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump, Shonen Jump+, and Jump Square. The new chapters release at the same time as in Japan. MANGA Plus has 50 titles so far, including 13 completed series. Currently, all the manga are in English, with plans for a Spanish launch between February and March. This is Shueisha’s first time expanding into direct global service.

MANGA Plus's official Facebook icon, featuring a chibi version of Luffy from ONE PIECE
The icon for MANGA Plus’s official Facebook page. | Image: MANGA Plus’s Facebook

Before now, Shueisha’s manga titles had to go through local publishers when sent to other countries. As such, some regions, like Southeast Asia, were underserved. This service gives easy access globally. While there is a slightly altered lineup in Taiwan, and the Spanish version may also have a different lineup, Shueisha plans to add as many titles as possible to MANGA Plus. In addition, Shueisha says it will consider adding even more languages if there’s enough demand. In the meantime, don’t worry about mismatch between your VIZ translations and your MANGA Plus editions. Every title that VIZ and MANGA Plus share will have the same translation. This includes every manga in Weekly Shonen Jump, and classics like CLAYMORE, BLEACH, and NARUTO.

Shonen Jump Showdown

During Weekly Shonen Jump’s 50 year history, the magazine’s sales peaked in the 1990s. Knowing that times were changing, Shueisha began an online platform for reading manga. Called Shonen Jump+, the free service sold manga e-books, allowed you to purchase a digital version of Weekly Shonen Jump, and had its own original titles. Shonen Jump+’s editor, Shuhei Hosono, revealed in an interview with the Anime News Network that they began planning for a worldwide version of Shonen Jump+ back in 2017. As such, MANGA Plus’ design is based on the Shonen Jump+ app. Shuhei says that although manga itself is changing as the medium becomes more global, it’s still about telling interesting stories more than anything else.

MANGA Plus's Facebook cover photo advertising its start, featuring famous Shueisha characters Naruto, Luffy, Deku, and more.
MANGA Plus announces its start via Facebook cover photo. | Image: MANGA Plus’s Facebook

Relatedly, VIZ Media produced a digital Weekly Shonen Jump from 2013-2018 that also released at the same time as in Japan. This changed last December, when VIZ launched its own manga reading website, Shonen Jump. With 70 titles, Shonen Jump offered the same instant publishing of new chapters, as well as including older manga. Notably, MANGA Plus performs the same function. In contrast, VIZ’s Shonen Jump focuses on Weekly Shonen Jump titles. Also, it features a full backlog of completed and ongoing series not on MANGA Plus. However, MANGA Plus has more titles outside Weekly Shonen Jump, including some that never had an English release. To add, MANGA Plus functions worldwide, only excluding Japan, China, and South Korea because they have their own systems. VIZ’s Shonen Jump reached the US, the UK, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Singapore, India, and the Philippines.

Reading Out To The Masses

MANGA Plus’s Facebook account is hosting a campaign to celebrate the service’s release! The campaign lasts from January 28 to February 28 until 11:59 (JST). Three winners will receive a ONE PIECE poster signed by mangaka Eiichiro Oda. To apply, go to the contest’s post on Facebook to Like and Comment on the post. They will announce the winner at midnight on March 7 JST. For more details, check out their rules of entry.

An ad for a service launch campaign advertising a signed ONE PIECE poster when the photo is liked/commented on on their Facebook page.
The service launch campaign for MANGA Plus’s release. | Image: MANGA Plus’s Facebook

The MANGA Plus information page says it all. “If you too want to get excited over manga heroes’ great performances with other readers all over the world, MANGA Plus by Shueisha is the best place for you.” Ready to dive into the service? The MANGA Plus app is free to download and use on iOS and Android. Instead of requiring payment, a portion of ad revenue will go directly to the authors. You can find the official MANGA Plus website here. If you’d rather download the app, you can get it from the Apple Store or through Google Play. No accounts are necessary for the service. Just go on and get to reading!

Featured Image courtesy of JUMP PARTY.

One Comment

  1. Lauren Sky

    Lauren Sky

    February 10, 2019 at 11:16 am

    Yuliette Medina


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