This week’s upcoming April 2014 issue of V-Jump (officially hitting store shelves 21 February 2014) announces the continuation of the “Full Color” comics print edition with the “Artificial Humans & Cell” arc and “Majin Boo” arc spanning six volumes each.
The release schedule will be interesting, with the first three volumes of the “Artificial Humans & Cell” arc coming 04 April 2014 and the rest of the volumes coming at some unannounced later point in time. The “Full Color” volumes will remain at a base price of ¥600, but their tax-inclusive price will rise to ¥648 (from ¥630) due to the consumption tax increase.
The company released print editions of the Saiyan arc (three volumes; February 2013) and Freeza arc (five volumes; April 2013), but the entire rest of the series has been digital-only until now.
The “Full Color” version of the Dragon Ball manga began back in June 2009. Over a five-month period, Shueisha released — for free, in both Japanese and in English with Viz’s existing translation — the first 23 chapters of the series. After this abrupt end, things fell silent for nearly three years. In late 2012 the company released the original black-and-white/monochrome version of the manga to digital retailers, and then a print version of the Saiyan arc in the “Full Color” format. Soon after, the full digital strategy was laid out with them going back to the beginning as digital-only, and eventually they released the entire series in a colorized digital format.
As Viz wraps up with a digital release of the “Full Color” version of the Saiyan arc in their own English-language Weekly Shonen Jump, they have begun a print release starting with the same material.
Yup. Early Christmas, right here. Means Viz will also most likely carry on with their print edition up until the end of the series.
Now all that’s left is for them to also print the pre-Z era volumes. Now that would be the icing on the cake.