Longstanding manga magazine shares an act of kindness on behalf of those affected by the devastating New Year’s Day earthquake.

It’s been almost a month since a 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck the Noto Peninsula of Ishikawa Prefecture. While many major companies have stepped up to deliver goods and raise relief money in creative ways, it’s going to be a long time before things feel back to normal for the thousands of people who lost their homes and more in an instant.

When not focusing on the enormous task of rebuilding ahead of them, what else can survivors do to distract themselves with a brief moment of respite? Japanese publisher Akita Shoten has provided one idea by announcing on January 24 that it will release several issues of its Weekly Shonen Champion magazine free for the public to read since hard copies may be impossible to buy at the moment in the earthquake-affected areas.

▼ Akita Shoten’s announcement

Weekly Shonen Champion magazine was first released in 1969 and is published every Thursday. It’s perhaps most well known for serializing past works by the “Father of Manga” Osamu Tezuka and Go Nagai, whose own Go Nagai Wonderland Museum burned down in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture after the quake–which makes the publisher’s gesture even sweeter. These days, the magazine is famous for featuring popular series such as Yowamushi Pedal, Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun, and The Vampire Dies in No Time.

Regarding the free content, the magazine has clarified that the digital versions of Issues 4 + 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 will be released for free through February 29. Only manga that are currently being serialized will be available, and the free content does not include any bonus goods or gravure (swimsuit/lingerie models) photoshoots that may have accompanied the print copies. As of this writing, the links for Issues 4 + 5, 6, and 7 are already up at the bottom of this page under the【公開ページ】heading. Issues 8 and 9 will be published at 10 a.m. JST on February 1 and 10 respectively on the same page. The chapters appear to be available to those outside of Japan as well.

For more reports of people and companies committing to Noto Earthquake relief efforts, see J-Rock star Yoshiki’s auctioning off of his crystal piano and Coca-Cola’s recent generosity.

Source: Akita Shoten via ITMedia
Top image: Pakutaso
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