MEET NEW FRIENDS OR HANG OUT WITH SOME OLD FAVORITES

Attack on Titan: End of the WorldThe Attack on Titan franchise is legendary. Fans all over the world are addicted to these epic tales of the seemingly-immortal and mindless giants who’ve terrorized humanity for a century. Whether as manga, light or visual novels, TV anime, video games, or live-action films, the stories of these creatures and the courageous humans who resist them have captivated the imaginations of a huge audience and sell millions and millions of units.

But maybe you’re not familiar yet with the Titans’ universe. ATTACK ON TITAN: END OF THE WORLD, the fifth Titan light novel from Vertical, is the perfect way to plunge in. A novelization of both parts of the mega-hit comic’s theatrical adaptation, END OF THE WORLD introduces the basic plot lines and themes of the series in a way that’s completely accessible to newcomers. And for those of you who are already fans, here’s a chance to meet up again with some of your favorite characters: Eren, Armin, and Mikasa, childhood friends who embark on a treacherous journey…to hell.

Scary Good Titles!

New Releases

So October is generally a month full of thrills and chills. Our list this month has a bit of both but maybe not really from a spooky or creepy perspective.

We have thrills in the form of some great humor and satire. And the chills will come from some surprisingly intense action.

AJIN 8 returns with what might be its most intense volume yet. Sato and his renegades have raided a security building with ambitions to assassinate someone on their hit list. Kei Nagai awaits in the building hoping to trap his rival Mr. Hat.

But Kei is up against a man without many fears. Sato has years of military experience and lots of anger pent up. He’s got a plan and he is more than willing to take almost every possible opportunity available to make his way up and out of this guarded tower. And along the way, Kei is going to witness some of the most inconceivable escapes imaginable!

In Immortal Hounds 2 Fuurin has no time to train a new hound as she is busy trying to capture her mark. Unfortunately, she is forced to come to the aide of a new Escape Artist in the midst of a botched job. Forced into a multi-layered trap Fuurin and Kiriko have to drag their target across the city, hopefully towards safety.

Even more complicated and potentially difficult is Fuurin’s attempt to fall “in love” with her coworker Lt. Kenzaki. Two hounds living lonely lives settling down with each other seems unlikely. And after a couple of dates, it really seems as if they are each better suited for being on out in the wild hunting down targets.

After wrapping up a tale of cyber ninjas Ninja Slayer 6 introduces readers to the Japanese badlands outside of Western Kyoto. Before heading West, Nancy Lee leads Ninja Slayer to the depths of the world cyber-ninja terrorism! And only their ninja-level typing speed will be able to save their ninja sensei.

Then we finally enter the second arc of the Ninja Slayer franchise as Bradley Bond and crew reveal “Three Dirty Ninja-Bond”! Set in the badlands outside of Kyoto this new arc is full of ninja desperados as well as mutant ninja Vietnam veterans… A damsel is not the only person in distress out there, and Ninja Slayer will need to work with other ninja to escape this hellish landscape.

After a long break in Japan My Neighbor Seki returns to English-language bookshelves with volume 8! Seki continues to exhibit his usual curious behavoir at the back of his classroom but his latest projects are not quite as sinister as we have seen them.
Seki decides to engage with a world of miniatures, all on his desktop! Giant Seki sits by a mini table arranged a tiny snack that is accompanied with a small bottle of pop. Tiny magazines are read as he eats small pizzas in what is essentially the tiniest of man caves. And then if playing house wasn’t weird enough, Seki then starts playing with invisible toys! His movements and expressions are so real and intense Rumi thinks she can actually see the toys he’s “playing with.”

Maybe this is actually more sinister, after all… Maybe our list is also!


Red Hot Vengeance

Deep Red is a novel about anger, of the slow burn and the itch for violence, and the unexpected places that fury can take us.

