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.
In the past, Viz has produced several manga related magazines including Animerica; the English version of Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump (shonen manga), and a shojo manga monthly called Shojo Beat.
It also 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 (see seinen, josei).
Since then, the company now offers an integrated digital product line of Weekly Shonen Jump and graphic novels, while continuing to license and distribute physical copies of manga and anime.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
VIZ Media produces and distributes the English localization of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure manga and as of February 2015, has been named the North American master merchandise licensee for the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series. The company oversees the licensing and development of a comprehensive range of products based on the celebrated supernatural/action/adventure anime property across several key consumer categories.
- Main article: List of English JoJo's Bizarre Adventure chapters
Initial Skipping of Parts
The third part, "Stardust Crusaders" was initially published by Viz in its entirety starting in 2005. It was originally released every other month, however possible low sales forced the company to cut it down to a quarterly release schedule, which pushed its conclusion to December 2010.
One interesting aspect of Viz's initial release of the series was that the first two parts, Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency, equating to volumes 1-12 of the original Japanese publication, were skipped. To compensate for the lack of story material explaining the events of those volumes, Viz put together a special chapter, adding different panels from Part 1 along with an explanation of Part 1 to the beginning of the first volume, as well as taking the final chapter of volume 12 and adding it to the Japanese volume 13 to make the US volume 1.
Due to this skipping of Parts, Viz initially presented Stardust Crusaders as simply "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure" acting as if the Japanese volume 13 was the official start of the manga and labeling it "Volume 1". This remained the norm in America for JoJo, continuing until the series eventually went out of print and official US Volumes became semi-rare. In May 2014, Viz announced that Stardust Crusaders would be receiving a reprint to coincide with the anime release at the time.
References to Copyrighted material
In 2013, a Facebook post was made from VIZ briefly talking about JoJo's with how the media Araki references within the story is from either fashion, music or real people. The problematic ones of the two are fashion and music, as licensing for just even the namesakes can be hard to afford/acquire, VIZ referred to it being a "lawyer's nightmare". So instead VIZ uses "copyright free" names as an official English substitute.
On June 9, 2014, VIZ announced that it would publish the first two parts of the series using the hardcover Jojonium editions from Japan. Starting in Late 2014, the localized volumes were released on Viz's website, starting with Part 1: Phantom Blood. The release consisted of a digital-first platform with the print editions to follow in 2015. The covers of the previously announced reprints of Stardust Crusaders now include the subtitle "Part 3 - Stardust Crusaders" on the cover, restoring that portion of the story to its proper chronological place.
As of April 2016, VIZ currently streams the entirety of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable on it's digital anime service. At Anime Expo 2016, the company confirmed release of all current seasons, starting with Part 1 (Phantom Blood) on Blu-ray Disc.
Deluxe Hardcover Editions
On July 6, 2018, VIZ announced at their Anime Expo Panel that they would be publishing Part 4 of the manga, Diamond is Unbreakable. Though the look would be different from the JoJonium's previously used format, as those stopped publication at Part 3 of the series. However, the "Deluxe Hardcover Editions" will still keep the aesthetic of the series, as well as be published in the same way the JoJoniums were prior, with each volume containing two volumes of the part. Notably though not featuring exclusive artwork illustrated by author Hirohiko Araki on its cover. It retains however the original Tankobon cover artwork instead, for the front and the back. Volume 1 released on May 6, 2019, with the additional volumes currently releasing every 3 months.
In December 2020 Viz media posted a small motion comic video on their twitter for the release of volume 7 Deluxe Hardcover.
In the original 2005 Stardust Crusaders release, a few scenes involving animal death were changed. In the Yellow Temperance fight, a panel in which a dog lost its head was changed so that, while the dog still died, it wasn't as bloody. In the Death Thirteen fight, the death of another dog was changed in which, instead of a dog, it was a rat.
- Main article: Name Variants
In order to avoid lawsuits, some of the character's names were changed in the localization, mainly either being carried over from, or to JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven and/or Crunchyroll subtitles of their Anime series after 2014. Some by alternating part of their names while others were completely changed. Characters names who were changed include:
- Tarkus = Tarukus
- Bruford = Blueford
- Page, Jones, Plant, and Bornnam = Pajyu, Jones, Pluton, and Barnum
- Enya the Hag = Enyaba
- Devo the Cursed = Soul Sacrifice
- J. Geil = Centerfold
- Steely Dan = Rubber Soul (2005 release), Dan of Steel (JoJonium release)
- Oingo = Zenyatta (2005 release / Uses Oingo in JoJonium release)
- Boingo = Mondatta (2005 release / Uses Boingo in JoJonium release)
- Daniel J. D'Arby = D'Arby the Elder
- Chibi and Buchi = Tiny and Butch
- Telence T. D'Arby = D'Arby the Younger
- Kenny G. = Billie Jean
- Vanilla Ice = Cool Ice
- Roses = Rosas
- Crazy Diamond = Shining Diamond
- Echoes = Reverb
- Bad Company = Worse Company
- Surface = Show Off
- Red Hot Chili Pepper = Chili Pepper
- Killer Queen = Deadly Queen
- Sheer Heart Attack = Heart Attack
- Atom Heart Father = Heart Father
- Boy II Man = Boys Man Man