In a move to fight against the pirates, no not the Straw Hat Pirates but the internet manga piracy, Viz has officially launched the Viz Media App on iTunes. The app allows iPad users the ability to purchase and download manga for their viewing pleasure.
Right now, there are the six available titles: Dragon Ball, Bakuman, Death Note, Bleach, Naruto and One Piece. Each volume will cost $4.99 (compare to the $7.99-$9.99 of the physical copy) and for a limited time, the first volume of Death Note is free, which is freakin’ awesome. As of now, the app is only available for the iPad and Viz has said “more to come” when asked about other device.
During the summer, American and Japanese publishers has teamed up in an effort to shut down many manga scanlation sites (such as onemanga) but was not offering any real legal ways to download/view manga for the U.S. audience. Some Japanese publishers has tried the download to own but many has shun it due to mostly the paying options.
While I have switched to the official anime simulcast instead of pirated streams and websites, I am still guilty when it comes to the manga and would totally support this if I had some device that would allow me to use this, especially if it releases the recent chapters that just came out in Japan. What do y’all think of this app? Is this the right path for Viz to fight against piracy or will this be a failed effort?