VIZ Media, LLC is the publisher of the One Piece manga in North America and other English-speaking territories. They publish new chapters online, via their own Shonen Jump streaming service and Manga Plus, as well as the collected volumes in digital and physical formats.
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, they are a major American anime, manga and Japanese entertainment company formed by the merger of VIZ, LLC, and ShoPro Entertainment. The company is commonly referred to as "Viz", the same name used in previous incarnations of VIZ LLC.
Viz also produces a manga and anime review magazine, Animerica; as well as an English language version of Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump (shōnen manga) magazine, and formerly a shōjo manga monthly called Shojo Beat which has recently been discontinued.
It formerly published Animerica Extra, a monthly manga anthology (which was converted to shōjo partway through its run), and PULP magazine, an adult-oriented monthly manga anthology that featured story lines inappropriate for younger readers, though not pornography (see seinen, josei).
It is jointly-owned by Japanese publishers Shogakukan and Shueisha, and licensing house Shogakukan Productions (ShoPro), a Shogakukan subsidiary.
Shonen Jump And Volume Releases
In January 2003, Viz began publishing One Piece in the first issue of Shonen Jump, a monthly anthology magazine compiling manga chapters from Weekly Shonen Jump. Viz's English localization of Volume One followed on September 2, 2003. On July 3, 2009, Viz Media announced that they would be speeding-up the release of the manga, reducing the delay between American and Japanese releases: Volumes 24 to 53 were released throughout the first half of 2010, at a rate of 5 volumes per month, and the Shonen Jump magazine skipped ahead to the Impel Down Arc. Viz has also been releasing their One Piece volumes digitally which are currently sold at $6.99 per volume alongside most of their other properties. Initially each of the latest volumes become available for purchase and download at some point after the release of the physical copy, but are now released together simultaneously. The One Piece digital manga can also be viewed on other devices such as Android or Kindle Fire by downloading the VIZ Manga or ComiXology app. The digital volumes are also sold at Amazon's Kindle Store.
In April 2012, VIZ officially discontinued publication of their physical Shōnen Jump magazine. VIZ moved their Jump content to the digital magazine Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha in January 2012, where new chapters were published two weeks after their Japanese release. From January 2013, chapters were published the same day as Japan and the magazine was rebranded Weekly Shonen Jump. Readers could purchase Weekly Shonen Jump either as a subscription or as individual issues, with back issues available for up to 3 months after their original publication. Like their digital volumes, issues could be purchased and read on various devices using the Viz Manga app and website, ComiXology and Amazon's Kindle Store. In December 2018, the digital magazine was cancelled in in favor of an alternate Shonen Jump streaming service, with the final issue of Weekly Shonen Jump published on December 10, 2018.
From December 17, 2018, Viz began offering the three latest chapters of One Piece to read for free and included every chapter of the series in their paid Shonen Jump streaming service. With the new release format, chapter releases were moved from Mondays at 13:00 Eastern Time to Sundays at 15:00 ET (04:00 Mondays in Japan Standard Time); in January 2020 they were moved forward to 10:00 ET (00:00 Mondays in JST).
On January 28, 2019 Shueisha launched the streaming service MANGA Plus in every worldwide territory except China, South Korea, and Japan. MANGA Plus offers the first and latest three One Piece chapters for free, as well as a "re-edition" publishing the series weekly from the first chapter, with seven chapters available at a time. MANGA Plus uses Viz Media's translations.
Viz released the artbooks Color Walk One and Two in 2005 and 2012, respectively. In July 2018, the third Color Walk was released exclusively in Color Walk Compendium: East Blue to Skypiea, a single-book compilation of the first three releases; A second Compendium containing 4 though 6, Water Seven to Paramount War, was released in October 2019.
From December 2009, Viz began re-releasing older volumes in 'Omnibus' format: a large book compiling three volumes. The paper quality used in these editions received some criticism for being too thin and easy to tear.
Three box sets, East Blue and Baroque Works (Volume 1-23), Skypeia and Water Seven (Volume 24-46) and Thriller Bark to New World (Volume 47-70) were released in November 2013, 2014 and 2016 respectively, with a fourth (Volume 71-90) to be released in the fall of 2021; These contain the regular Volumes and at least one bonus chapter written by Oda and previously published in Viz's Shonen Jump: Romance Dawn V1 (Box 1), Chapter 0 Strong World (Box 2), Cross Epoch and Taste of The Devil Fruit (both Box 3).
Viz's English adaptation of the One Piece manga is, for the most part, accurate to the original Japanese version. Aside from re-drawing Japanese sound effects in English, the original artwork is unaltered. One dialog alteration is translating Okama Kenpo as "Oh Come My Way Kenpo"; The kanji for Okama on Mr. 2's cloak is translated as "Oh Come My Way" via an editor's note, but is not actually altered.
Viz has occasionally used 4Kids dub names; For example, changing Cocoyashi Village to "Coco Village" and Loguetown to "Rogue Town", while Smoker and Ace are kept (as opposed to "Chaser" and "Trace"). While Zoro was referred to by his original name early on, it was changed it to "Zolo" after the 4Kids dub had begun airing. In December 2004, Viz co-owner Shueisha trademarked the character name "Roronoa Zolo" (three months after the 4Kids dub premiered, and between Viz's fifth and sixth volumes), and abandoned the trademark in August 2007. In February 2008, Funimation began releasing their uncut dub using the name 'Zoro'. Viz had released sixteen volumes at this point, and has continued to use "Zolo" in all volumes and chapters since.
The first 64 volumes alternate between several credits for translation and "English adaptation". From Volume 65, Stephen Paul is the sole translator and the adaptation credit is dropped. Other translations are credited to: Andy Nakatani (volumes 1-3), Naoko Amemiya (4-10), Michie Yamakawa (11), JN Productions (11-27, 34-35, 41-42, 50), HC Language Solutions (29-32, 36-40, 45-49, 52-64), Masumi Matsumoto (29-30), Taylor Eagle (31-32, 52-53, 36-40, 47), John Werry (33, 43-44, 51) and Laabaman (45-46, 48-49, 54-64). English adaptation is credited to: Lance Caselman (1-27, 53-64), Jake Forbes (28, 31-33, 36-37, 39-40, 43-45, 50), Jason Thompson (42, 46, 48-49, 51) and Megan Bates (29-30, 33-35, 38, 41, 47, 52).
With the release of Volume 24 (and in later re-prints of earlier volumes), Viz categorized the series into story arcs, which are displayed as part of the series' logo: East Blue (Volumes 1-12) Baroque Works (12-24), Skypea (24-32), Water Seven (32-46), Thriller Bark (46-50), Sabaody (50-54), Impel Down (54-56), Paramount War (57-61), New World (61-89) and Wano (90 onward).
In addition to the manga, Viz acquired the home video rights to the One Piece anime in 2005. As Viz themselves were not involved in the series' localization, their DVDs contained the edited TV versions only. Viz released eleven DVD Volumes (totaling 52 episodes) between February 2006 and October 2007. Viz lost the rights prior to February 2008, when FUNimation acquired merchandising rights to the franchise and confirmed that they held the home video license from the first episode onward.
- VIZ Media Official Site
- VIZ's Official One Piece site
- Confirmation of One Piece volume speed up by VIZ
- ComiXology's One Piece page