Shonen Americana

From the mind of the biggest name in western comics, Stan Lee, comes this exciting tale of east-meets-west robot versus alien action! Heroman, the story of a boy trying to discover his self-worth and his robot ally fighting to keep his loved ones safe from spirits, aliens, and whatever other foes may threaten the day.  A cross between traditional superhero comic books and Japanese giant robot science-fiction, Heroman brings an exciting cultural blend to the cookie-cutter world of shonen manga.

Joey Jones and, due to a Peter Parker-esque freak accident, second-hand toy turned superhero robot Heroman come together to form what on paper appears to be an old couple of sorts when considering the world of western superheroes. Nevertheless, in this first volume alone, they not only fight off an ancient demon spirit, but a several insect alien invaders hell bent on taking over the earth. In between the gripping not-so-giant robot action, Joey is trying to figure out what it means to be a hero and if he can be one alongside his trusted companion HM. But he’ll have to figure it out before the impending alien invasion launches in full force.

Set in the non-specific American town Central City, Heroman is filled with distinct characters, pulsating action, and enough shonen fury to fight off any opposing force.
A unique combination of top creative talent from both the east and the west, Heroman promises excitement, adventure, and enough action that a boy and his half super-hero half giant robot could handle.

Final Rumble

After countless street-fights and even more romantic rejections, Onizuka’s last fight in Shonan is upon us in this magnificent final volume of GTO: The Early Years. How things end for Eikichi Onizuka before he starts his prolific career as the greatest teacher in all of Japan is finally revealed.

In this 15th and final volume of The Early Years, Onizuka seems to have found someone he can truly love in Misato, but is it really meant to be? At the very least, there’s definitely more than meets the eye. Meanwhile, things are more than tense between Tsuji and Endo High Schools. With more than a few goof-ups from Onizuka and crew, Nakajo is finally gunning for him. This final rumble won’t be one to miss, that’s for sure. But wait! Is Nakajo really Eikichi Onizuka’s final enemy, or is there a bigger archrival waiting for him at the end of the road? Will Shonan finally figure out who rules supreme amongst the dangerous duo known as the Oni-Baku?

The manga that launched the international phenomenon, known affectionately as GTO, comes to a comical conclusion. But really was there any other way really? After what felt like an eternity English readers can finally close this chapter in the Onizuka universe and ride off into the Shonan sunset.

MAXIMUM MEAN GIRLS

Fresh off the heels of our Paradise Kiss release, Vertical’s next new project also focuses on high school girls, however the themes are not as frilly and romantic. Instead, with Limit, by Kodansha Manga Award winner Keiko Suenobu, we are introduced to shojo’s dark side!  Part Lord of the Flies, part Mean Girls–and all shojo manga at its best, this engrossing, provocative look at the world of high school cliques and crowds, and the extreme things a person will do to survive should introduce western readers to a new dimension of Japanese girls comics.

When a group of high school girls is thrown out of their comfort zone, the rules suddenly change. Roles are reversed as the bullies become the victims while their former victims wield their new-found power to avenge past abuses. Friendships crash and burn, and new alliances are formed.  Sakura is at the epicenter of the elite circle at Yanno Prefectural High School. She’s pretty and smart, and everyone wants to be her friend. The two girls closest to her are Konno and Haru, who are constantly competing for Sakura’s attention–often by picking on other girls who aren’t in with the popular crowd. Tensions are already high as class 2-4 heads to the country by bus for a week of camping. Then the unthinkable happens. The bus careens off a cliff and everyone on board is killed–except five girls. Five survivors who must adjust to a dramatic shift in the social hierarchy if they want to stay alive.

Always attempting to expand the boundaries of Japanese culture in America, Vertical’s release of Limit will have readers re-evaluating the limits of not just shojo but manga as a whole.