Anime Vice News

Viz "Speeds Up" Digital Releases of ONE PIECE, BLEACH and NARUTO

The plan is to catch them up with their counterparts by the end of the year. Do you think this will successfully combat piracy?

I don't see this guy ever buying an APP.
I don't see this guy ever buying an APP.

So, earlier this week, VIZ let us know that the latest step of their digital content initiative involves the “speed up” of NARUTO, ONE PIECE and BLEACH’s North American release schedules. The latter two actually started that accelerated release platform on VIZManga.com this past Monday and the plan is to catch them up with all up with their counterparts by the end of the year.

VIZ, of course, announced this initiative at Comic Con, so I wasn’t able really able to talk about it at the time because I was at that show for other business. I’m one of the least wired guys I know, anyway (I only just recently got a smart phone.) Still, even though I don’t actually own any of the iProducts this “universal access” plan is compatible with, I can still appreciate what looks like a pretty progressive and aggressive move.

Obviously, the aim here is to respond to, and hopefully combat, scanlations. Since this story’s still unfolding, I’m maybe more interested in hearing what this community thinks about the whole affair. Do you lunatics think is the right answer to the problem? Or has the proverbial dam already burst? I know you’ve all got strong opinions. Unleash them!

Also, if you’re curious, the release breakdown for the next couple weeks shakes out like this…

September 12

September 19:

September 26:

Turambaron Sept. 16, 2011 at 1:03 p.m.

If it they can market themselves widely enough as an alternative to the usual scanlation groups, I can see it cutting down on it. However, I feel like this is better suited at targeting a new audience that are just approaching the shows or manga now. A good chunk of the older viewers that have stayed with the fansubs and scans for so many years will more than likely continuing to do so simply out of habit.

VanTeslaon Sept. 16, 2011 at 1:26 p.m.

If VIZ still keeps up the practice of censoring titles I will still go read fan translations first.

Halberdierv2on Sept. 16, 2011 at 1:36 p.m.

this will help a lot. if they really get up to date with the chapters in japan and keep it so, i might start to fund my brother's investmeny in an english version of Shonen Jump.

AgentJon Sept. 16, 2011 at 1:57 p.m.

How about catching up in PRINT (with Bleach) first? I'm not interested in buying digital releases.

@VanTesla said:

If VIZ still keeps up the practice of censoring titles I will still go read fan translations first.

Have they censored anything lately?

VanTeslaon Sept. 16, 2011 at 2:05 p.m.

@AgentJ: Truth is, I don't know... Haven't checked in the past month+.

FoxxFireArt moderator on Sept. 16, 2011 at 3 p.m.

Their digital releases are sort of pointless. Not when they are the only publisher of manga still censoring many series on mass. If I wanted to read digitally. I'd go to scanlations for many of their series. At least there I wouldn't be getting an altered version of the story. No other publisher does that anymore.

It was a better idea for VIZ to increase their manga volume selection to try and catch up with the Japanese volumes for many series. Now, volumes for series such as Naruto, Bleach and One Piece are maybe only a few months to a year behind Japan.

They are releasing Chapter 7 of Evangelion in September??? That volume came out in the US over ten years ago. How is this suppose to be impressive?

I'd be more impressed and take them more seriously if they announced an end to the censorship or offering an uncensored option for readers. The way they do for anime and offer uncut versions. I'll have a hard time forgiving them for how the butchered Detective Conan in the US.

@AgentJ: @VanTesla:

In Naruto, they painted out the cigarette and the lighter from Shikamaru's hands and mouth in that issue where he lights the cigarette to say goodbye to Asuma. The page shows him making the motion of lighting the cigarette, but there is nothing in his hand or mouth.

That was only a few months ago.

@Halberdierv2:

The English production of VIZ Shonen Jump is one of the biggest wastes of paper imaginable. VIZ censors some content in that US Shonen Jump that they don't even do when published in the volume format. One example is in One Piece, the US Shonen Jump added an undershirt to her clothes to hide her cleavage, but it was removed for the volume. That Shonen Jump is so far behind it's an utter joke.

ninjadude853on Sept. 16, 2011 at 3:08 p.m.

