Saturday afternoons at the library just hardly ever involve ninjas, pirates, reapers and yellow bears walking around in the flesh (or the felt, as it were,) but one room in West Hollywood’s new, sleek, futuristic facility became a true slice of the fantastical this past Saturday as VIZ hosted a party celebrating SHONEN JUMP ALPHA's launch. A surprising turnout of cosplayers showed up in high spirits and full regalia to preview the sped-up digital magazine on iPads and computer kiosks while enjoying tasty curry buns, cupcakes and, of course, Pocky. Some even got to bring home several stripes of BLEACH and NARUTO swag after winning a raffle and trivia contest the friendly staff was putting on. Truly, the occasion had the rather surreal distinction of distilling the cosplay & convention experience into one tidy space.
As mentioned, the event commemorated SHONEN JUMP ALPHA, which went live yesterday and will soon be available through iPad, iPhone, iPod and probably any other future iProduct. Get the skinny on what exact manga chapters are debuting in the first issue, what the release schedule's going to look like and what goodies come with a subscription below…
San Francisco, CA, January 30, 2012 – The wait is finally over! VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, launches the debut issue of its new digital manga (graphic novel) magazine – WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA – today! The first issue is available now through VIZManga.com; it will also be part of the upcoming update to the VIZ Manga apps for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.
Each new digital edition of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA treats manga fans in North America to the latest chapters of some of the world’s most popular manga series only two weeks after they debut in Japan’s massively popular WEEKLY SHONEN JUMPmagazine. The first issue of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA also includes part 1 of an exclusive of an interview with NARUTO creator Masashi Kishimoto, where he discusses the inner workings behind his creative process and how he creates a story that captivates audiences from all over the world.
To further celebrate the launch, WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA has joined forces with Konami to delight Duelists and manga fans with a special offer! Fans that sign up for an annual membership to WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA will receive highly collectableYU-GI-OH! game cards four times a year, delivered right to their doorstep before anyone else has them.
Debut manga chapters featured in WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA include:
BAKUMAN｡(rated ‘T’ for Teens) Chapter 162:
With their new series Reversi doing well in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, Akito and Mashiro are invited to an important industry party. The duo seems on the verge of getting their first-ever anime series, but what hurdles still stand in their way…?
BLEACH (rated ‘T’ for Teens) Chapter 476:
After regaining his true Soul Reaper powers thanks to Rukia and the captains from the Soul Society, Ichigo begins his final battle against Kugo Ginjo. As the fight heats up, both use Bankai to reveal their most powerful forms.
NARUTO (rated ‘T’ for Teens) Chapter 569:
Naruto has been swallowed by the Four-Tailed Beast. He’s transported to another world where he as a deep discussion with the biju, who asks for Naruto’s help from freeing it from the influence of the man masquerading as Madara. Is Naruto strong enough to help a Tailed Beast?!
NURA: RISE OF THE YOKAI CLAN (rated ‘T’ for Teens) Chapter 185:
On the human front, it looks like girl trouble for Rikuo as Tsurara starts showing some jealousy over his relationship with Kana. And on the yokai front, the battles may be won, but the war is always on as Ryuji shows up with the news that the Nenekirimaru weapon is complete…and Rikuo must go with him to Mt. Osore to check out the brewing situation.
ONE PIECE (rated ‘T’ for Teens) Chapter 652:
After a tough fight, the Straw Hats were able to defeat the New Fish-Man pirates and bring peace to Fish-Man Island. The crew celebrates with a grand feast, but trouble looms as Luffy challenges an even bigger threat in the form of one of the four emperors, Big Mom.
TORIKO (rated ‘T’ for Teens) Chapter 171:
Pumped up – literally! – by their victory at Gourmet Casino, Toriko and company journey to the capital of Jiddal in search of information on foods that will power them up to enter the savage Gourmet World. But will the King of Jiddal and his personal chef keep the info Toriko needs a secret?
WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA is available through an annual membership that provides 52 weeks of access to 48 weekly issues for just $25.99. Single issues of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA can be read for four weeks for only $0.99. Each issue may be read on VIZManga.com, and once available, on the updated VIZ Manga App for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Subscribers to WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA will also receive an annual collector’s yearbook and access to exclusive content, including creator interviews and videos.
You’ve very likely surmised that I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the party described above. Go on and check out the snappies I took of the magazine, the masqueraders, the merch, the munchies and the very nice VIZ staffers below...