Shueisha Announces New Global Simulpub Service, MANGA Plus

These days, manga is easier than ever to read, and the task was just made even more simple. After [...]

These days, manga is easier than ever to read, and the task was just made even more simple. After all, Shueisha has announced a new program for readers, and it will put manga in the hands of fans on a global scale.

Not long ago, the Japanese publisher announced plans to expand its Shonen Jump+ service. The platform, which is offered in Japan, offers digital versions of Weekly Shonen Jump on mobile devices. The service brings together new and old titles by uploading individual chapters, and titles under Shueisha outside of its print magazine are included as well.

Now, that service has gone global, and U.S. fans will be able to enjoy MANGA Plus starting — well — now.

According to Shonen Jump's official website, MANGA Plus is "totally free of charge" and available "anywhere in the world" in either English or Spanish. Reports do say the service is not offered in Japan, South Korea, or China — but those countries appear to have their own mirror services with Weekly Shonen Jump.

"There is no time lag either," the site explains. "You can enjoy the latest and greatest performances of manga heroes simultaneously with other fans on the globe, sharing your excitement with them."

Since MANGA Plus comes right from Shueisha, the project will directly benefit the staff working on your go-to manga. Artists, editors, and more will get to earn money from their series… plus fans will get to read up on a chapters for free. The win-win situation will hopefully cut down on the industry's prevalent pirating issue, and Shueisha isn't the only company stepping out with this simulpub service.

After all, Viz Media took a similar step this year with its Weekly Shonen Jump shift. For just $24 a year, fans can get access to every issue along with Viz's backlog of translated titles online.

For those of you wondering about the differences between Viz's plan and MANGA Plus, there is an answer out there already. Anime News Network spoke with Shonen Jump+ editor Shuhei Hosono about the publisher's ambitious plan, and he broke down how the services differ.

"For starters, there will be more titles available through MANGA Plus. We plan to add as many titles as we can, even relatively minor ones that previously never had in English release," Hosono said. "Viz focuses mainly on Weekly Shonen Jump titles, while MANGA Plus will have titles from other Shueisha publications, like Jump Square and the Jump+ online manga."

So, will you be checking out this brand-new service? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!