U.S. Shonen Jump Anime Magazine Previewed At Comic-Con

Posted on August 9, 2002

Viz Communications, Inc., a U.S. producer of manga and anime, and Shueisha Inc. of Japan, the largest manga publisher in the world, unveiled a special preview issue of the U.S. Shonen Jump (Issue "0") at Comic-Con International in San Diego. The release follows A.D. Vision, Inc.'s announcement that it is releasing a U.S. version of Newtype, a popular anime magazine published in Japan.

The 56-page preview edition is an abridged version of U.S. Shonen Jump that will launch this fall with 250 pages. Patterned after Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump, which has a circulation in Japan of some 3.4 million, the U.S. Shonen Jump will be published monthly. It will target the segment of boys, teens, and young adults who identify with the "anime lifestyle" in America.

U.S. Shonen Jump will be printed in English and retain the Japanese right-to-left format, enabling the manga artwork to appear as intended by the artists. Viz plans to achieve a circulation of over 1 million for the publication within three years. The magazine will be advertiser supported.

Starting this week, preview issue "0" will be distributed by Viz in partnership with the Musicland Group and Diamond Comic Book Distributors. The Musicland Group will immediately distribute 50,000 free issues in stores nationwide, with Diamond Comic Distributors circulating an additional 40,000 free copies in August.

Set to go on-sale in November, U.S. Shonen Jump will be available through subscription, single-copy sales on newsstands, and in specialty stores throughout the country. The cover price will be $4.95. An introductory subscription rate of $19.95 for 12 issues is being offered to charter subscribers.

"Bringing Shonen Jump to America is an important milestone in realizing the vision our company was founded on 16 years ago -- to introduce U.S. audiences to the joys of manga," said Viz' President, Mr. Seiji Horibuchi. "Shonen Jump is the first English language manga publication targeted at the mainstream mass-market. Manga has long been immensely popular in Japan. Thanks to the Web and American television, it is now becoming an exploding phenomenon in the U.S."

"The manga titles featured in Shonen Jump are always positive, as the main characters are forward looking and give kids hope. Our Japanese artists have created characters and adventures which are very appealing and require a great emotional investment on the part of the reader, more so than the normal comic book," said Mr. Kazuhiko Torishima, Senior Editorial Director of Shueisha.

Based in San Francisco, Viz Communications, Inc. is a U.S. publisher of Japanese comics and animation (manga and anime) for English-speaking audiences. Founded in 1986, Viz publishes over 20 titles every month including Dragon Ball Z, Ranma 1/2, Gundam, and Pokemon. Viz also offers an integrated product line of consumer entertainment that includes magazines, comics, graphic novels, videos, DVDs, merchandise, and audio soundtracks. Viz is a wholly owned subsidiary of Shogakukan, one of Japan's three largest publishers.

Shueisha Inc. was created in Japan in 1925 as a division of the publishing company Shogakukan devoted to entertainment magazines. In 1926, Shueisha separated from Shogakukan to become an independent company, and in 1949, the publishing company Shueisha Inc. was established. In addition to Weekly Shonen Jump, Shueisha publishes a variety of women's fashion magazines. Shueisha also publishes trade books such as novels, dictionaries, art books and children's books.