Big news for the “live” release schedule of Naruto and other Shonen series:
On January 30, 2012, Weekly SHONEN JUMP Alpha is coming online. Every week you can read Bakuman, Bleach, Naruto, Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, One Piece and Toriko through the VIZ Manga App (iPhone, iPad or iPod touch) or your web browser soon after it’s published in Japan!
Will this be successful? Maybe, it’s certainly a huge step in the right direction for legal up to date reading of the series. Shonen Jump and Studio Pierrot took a huge step in getting Shippuuden released legally online at the same time it airs in Japan. So Shonen Jump getting the actual chapters out as well is a great thing. The question will be, what release time will the chapter release be tied to? As it stands now, the online fan scanslations come out usually 5-6 days before the actual Shonen Jump is scheduled to hit stands in Japan. So I can’t see Shonen Jump breaking that date for their online magazine. What niche will Shonen Jump Alpha fill? Will this spell a change in direction for them against fan scanslations? Guess we’ll see early next year.