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Manga Plus' New Two-Plan Subscription Service Has More Pros Than Cons

Manga Plus’ relaunch is affordable for new series like Dandadan, and expensive for completed series like Naruto

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A screenshot shows Denji from Chainsaw Man throw up a peace sign.
Screenshot: Shueisha / Kotaku

Much like TV- and movie-streaming apps with sliding scale price plans, manga-reading services have slowly integrated payment tiers with varying benefits and limitations. Manga Plus by Shueisha, a previously free-to-read manga website with a rather annoying caveat (we’ll get there), is the latest to launch a new payment plan today that’s actually pretty reasonable, despite its downsides.

Back in the old days (ranging from 2019 to yesterday), Manga Plus allowed unlimited access to the first and last three chapters of just about any big Shonen Jump manga series, new or old. You could read the stuff in-between, too, but only once. If you, say, closed the app in the middle of reading a series like MarriageToxin (which I highly recommend), you’d be locked out of it, unable to pick back up where you left off. This was very annoying. However, Manga Plus’ relaunch as Manga Plus Max does away with this annoying feature with its two-plan subscription service, making it a viable alternative to other manga reading services like Viz Manga and the Shonen Jump app, though it does have some shortcomings.


Manga Plus Max includes a free Basic plan (what I described above), a Standard plan, and a Deluxe plan. The Standard plan, which costs $2 a month, will give readers unlimited access to over 80 current series like Jujutsu Kaisen, Chainsaw Man, and My Hero Academia, without ads. However, once an ongoing series ends, it will no longer be available to you under the Standard Plan. That’s where the Deluxe plan comes in. The Deluxe plan, which costs $6 a month, will let you read over 112 current and completed manga series like Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, and Bleach, with no ads and unlimited rereads.


There is currently a free one-month trial available for Manga Plus Max’s Standard plan.


TLDR: the Standard plan is for folks keeping up with hot new series and the Deluxe plan is for those wanting to dive into older series with unlimited reading. If you don’t want to pay, your account will be automatically designated to the Basic plan where the first and last three chapters of a series are free to read but you’ll have to subscribe to either of the above tiers to continue reading. The Manga Plus app indicates series available under paid plans with a blue (Standard) or purple (Deluxe) label.


Read More: Viz Media’s New Manga App Is The Criterion Collection Of Romance, Horror Series


Manga Plus’ relaunch update is a vast improvement from its previous iteration, especially given the fact that it didn’t go the route of nickel-and-diming users like Square Enix’s Manga Up by splitting chapters into microtransaction nightmares riddled with aggressive censorship bars. That said, the app still lacks a killer feature that makes its competitors, Viz Manga and the Shonen Jump app, such a vital service for readers like myself: the ability to download chapters for offline reading.

While it’s nice that readers of ongoing manga series like Oshi no Ko don’t have to pay more to do so, it is bizarre that Manga Plus Max asks users to pay more to read recently completed series like Hell’s Paradise, Demon Slayer, and Boruto: Naruto Next Generations (which is classified as a Deluxe series despite still being ongoing with its second arc Boruto: Two Blue Vortex) without the added benefit of being able to read them offline. Plus, the fact that Manga Plus Max’s Deluxe plan costs three dollars more than Viz Manga’s comparable option and two dollars more than the Shonen Jump app’s will likely have users juggle subscriptions to read completed titles like Death Note. I guess it literally pays to be caught up on a series while it’s running on Manga Plus.