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, changing 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"). While Zoro was referred to by his original name early on, it was changed it to "Zolo" after the 4Kids dub aired. This is likely due to Shueisha trademarking the name "Roronoa Zolo" in December 2004 (three months after the 4Kids dub premiered, and between Viz's fifth and sixth volume); the trademark was abandoned in September 2007, at which point FUNimation had began recording their uncut dub using "Zoro" (with "Zolo" used in the broadcast version). Viz had released fifteen volumes at this point, and continued to use "Zolo".
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.
In adition to the manga, Viz aquired the home video rights to the One Piece anime in 2005. As Viz themselves were not involved in the series' localization, their DVDs contained the edited TV versions only. Viz released eleven DVD Volumes (totaling 52 episodes) between February 2006 and October 2007. Viz lost the rights prior to February 2008, when FUNimation acquired merchandising rights to the franchise and confirmed that they held the home video license from the first episode onward.
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. In April 2012, VIZ officially discontinued publication of their Shōnen Jump magazine and would no longer focus on older One Piece chapters in a magazine format.
Viz later began 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, 63 volumes have been released in this format. The twentysecondth volume that will have volumes 64-66 planned to come out on December 13, 2017.
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 One Piece digital manga can also be viewed on other devices such as Android or Kindle Fire by downloading the VIZ Manga or ComiXology app. The digital volumes are also sold at Amazon's Kindle Store.
Following the cancellation of their Shōnen Jump print magazine, VIZ adapted to a more digital format and instead focused on releasing the latest One Piece chapters (alongside the latest chapters of other Jump series) in their new Weekly Shōnen Jump digital magazine, which are released simultaneously with those in Japan and sold on their official website for $0.99 per issue. VIZ also sells a one-year subscription to the magazine (48 issues) for $25.99, reducing the effective cost to $0.54 per issue and allows back issues to be sold for up to 3 months after original publication. Like their digital volumes, issues can be read on various devices using the Viz Manga app. On September 1, 2015, ComiXology gained the rights to Weekly Shōnen Jump for their website and ComiXology app, but does not include the one-year subscription purchase price (though users can still subscribe but only pay at the regular price). They are also sold at Amazon's Kindle Store as well.
- ↑ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2005-10-27/one-piece-at-viz Viz's DVD license is announced]
- ↑ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2005-10-27/no-unedited-one-piece Viz confirms no uncut DVDs]
- ↑ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-02-19/funimations-acquires-one-piece-merchandising-rights Funimation Acquires One Piece Merchandising Rights]
- ↑ 
- ↑ Viz Media Adds 500 Manga Volumes on ComiXology
- ↑ ComiXology Adds Kodansha Manga, Viz's Shonen Jump
- VIZ Media Official Site
- VIZ's Official One Piece site
- Confirmation of One Piece volume speed up by VIZ
- ComiXology's One Piece page