VIZ Media, LLC, headquartered in San Francisco, California, is a major American anime, manga and Japanese entertainment company formed by the merger of VIZ, LLC, and ShoPro Entertainment. The company is commonly referred to as "Viz", the same name used in previous incarnations of VIZ LLC.
Viz also produces a manga and anime review magazine, Animerica; as well as an English language version of Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump (shōnen manga) magazine, and formerly a shōjo manga monthly called Shojo Beat which has recently been discontinued.
It formerly published Animerica Extra, a monthly manga anthology (which was converted to shōjo partway through its run), and PULP magazine, an adult-oriented monthly manga anthology that featured story lines inappropriate for younger readers, though not pornography (see seinen, josei).
It is jointly-owned by Japanese publishers Shogakukan and Shueisha, and licensing house Shogakukan Productions (ShoPro), a Shogakukan subsidiary.
Viz's English adaption of the One Piece manga is, for the most part, accurate to the original Japanese version. However, they do occasionally use some of the 4Kids dub names. For example, while they called Zoro by his original name early on, they later changed it to "Zolo" after the 4Kids dub aired. It is unknown why this change was made, but it could have possibly been due to copyright reasons. Other examples of the 4Kids names being used include Cocoyashi Village to "Coco Village" and Loguetown to "Rogue Town". However, names of characters such as Smoker and Ace are kept (as opposed to "Chaser" and "Trace").
However, despite the use of some 4Kids names and the usual omission of swear words, things like violence, alcohol and tobacco usage, Japanese cultural references, religious references, suggestive humor, and death remain intact.
On July 3, 2009, Viz Media announced that they would be speeding-up the release of the manga, with volumes 24 to 53 being released throughout the first half of 2010 at a rate of 5 volumes per month. In addition to the speed-up, they had also skipped ahead to the Impel Down Arc in the American Shonen Jump magazine.
Viz have also been re-releasing older volumes in the form of an Omnibus format, a large book with the size amounting to the size of three volumes per omnibus. However, many people criticize the paper used in the omnibus edition for its quality, being too thin and easy to tear. So far, 21 volumes have been released in this format. The eighth volume that will finish up the Baroque Works saga also seems to be planned to come out on February 4, 2014.
In addition 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. Each of the latest volumes become available for purchase and download at some point after the release of the physical copy. The digital manga can also be viewed on other devices such as Android or Kindle Fire by downloading the VIZ Manga app.
- VIZ Media Official Site
- VIZ's Official One Piece site
- Confirmation of One Piece volume speed up by VIZ
- VIZ's Official Digital Manga site