It's in no way news that I've often been a vocal critic of the publishing practices of VIZ Media. I was also a skeptic when I heard that VIZ was starting to publish the Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha line, the publisher's response to all the various scan groups. However, I do respect that they are responding to the market demand. For the past year, VIZ has offered some of the latest chapters of Japan's popular WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP magazine, but with a two week delay. That's about to change in less than a week's time.
Starting on January 21, 2013, VIZ will be presenting Weekly Shonen Jump -- sans the alpha -- with the same day releases as Japan. This will mean no more delays. As it's released in Japan, we will be getting it online with full translation. Subscribers will also get a full year of issues that they now own. These will no longer expire, as they used to. It can be read on your computer, IOS, or Android devices via the appropriate apps.
This is a huge leap in innovation, and I hope the translators aren't pushing themselves too hard. With the inclusion of new series to the line up, and the finale of BLEACH building. These people are going to have a big year ahead of them.
I purchased my membership last week on the computer. Reading the magazine on the computer was a bit awkward. The interface tools are not incredibly responsive while trying to zoom in and scroll the page. It's far too easy to accidentally hit the next page button and lose your place. It does show two pages at once for all those big action scenes.
The reading experience on my Kindle Fire was remarkably improved, and the app was free. Zooming in to read some of the finer print was smooth, and I would imagine that reading on the larger screen of an iPad would be even easier, Only downside I saw was that the Kindle Fire version only shows the images by the page. It cuts off multi-page panels. I can't speak to how this works on Apple devices. I greatly look forward to using this source as I continue to review the Shonen Trilogy for Anime Vice.