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VIZ Media, LLC (often shortened to Viz) is an entertainment company headquartered in San Francisco, California, currently co-owned by Japanese publishers Shueisha and Shogakukan. Since 2002, it has functioned as the One Piece manga's official publisher and translator in North America and other English-speaking territories.

Overview[]

Originally founded in 1986 as VIZ Communications, the company's main (if not exclusive) focus has always been the licensing, distribution, and localization of various anime and manga series for Western markets. Since the late 1990s, it has held the official English license for nearly all significant Shonen Jump titles, including—in addition to One PieceDragon Ball, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Rurouni Kenshin, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Naruto, Bleach, and My Hero Academia.

While Viz publishes most of its licensed manga directly as tankōbon volumes, for years it also offered a number of magazines and anthologies (such as the news/review compilation Animerica and the adult-oriented PULP). The most prominent of these was an English-language edition of Shonen Jump, which serialized many titles, including One Piece, months ahead of their tankōbon releases.

Currently, Viz continues to publish One Piece directly in tankōbon format (each volume being scheduled roughly one year after its Japanese release), but also offers every individual chapter as part of the "digital vault" linked to its Shonen Jump online app, with the first and two most recent chapters being free-to-read and the rest available for a monthly subscription.

Manga[]

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.[1] Viz's English localization of Volume One followed on September 2, 2003.[2] 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.[3] 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.[4] From January 2013, chapters were published the same day as Japan and the magazine was rebranded Weekly Shonen Jump.[5] 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, Apple Books and Amazon's Kindle Store.[6] 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.[7][8] 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);[9] in January 2020 they were moved forward to 10:00 ET (00:00 Mondays in JST).[10]

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.[11][12] MANGA Plus uses Viz Media's translations.

Additional Releases[]

Viz released the artbooks Color Walk One and Two in 2005 and 2012, respectively.[13] 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;[14] a second Compendium containing 4 though 6, Water Seven to Paramount War, was released in October 2019,[15] and a third containing 7 through 9, New World to Wano, was released in December 2022.[16]

From December 2009, Viz began re-releasing older volumes in 'Omnibus' format: a large book compiling three volumes[17]. The paper quality used in these editions received some criticism for being too thin and easy to tear.[18]

One Piece Retrospective[]

One Piece Retrospective

One Piece Retrospective

One Piece Retrospective is a 114-page digital book released by Viz on November 21, 2013. It contained an interview with Eiichiro Oda, Chapter 0, various Color Spreads, and high-quality versions of the first 69 volume covers, the most recently translated at the time.[19]

Box Sets[]

In 2013, Viz began releasing box sets which bundle the regular Volumes. Each set also comes with bonus booklets and a poster; the first three booklets contain bonus chapters written by Oda and previously published in Viz's Shonen Jump.

No. Name Volumes Bonus Release Date
1 East Blue and Baroque Works 1-23 Romance Dawn V1 November 5, 2013
2 Skypeia and Water Seven 24-46 Chapter 0 Strong World November 4, 2014
3 Thriller Bark to New World 47-70 Cross Epoch, Taste of The Devil Fruit October 4, 2016
4 Dressrosa to Reverie 71-90 The Solitary Journey of Jimbei September 7, 2021[20]

Localization[]

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"[21] (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), Skypiea (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), Wano (90-105), and Egghead (106 onward).

Anime[]

In addition to the manga, Viz acquired the home video rights to the One Piece anime in 2005.[22] As Viz themselves were not involved in the series' localization, their DVDs contained the edited TV versions only.[23] 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.[24]

Gallery[]

Viz One Piece Box Set 1
One Piece Box Set 1: East Blue and Baroque Works, Volumes 1-23
Viz One Piece Box Set 2
One Piece Box Set 2: Skypeia and Water Seven, Volumes 24-46
Viz One Piece Box Set 3
One Piece Box Set 3: Thriller Bark to New World, Volumes 47-70
Viz One Piece Box Set 4
One Piece Box Set 3: Dressrosa to Reverie, Volumes 71-90
Viz Romance Dawn
Romance Dawn Version 1, included in Box Set 1.
Viz Strong World
Strong World, included in Box Set 2.
Viz Cross Epoch + Taste of the Devil Fruit
Cross Epoch + Taste of the Devil Fruit, included in Box Set 3.
Viz The Solitary Journey of Jimbei
The Solitary Journey of Jimbei, included in Box Set 4.

References[]

  1. Review: Shonen Jump, Volume 1 - Anime News Network
  2. One Piece, Vol. 1 - Viz Media
  3. Viz Media Adds 500 Manga Volumes on ComiXology
  4. 'Viz to Launch Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha Digital Anthology' - Anime News Network
  5. 'VIZ MEDIA’S WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA DIGITAL MANGA MAGAZINE BEGINS SIMULTANEOUS PUBLISHING WITH JAPANESE RELEASES ON JANUARY 21, 2013' - Viz Media
  6. ComiXology Adds Kodansha Manga, Viz's Shonen Jump
  7. 'Shonen Jump’s new digital platform has free chapters, full back catalogue' - polygon
  8. Viz's Shonen Jump Switches to Free Simultaneous Publication (Updated) - Anime News Network
  9. 'FAQ' - Viz Media (archived)
  10. Viz Media Moves Up Time for Release of Shonen Jump Manga, Adds Undead Unluck Manga - Anime News Network
  11. 'Everything You Need to Know about MANGA Plus by Shueisha' - Anime News Network
  12. MANGA Plus
  13. One Piece Color Walk Art Book - Viz
  14. One Piece Color Walk Compendium: East Blue to Skypiea - Viz
  15. One Piece Color Walk Compendium: Water Seven to Paramount War - Viz
  16. One Piece Color Walk Compendium: New World to Wano: - Viz
  17. 'One Piece (Omnibus Edition), Vol. 1' - Viz
  18. 'One Piece 1-3 (Omnibus)' - Slightly Biased Manga
  19. Viz Offers Free Digital "One Piece" Retrospective, Crunchyroll
  20. One Piece Manga Box Set 4 - Right Stuf
  21. 'RORONOA ZOLO' trademark at the United States Patent and Trademark Office
  22. Viz's DVD license is announced
  23. Viz confirms no uncut DVDs
  24. Funimation Acquires One Piece Merchandising Rights

External links[]

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