The event held by VIZ Media on Saturday, January 28th at the West Hollywood Library in Los Angeles was to introduce their brand-new digital manga website, Shonen Jump Alpha, to the public. The new format is going to replace the printed version of Shonen Jump Weekly. With a mini-convention feel to it, it featured tons of cosplayers, raffles, snacks, goodie bags and of course a sneak preview of Shonen Jump Alpha. In Japan, the issues of Shonen Jump are weekly and for that reason most people in Japan don't keep them. They just read them and dispose of them like they would with any other newspaper-style format.
For those who really want that hard copy of their favorite stories have nothing to worry about you can still get them in traditional Manga format, but as for Shonen Jump Weekly they will no longer be available as print. For those Yu-Gi-Oh! fans out there, I'm sure that you're wondering what will become of the Yu-Gi-OH! cards that were included with the Weekly Shonen Jump issues, well don't worry the cards will still be shipped to those who subscribe to the new Shonen Jump Alpha (one card in four issues throughout the year). The launch of Shonen Jump Alpha was on January 30th and is currently available for PC/Mac, tablet, iPhone and iPad. Currently listed series include Bakuman, Bleach, Naruto, Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, One Piece and Toriko.
VIZ Media is currently working on making it available for the android phones, android tablets, nook, kindle fire, etc. Each issue can be purchased for $0.99 or $25.99 for the annual subscription that comes with forty-eight issues and each issue will remain accessible for fifty-two weeks from the date of purchase or release. I feel that this is one way that the issue can remain undamaged and still be enjoyed, but one must have a tablet to enjoy it like the original issues. As for those who still don’t have tablets or an iPhone, you can only access the issues from your laptops or desktops, which makes it harder to enjoy when you are going from point A to point B. I firmly believe that this is a big step for the company, but a risky one at that. Personally, I would have preferred it for them to slowly transition from one format to another.
You can access the VIZ Shonen Jump Alpha website here: http://shonenjump.viz.com/content/weekly-shonen-jump-alpha