So I assume that the big news that Viz Media was hinting about on twitter is the release of the Viz iPad App. The app lets you download some of Viz’s popular Shonen Jump titles like Bleach, Dragonball, One Piece, and Naruto. The first volume of Death Note is free for a limited time, and free sample chapters are also available.
It looks a lot like a skinned Comixology app to me, so similar that I was surprised Comixology wasn’t mentioned in the Publisher’s Weekly article. But maybe Viz just created a very similar app. I quickly downloaded Death Note. The reading experience is exactly what you’d expect if you’ve already been reading comics on the iPad. You can turn pages by swiping your finger in the direction you want to go, and it is easy to zoom in on the art.
What I’m curious about is the selection of titles that will ultimately be available. I’m probably not the main type of consumer Viz is going for, but I’d love to see some of the series in Viz’s back catalog be made available electronically. I’d totally buy some of Viz’s older shoujo series like Please Save My Earth or Kare First Love if they were made available electronically. I have so much manga in the house, having electronic copies would be one way to catch up on some of the series that I’ve missed reading before and I wouldn’t have to worry about my continually overburdened bookshelves. Also, I would likely sample some of the shonen series that I’ve dropped if some of the more recent volumes were available. $4.99 per volume seems like a decent price point. I’ll be checking out this app to see what happens when more titles are available.