Honey-chan has heard a certain rumor. If said rumor is true, it could spark a revolution in the world of manga, the likes of which has never been seen before... The rumor states that people all over the world will soon be able to read the latest Japanese manga in English or Spanish, at exactly the same time as they’re released in Japan.
A simultaneous release, and worldwide at that! What on earth is going on? Could such a dreamlike world really exist? Japan has always turned its back on us anime and manga fans; we’ve always been the ones chasing after them. Does this mean they’ve finally turned to look at us? Has senpai finally noticed us? This doki-doki... Could it be my kokoro?
Unable to contain herself and needing to find out the truth, Honey-chan has come to the source of this rumor with Bombón in tow. Bursting through the doors of Shueisha’s headquarters in Japan, they’re here for an impromptu interview.
Invade and Interview! Japan’s Latest Manga Now Available Worldwide, in English, for Free?
Luckily, an editor in chief for Shonen Jump+ willingly obliged: Mr. Shuhei Hosono❤
Hey, Bombón! We came here for an interview, you know? Don’t get distracted!
I know, I know! Don’t be so uptight. You need to learn to loosen up a little...
I’m pretty sure everyone knows all about it already, but I’d like to introduce Shonen Jump just in case. It’s a Japanese weekly manga magazine that serializes famous works such as Dragon Ball, Naruto, and One Piece. To give a more recent example of a Shonen Jump manga, there’s My Hero Academia. In other words, the magazine is like a fountain that keeps producing super interesting stuff! By keeping up with their releases, you’re bound to discover some amazing new manga. Then there’s Shonen Jump+, which is basically the Japanese website/app version of the magazine. You get it now? (Like a boss.) Oh, you already knew? Sorry, everyone!
You can be so annoying sometimes... That explanation was way too long-winded.
Anyway, let’s get back to why we’re here! Bombón and I are about to interview Mr. Hosono, so check it out!
Interview with Mr. Hosono
Is it true that the latest Japanese manga is now available to read in English and Spanish worldwide?
Yes, it’s true (laugh). To be more precise, it’s series from Shueisha’s Shonen Jump that are available. MANGA Plus by SHUEISHA was released today, January 28 2019. This application is available for download worldwide, with the exception of Japan, China, and South Korea, and although there are advertisements, all manga are accessible for free. The languages available are English and Spanish, and you can switch between the two within the app. Please note that Spanish will be released a little later, sometime after January 28. You can also read from your browser.
I heard that new manga chapters will be released in English and Spanish at the same time they come out in Japan... Is that true?
Again that’s true (laugh). All current works will be released internationally at the same time as they are in Japan. The plan is to also make older series available in-app, so you can read completed works, usually one chapter every week. We want our fans to be able to enjoy all kinds of different new manga every day.
I see... So basically we’ll be able to read both old and new manga in the same way you might read the morning paper.
Exactly. Also, the first and last three chapters of manga released on the app will always be available to read. For those who don’t want to start reading a series midway through, we provide a link that sends you to retailers that handle the series in your country. Of course, depending on the country or the manga, some series may not be available for purchase. In those cases, we’ll make sure the first and last six chapters are always on the app. As for Jump+ works, they will be released in full.
What kind of Jump manga can we expect to find when the app first comes out?
Of course, there will be series from the magazine that fans are most familiar with, Weekly Shonen Jump. However, we’re also planning on releasing works from other weekly, monthly, and bimonthly magazines, such as Jump+, Young Jump, Jump Square, and V Jump.
Please see the list below to see the titles that will be available on release.
Main English Releases
* Current Series
Weekly Shonen Jump
The Promised Neverland
My Hero Academia
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma
I'm From Japan
Teenage Renaissance! David
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
We Never Learn
Hunter X Hunter (on hiatus)
Seraph of the End
Dragon Ball Super
Hell's Paradise: Jigokuraku
The Sign of Abyss
Ori no Naka no Soloist
Kaein no Bell de Oyasumi
Kono Koi wa KOre Ijou Kirei ni Naranai.
