VIZ Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump service continues to be great value for money and a force for good in the provision of manga in the west, even if the platform itself isn’t perfect. But despite airing my grievances regarding that last week, I’m very to happy to announce that I’m closing out this week with nothing but positive thoughts towards the platform. This is because Hirohiko Araki’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure manga is now available via the service.
I’m sure you don’t need me to explain what JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is. The recent slew of anime adaptations by David Productions have propelled it to meteoric proportions of popularity in the west, with the recent anime adaptation of Part 5 of the series, Golden Wind, proving very popular so far.
This is why I’m sure that many will be excited to hear that VIZ has added the original JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure manga to their Shonen Jump service. Part 1, Phantom Blood; Part 2, Battle Tendency and Part 3, Stardust Crusaders are now all available on both the app and the website to subscribers – no “adult content” shenanigans this time around.
Of course, this isn’t the entirety of the JoJo manga. The series is still ongoing, currently on its eighth part, JoJolion. But this is the entirety of what VIZ has translated so far, apart from the chapters that comprise the upcoming first volume of their English release of Part 4, Diamond is Unbreakable.
VIZ’s slow pace in translating and releasing the Jojo manga has lead to many, many fans resorting to fan translations and illegal scans after Part 3, but that’s another issue in itself. Providing the series as part of such an economical and consumer-friendly scheme as the Shonen Jump service should help to cut down on the need for piracy to read the earlier part of the series, at the very least.
You could argue that locking the series behind the $2.99 subscription fee won’t help with piracy, but I’d actually argue the opposite. Adding such a popular series as JoJo to the platform might act as the final push for anyone who’s been considering a subscription to the service for some time now, but hasn’t found an excuse to take the plunge yet.
Furthermore, VIZ does need a way to make some money off of the series. JoJo has been a particularly interesting property for the company over the years, as instead of adding it to the Shonen Jump service (despite it being serialized in Jump way back when) the company have focused on deluxe, frankly gorgeous hardback releases alongside e-books.
The lack of JoJo merchandise in the west gave their release some initial hype at the time, but that’s certainly faded over the years. Hopefully, adding the series to their new service – which has its fair share of great series to discover – will get people excited about it again.
It’s unknown when VIZ will add the rest of the JoJo manga to the service, but volume one of their Diamond is Unbreakable translation is now available for preorder ahead of its May 7 release.