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Old 03-13-2020, 11:17 PM   #1
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6 years of Pokémon anime, 13 years of One Piece manga free-to-view

So many free stuffs to read/watch, but only in Japanese.

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6 years of Pokémon anime, 13 years of One Piece manga free-to-watch/read online due to coronavirus

299 episodes of Pocket Monster adventures and 594 chapters of pirate voyages offered for free to keep Japan’s spirits up as people avoid going outside.

With the coronavirus outbreak an ongoing situation in Japan, the country has indirectly been told to stay home as much as possible. Technically, health officials have just told people to avoid crowded places, but if you want to abide by that advice in Japan’s high-density population centers, oftentimes the only non-crowded place is inside the walls of your house/apartment.

Couple that with many companies instituting telecommuting systems and schools cancelling classes, and there are lot of people feeling sort of trapped in their own homes these days. Thankfully Japan’s anime/manga publishers are stepping up to help turn that voluntary confinement into something fun, and now two of the biggest franchises in the industry’s history are joining the cause.

Manga publisher Shueisha has announced that, as of March 9, it’s made the first 60 volumes of pirate saga One Piece free to read through its Shonen Jump + app and Zebrack digital distribution platform. While those 60 volumes don’t comprise the entire series (One Piece is currently at 94 collected volumes and counting), Volumes 1-60 consist of 594 manga chapters, which were serialized over the course of 13 years following the series’ 1997 debut in the pages of anthology Weekly Shonen Jump. “For all manga-loving kids and adults for whom it’s difficult to go outside these days, we hope you will enjoy Luffy’s adventures,” said Jump’s editors in announcing the volumes’ free-to-read status.

On the other hand, if you’re more of an anime fan, you’ll be happy to know that Amazon Japan is making a huge chunk of the Pokémon anime free-to-watch. Ordinarily, the series is available through Amazon Prime Japan’s paid video streaming service, but the company has decided to open up access to anyone with a free-to-create Amazon Japan account. As with One Piece, Amazon is doing this to boost the morale of kids (and also grown-up fans) staying home to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. In contrast to One Piece giving free access to the start of the series, Pokémon is letting Amazon Japan users start from the mid-point through to the newest available episodes, with a total of 299 episodes making up all of the Pokémon XY, XY&Z, Sun and Moon, and brand-new Pokémon (2019) arcs of the franchise, equating to a little over six years’ worth of TV episodes.

Both the One Piece chapters and Pokémon episodes will be free until April 5, and if that’s somehow still not quite enough to keep you occupied, don’t forget that there are 450 volumes from other manga series going free-to-read too.
Thanks to the coronavirus over 450 manga volumes are now free to read online

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With much of Japan’s population staying at home in order to stay safe, manga publishers want to help them stay happy and entertained too.

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, many schools in Japan are closed and a number of companies have instituted telecommuting policies. Major entertainment events, including concerts and anime conventions, have been cancelled, in keeping with health officials’ recommendation to avoid spending time in crowded places.

Of course, “crowded places” describes a lot of Japan’s urban and suburban communities in general, and the overall result of combining “don’t go to school/work” with “don’t go out” is a sort of strange combination between a vacation and house arrest. Thankfully, to help people keep their spirits up and combat boredom, a large number of Japan’s manga publishers are making their comics available to read online for free.

The current free-to-read anthology selection includes back issues from the last few months, for a total of 78 free editions currently available (access app/website in parentheses):

● Weekly Shonen Jump (Shonen Jump +)
● Weekly Shonen Sunday (Sunday Webly)
● Kokoro Comic, Kokoro Ichiban (Kokoro Online)
● Betsu Comi, Sho-Comi, Cheese!, Ciao Deluxe, Petit Comic, Monthly Flowers (Shogakukan e-Comic Store)
● Ribbon, Bessatsu Margaret, Koko Hana, The Margaret (Margaret Bookstore)
● Weekly Shonen Champion (Manga Cross)
● Hana to Yume, The Hana to Yume Shin, LaLa, LaLaDX

What’s arguably even better, though, is that a number of publishers are making the entirety of historically best-selling individual series available, giving fans the chance to revisit/finish off long-running series. Shogakukan’s Sunday Webly, for example, will be making every single volume free-to-read for 11 titles, starting with Hayate the Combat Butler, Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, and Kekkaishi. On March 8, Ranma 1/2, Major, and Psyche Mata Shite mo get added to the list, with The Law of Ueki, Ghost Sweeper Mikami, and Miyuki coming on the 15th and Ushio and Tora and Libero Revolution on the 22nd. In total that’s 392 volumes of free manga (and to reiterate, that’s volumes, with each containing multiple chapters).

If that’s still not enough to satisfy your reading needs, the apps Comic Days, Dragon Zakura Note, Manga Mee, and Book Walker are currently offering chapters from Space Brothers, Hozuki’s Coolheadedness, The Gentlemen’s Alliance Cross, Mei-chan no Shitsuji, Sensei Kunshu, Dragon Zakura, and Crayon Shin-chan.

Obviously, everyone in Japan is hoping for the coronavirus situation to be under control as soon as possible, so that people can go back to their regular lives. But if you are going to be stuck at home, it’s definitely more pleasant to be able to think of it as a manga retreat than a quarantine.
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