* Republished Series
Weekly Shonen Jump
Rosario + Vampire
Nisekoi: False Love
One Piece Part 1
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (moves to Ultra Jump after part 7).
Ooh! I can’t believe we won’t have to wait to read The Promised Neverland and Blue Exorcist...
Glad to see you so excited. Also, there are a lot of older Japanese manga that aren’t translated yet, but we editors think everyone would love. So we’re also planning on publishing many of those anew. Please keep an eye out for them.
Could you give us a sneak peek at the app? I don’t think I can wait...
Of course. It looks like this.
It’s really simple to use, and you can bookmark your favorite works and even leave comments on them. I really want everyone across the world to have a great time reading manga together, at the same time. We plan to improve and add functions according to our readers wishes, so please let us know your thoughts through the app.
Thank you, I think I get what kind of app it is now. So, just how did the development of this application start?
The original idea for the app came about around two or three years ago. One reason we first thought about it was to combat pirate manga applications. Despite Jump series being read worldwide, official releases aren’t available in some countries, whether that’s digitally or in print. We also realized that even in countries where people could get their hands on official copies, it was taking a long time. We wanted those fans to be able read our manga as soon as possible. That’s why we started developing this app, with a focus on making releases available worldwide, and at the same time as in Japan.
From a business point of view, we’re hoping to get responses from readers of various nationalities that we couldn’t come up with ourselves. That way we can see why certain manga are or are not popular in different countries.
Also, we just think that it would be so much fun for everyone across the world to be able to read manga at the same time and share what they think. I hope that we can help fans find series they’ve never heard of and give people all over the world the chance to encounter new manga.
What kind of experience can we expect from this app?
For manga lovers, we offer the opportunity to read manga at the same time as fans in Japan, and share their passion with others. For example, when the new series from Masashi Kishimoto (the author of Naruto) comes out, everyone across the globe will be able to share their thoughts on the first chapter. They can experience sharing their excitement those all over the world.
I’ve always wanted to ask someone from Shueisha, which has produced many hit manga such as Dragon Ball, Naruto, and One Piece, this question: What kind of positive impact do you think reading manga has on a person’s life?
I believe that manga gives us a certain something that fills a space in our hearts without us realizing. I think a lot of people believe that reading manga enriches your life, but if you’re just reading it because you’ve been told you should, or that it will benefit you in some way, then it just won’t have the same effect. You could even say that easily-understood benefits of reading manga are actually just effects that limit you. The stories you see and live through in manga increase your fictional experience points, helping you through times where you feel dragged down or like you’ve failed. You can use those XP to better deal with stress at work, for example. When you read manga, the story gives you more mental energy. Feeling moved by something emotionally is good for the heart.
You just put my exact thoughts into words! I knew being an otaku was a good thing... I’m gonna hold my head high from now on.
Manga is representative of Japanese pop culture, but what kind of culture do you see it transforming into abroad?
To be honest, I’m not even thinking about how I want manga to evolve as a culture in other countries. I have realized that we’ve wasted a lot of time getting to this point, though. Now I understand how passionate readers and fans are, I’m thinking of how to increase the genre’s presence. I want it to become an even stronger form of entertainment. Unlike how it was in the past, we’re now in an age where we have to work out how to battle digitally. Of course, we’re in competition with other forms of entertainment when it comes to how users spend their time, but since smartphones now exist, most genres are fighting on equal ground. I actually think these changes are beneficial to manga.
In any case, we want to do everything we can. We believe that in the future, we will see an unexpected reaction. After that, anything could happen. We’ll keep working, all the while treasuring diversity.
Finally, do you have a message for all the international manga fans out there?
I would love for Japanese and international fans to come together using this app. If you feel anything about it could be changed or improved, please let us know. We’re going to make sure this an app you won’t regret downloading, so please work with us to make that happen!
Thank you so much for your time today, Mr. Hosono!
Well, that’s it. We’ve successfully confirmed that the rumor is true! The latest Japanese manga is now available worldwide in English! You can download the app from the links below, so make sure to check it out. We’ll see you at the next interview and in the news!