Okay, if they can release translated chapters within a week of their Japanese release, and if they can offer an uncensored version, then hell yeah i'll pay instead of going to scanlation sites.

FoxxFireArt moderator on Sept. 16, 2011 at 3:25 p.m.

@ninjadude853 said:

Okay, if they can release translated chapters within a week of their Japanese release, and if they can offer an uncensored version, then hell yeah i'll pay instead of going to scanlation sites.

I wouldn't suggest holding your breath on that one. It would be an act of suicide. They have shown no interest in producing manga uncensored.

ninjadude853on Sept. 16, 2011 at 3:29 p.m.

@FoxxFireArt: Dude, i know you hate VIZ, i freaking get it. You don't need to talk about VIZ to me because honestly, even though it's been months since we've had a conversation, I'm kind of sick of hearing/seeing you complain about VIZ, i agree, the censorship is bullshit, But i don't really care that much.

NakAttackon Sept. 16, 2011 at 3:42 p.m.

I wish Hajime No Ippo would get an English release.

Halberdierv2on Sept. 16, 2011 at 3:57 p.m.

@FoxxFireArt: honestly, the censoring doesn't bother me, since its more the story I'm after, so as long as its up to date, I'd still buy it.

I'd most likely still read it when it comes out on the internet tho. I'd just buy it so i dont have to dl the images.

FoxxFireArt moderator on Sept. 16, 2011 at 4:27 p.m.

@Halberdierv2:

That's fine if it's what you're looking for, but I'm a person who wants the most authentic version produced in English. That's what me and many others who use scanlations go for. I don't care about VIZ version of this story. I want the creator's version. VIZ releases uncut DVDs but not manga. Part of the censorship is them changing the story from the original version.

Not only that, but VIZ tries to hide their alterations, and they are the only publisher still doing this in the U.S. They don't want people to use scanlations, but wont produce the same level of quality and authenticity that scanlations provide. VIZ's digital comics wont be of any higher quality.

The change they made to Boa Hancock in the US Shonen Jump was the same kind of crap 4Kids used to do to One Piece. They removed the shirt hiding her cleavage when they published the volume version, but then why change it in the first place?

Halberdierv2on Sept. 16, 2011 at 4:33 p.m.

@FoxxFireArt: fair enough. I like scantalations over the Viz stuff too, but there isnt any other way for me to support the mangaka I like than to buy their stuff in some form or another, and shonen jump is my only means to do so.

ZombiePieon Sept. 16, 2011 at 5 p.m.

If VIZ owns the rights then it's their private property. They are within their rights to do whatever they see fit to make money. Altruism doesn't make shareholders happy. The concern is that no company up to this point has created a digital service that has really been worth the financial investment. So it remains to be determined if VIZ is the company to do that.

Turambaron Sept. 16, 2011 at 6:44 p.m.

@FoxxFireArt: As much of a pain as censorship is, the bulk of the potential audience is not bothered by it, just as the bulk of the audience prefer dubs over subs for convenience sake (much to our chagrin, I am sure). The enthusiast crowds that puts a premium on authenticity have already been following the manga from their point of original Japanese release, or at least point of initial fan scans. Hence why I say the potential success of VIZ's endeavor will depend on how widely they can market themselves to new potential audiences as an alternative to fan subs and scans.

@ZombiePie: I don't think that fact is much up for debate. The bulk of VIZ's criticisms have thus far been the quality of their localizations, not their audacity at making money off the licensed property.

VanTeslaon Sept. 16, 2011 at 6:45 p.m.

@FoxxFireArt said:

Their digital releases are sort of pointless. Not when they are the only publisher of manga still censoring many series on mass. If I wanted to read digitally. I'd go to scanlations for many of their series. At least there I wouldn't be getting an altered version of the story. No other publisher does that anymore.

