If you thought that the recent Weekly Shonen Jump magazine and volume delays would be the last time that Coronavirus affected the manga industry, think again. Announced yesterday evening, upcoming issues of Shogakukan’s Weekly Shonen Sunday are undergoing a double delay from now until the beginning of summer to deal with the virus.
In a notice published on Sunday’s official website, Weekly Shonen Sunday editor-in-chief Ichihara Takenori addressed readers and fans of the magazine, saying that it was a “painful decision” made in order to “alleviate” some of the pressures weighing down on the magazine’s serialized authors, presumably in terms of contracting Coronavirus.
More concretely, two of Weekly Shonen Sunday’s upcoming issues will be delayed and joined with each other to created double issues: issue 28, which will be combined with issue 27 to make the joint issue 27 and 28 (on sale June 3), and issue 32, which will be combined with issue 31 to make the joint issue 31 and 32 (July 1). As a result, the original release dates for these issues – June 10 and July 8 – will be left vacant (despite the name, Weekly Shonen Sunday actually releases on a Wednesday).
It is interesting to note that while Shueisha and Weekly Shonen Jump suffered from almost instantaneous fallout from the Coronavirus and the nationwide state of emergency, it has taken another weekly magazine this long to suffer the same fate. What, therefore, makes Weekly Shonen Sunday different?
Given that Ichihara talks about the “pressures” weighing down on the authors in his comment, one would assume that the editorial department pushed for the authors to keep on schedule as much as possible. They are only now, then, realizing that such a thing is impossible. That, or more authors serialized in Weekly Shonen Sunday employ such practices as digital illustration that make it easier to work from home.
In any case, these two issues are not the only thing under the Weekly Shonen Sunday umbrella to suffer a delay: the latest Detective Conan movie, which is one of Shogakukan’s most successful properties, has been pushed back indefinitely from its original April release date. With cinemas opening back up and the state of emergency lifted, however, we can surely expect everything to go back to normal sometime soon.