Shueisha's new manga service plans to change the game

A new publication is set to join Shueisha
A new publication is set to join Shueisha's lineup with a unique format not seen in the publishing company's current offerings (Image via Shueisha)

For many fans of the medium, when they think of the word “manga,” they instantly associate it with the name Shueisha and the phrase Weekly Shonen Jump. The manga publishing giant and its flagship magazine are one of the most internationally dominant in the industry, being home to some of the world’s most acclaimed anime and manga titles.

The mangas Dragon Ball, Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, Hunter x Hunter, and Death Note have all been published through the Shueisha brand and the Weekly Shonen Jump imprint. Truly, if there’s any publishing company in the manga industry that knows what fans want, it’s the giant among giants, which is the largest publishing company in Japan.

This legacy is, in part, what made the company's latest announcement concerning a new member of the Jump family of magazines so exciting and intriguing. Called Jump Toon, it opens the door for a new kind of manga to be produced and serialized, allowing for major change to the industry itself and great opportunity for up-and-coming mangakas.

Jump Toon, a vertical-scrolling manga service from Shueisha, set to launch in 2024

The latest

Tuesday, May 30, 2023, saw Shueisha announce its intent to debut a new vertical-scrolling manga service sometime in 2024. Called Jump Toon, the publishing juggernaut aims to produce hit manga in this new vertical format by using its industry knowledge in traditional format manga to enter a new area of the industry.

The service is also launching with a new manga award, called the Jump Toon Award. The winning submission will be awarded 1 million yen (roughly 7 thousand USD) and a serialization contract for their manga on Jump Toon. Shueisha editor Takanori Asada, who has worked on the household name Bleach and One Piece manga series, is the new head of the Jump Toon editorial department.

Asada will serve as judge for the upcoming award, alongside South Korean webtoon company Red Seven’s CEO, Hyungseok Leeo. Shueisha will accept submissions for the award until August 31, with the winner currently set to be announced in early October. However, while Shueisha is just now entering the vertical-scrolling manga format market, they’re far from being the first to do so.

Production I.G launched the Tate Anime (Vertical Anime) app in June 2017, but ended service their in May 2018. The app relaunched one month later with the new Anime Beans name, but unfortunately ended service on March 31, 2023. The app offered short anime (roughly three minutes long) which updated on weekdays with 10 episodes total, presented vertically for smartphones.

Moreover, Echoes, Bandai, and Bandai Namco Filmworks established a new joint business venture for vertical-scrolling manga in February of 2023. Called Bandana Comic, the site is slated to launch sometime after summer this year, with the service beginning sometime at the end of 2023.

Be sure to keep up with all anime, manga, film, and live-action news as 2023 progresses.