It was a better idea for VIZ to increase their manga volume selection to try and catch up with the Japanese volumes for many series. Now, volumes for series such as Naruto, Bleach and One Piece are maybe only a few months to a year behind Japan.

They are releasing Chapter 7 of Evangelion in September??? That volume came out in the US over ten years ago. How is this suppose to be impressive?

I'd be more impressed and take them more seriously if they announced an end to the censorship or offering an uncensored option for readers. The way they do for anime and offer uncut versions. I'll have a hard time forgiving them for how the butchered Detective Conan in the US.

@AgentJ: @VanTesla:

In Naruto, they painted out the cigarette and the lighter from Shikamaru's hands and mouth in that issue where he lights the cigarette to say goodbye to Asuma. The page shows him making the motion of lighting the cigarette, but there is nothing in his hand or mouth.

That was only a few months ago.

@Halberdierv2:

The English production of VIZ Shonen Jump is one of the biggest wastes of paper imaginable. VIZ censors some content in that US Shonen Jump that they don't even do when published in the volume format. One example is in One Piece, the US Shonen Jump added an undershirt to her clothes to hide her cleavage, but it was removed for the volume. That Shonen Jump is so far behind it's an utter joke.

I remember that bs...

FoxxFireArt moderator on Sept. 16, 2011 at 7:34 p.m.

@ZombiePie:

They do have the legal right to alter these stories, but they have scanlations to compete with. That was one of the main reason they increased publication of many of the larger series they publish to be closer to the Japanese releases. It was an effort to court the scanlation audience. But they shoot that attempt in the foot by altering story content, changing art, and censoring. Even the quality of their translations have been poor. They can't keep character's names straight at times, and I've seen examples when their translations are wrong and contradicts what happens on the page.

VIZ is also the only manga publisher still making alteration to art and story. Not only do they change content. They hide their changes. When other publishers such as Kodansha Comics or Yen Press make even the small changes, they explain alterations in back of every volume. VIZ never explains anything.

When it comes to publishing. I see censorship as evil.

When it comes to anime, they release those both censored and uncut editions. They provide a second option to that audience, but they leave the manga audience out in the cold.

obscurefanon Sept. 16, 2011 at 7:55 p.m.

I think it's great that they're trying to speed this up because honestly the main reason why people read scanlations isn't the price, it's that they have to wait over a year to get the books over here. If they can make it so I only have to wait a week or two weeks, I know tons of folks would stop reading the pirated stuff.

ZombiePieon Sept. 16, 2011 at 9:34 p.m.

@FoxxFireArt: My defense is just pure pragmatism. There's probably an equation of how much profit an entire press of books has to make in order for it to be viewed as a financially viable venture. From VIZ's perspective maintaining their current economic model makes more money than changing it, and they are within their rights to do that and are not evil by any measure.

sotyfan16on Sept. 17, 2011 at 2:23 a.m.

I do prefer my things uncensored in every way. Hell, I'm a very uncensored person (look at my Dunce Cap episodes for proof). But I admit that about half of my manga collection is of VIZ publication. Some of the manga I am reading I have seen the anime for and have noticed some differences-just not much in the translation department. I most likely just don't pay as much attention to detail as some but I am enjoying the stories with greater detail.

Now, I do read a lot of scans. Mostly because either the series isn't available in the US or the US publication is way behind. One example is Bakuman. I really love the manga (yeah, you guys have no idea) and anime but the manga is 3x as far in chapters in Japan than it is here in the US. After reading Vol. 6 I spent the next week reading all the subsequent chapters-to which I am now waiting for a new chapter each week.

Ok, back to being on-topic. I don't read the Big Three so I don't care. Also, I could care less about VIZ's digital release of manga because I prefer to have a physical copy. As I kind of stated above, I only read scans of what I can't get my hands on.

@ZombiePie:

Spoken like a true businessman. I applaud you. Running a business is about making money-the bottom line. Maybe @FoxxFireArt: should push for a petition if he wants VIZ to publish the original work.

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