Summer Countdown

Summer Wars Part 2It may be the heart of winter in the Northern Hemisphere right now, but that will not prevent us from releasing works that will remind us of the warmth and excitement that is bound to come around once summer returns. And this time Vertical will inspire hope and heat by releasing the final thrilling volume of Mamoru Hosoda and Iqura Sugimoto’s SUMMER WARS.

Inspired by the multiple award-winning animated feature film, the Summer Wars manga takes many of the anime’s cues but builds on them by diving a little deeper into the cyber-world of OZ. Drawn in heartfelt detail by Sugimoto and full of the many critical beats that made the original so timeless, the two-part Summer Wars manga stands well on its own as entertainment more than capable of warming hearts and creating smiles in this coldest time of the manga calendar.

Reconfiguring the Space Opera

Knights of Sidonia vol. 6Now in its sixth volume Tsutomu Nihei’s science-fiction showpiece Knights of Sidonia continues to shock and inspire, through its thoughtful artistry and well-plotted story-building. And as the series begins to place on many Best of 2013 lists while videos of its animated TV series are repeatedly distributed on the internet, readers of the source material can experience a turning point in this epic’s narrative.

Nagate Tanikaze and his fellow Garde pilots know they are the vanguard in the fight for survival against the Gauna. Every time they sortie, the likelihood they will return to their homes becomes less and less likely. And when dealing with whole clusters of Gauna the odds become even more minute. So when Nagate and crew face off against the most recent evolution of the Gauna defense mechanism, it does not come as a shock to see mass destructions on both sides of the conflict. How the survivors deal with the tragedy and the aftermath will be critical as repairing a mobile suit, which adds plenty to this already engrossing drama.

Whether being read for the space opera or the unique twist on a gender-bending harem comedy, Nihei’s Knights of Sidonia satisfies in ways photosynthetic organisms can never fully realize.

Beauty and her Beast

pinkOver the last year plus, Vertical has embarked on a very unique publishing endeavor. With an aim to continue to challenge and grow the market, Vertical took it upon themselves to branch out to a segment of the Japanese market that has long been underserved within the English reading manga community – josei manga (Japanese women’s comics).

Our latest is a gem from the early days of josei. Originally penned in the late 80’s, PINK is Kyoko Okazaki’s first breakthrough and is often credited by critics globally as one of the most important women’s comics of its time. A product of the conclusion of the Japanese economic bubble PINK delves into a life of a young office lady with ambitions of living an ideal life – a comfortable life with some luxuries, some romance, wealth, health, independence and a pet crocodile.

To accomplish this lead character Yumi splits her time between working in an office and working under the sheets. But having everything you wish does not make a happy life. And when family and financial matters impact her oh so comfortable life improvisation is required. The results may seem to come up roses on the surface, but inside may not be so pretty.

Thoughtful, shocking and full of melancholy, PINK is as colorful as it was twenty-five years ago. And given the state of manga in English is needed here more than ever!