Sixth grader Kanako was looking forward to her school trip, and she sure is enjoying it. At night, as she and her friends exchange scary stories after lights-out, her teacher barges into their room to summon her. Yet he seems more solicitous than scolding, and when he asks her to pack her things so he can take her back to Tokyo in a cab, Kanako realizes that something terrible has happened to her family.

Educational supplies salesman Norio Tsuzuki was bamboozled into co-signing a fraudulent loan agreement by a business relation of his to whom he couldn’t say no. Enticed by the unscrupulous entrepreneur to recover the sum by unethical means, Tsuzuki indeed descends into criminality—by brutally murdering the man and his family. The only survivor, a daughter the same age as Tsuzuki’s own, just happened to be away on a school trip…

When the orphaned Kanako grows up into a young woman, she cannot but feel vengeful toward Miho, the fiend’s daughter, and seeks her out under false pretenses. What follows is a memorable waltz of two unmoored souls.


New Acquisitions!

While in Atlanta for Anime Weekend Vertical staff announced their most recent light novel NISIOISIN’s Decapitation -Kubikiri Cycle-.

Prose:

  • Decapitation by NISIOISIN

Decapitation, known in Japan as Kubikiri Cycle, is the first book in the Zaregoto Series and NISIOISIN’s debut work. This work from 2002 introduced the world to NISIOISIN’s love for mysteries and his passion for vibrant youthful characters.

It is also the inspiration for a new OVA series from SHAFT and ANIPLEX that is set to debut in Japan later this fall!

Stay tuned to Vertical’s newsletter and social media feeds for more information about this release tentatively scheduled for release January 2017!


Vote for Your Favorite Manga!

Every year we host a few licensing surveys hoping to find titles that our readership are most hungry for. This month we are asking fans out there to give us some feedback about a range of topics and up to three manga requests.

If you ever wanted to share your manga wishlist with a manga publisher, here is your chance!
And fear not novel readers, we will be hosting a novel survey next month.

Click here to take our Fall 2016 manga licensing survey


Future Releases:

And here is what to expect over the next few months:

  • Touji Asakura’s Attack on Titan: End of the World (debuts November 2016)
  • NISIOISIN’s BAKEMONOGATARI (debuts December 2016)
  • Junji Ito’s Dissolving Classroom (debuts January 2017)
  • Keigo Higashino’s The Name of the Game is A Kidnapping (debuts 2017)
  • NISIOISIN’s Decapitation (debuts January 2017)

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved

AJIN © 2016 Gamon Sakurai; Immortal Hounds © 2015 Ryo Yasohachi; Ninja Slayer © 2012 Ninj@ Entertainment, © Yuki YOGO 2015, © Yoshiaki TABATA 2015; My Neighbor Seki: Tonari no Seki-kun © Takuma Morishige 2015; DEEP RED © 2004 by Yukiko Nozawa; Decapitation © 2002 NISIOISIN

Blood is Thicker than Water

Deep RedTwo young women…bound together by a tragic incident from the past that has damaged them both beyond repair.

When Kanako Akiba walks into the sketchy Ice Storm bar, it’s with the express purpose of meeting the bartender, Miho Tsuzuki. At first it seems like an unlikely friendship, but there’s definitely a spark of connection between the two young women.

Even though they’ve just met, the connection goes back to when both were in the sixth grade. Kanako’s entire family had been murdered. And Miho’s father was the man who committed the crime.

Kanako had been having a great time on a class trip when her parents and two brothers were killed by Norio Tsuzuki, who had been financially ruined by a business colleague, Kanako’s father.

Over the years, Kanako’s rage and lust for revenge grew to the point of obsession. But now that she’s met Miho and started to get into her head, Kanako realizes that perhaps the two of them are really not that different.

Deep Red is a dark and disturbing exploration of how anger can be ignited and burn slowly, until finally it bursts into a flame of fury that is all-consuming.

 

You’re Gonna Fall for These Hits

So Much Manga to Choose From…

Two months worth of manga to cover, so let’s get going…


New Releases

In the sixth volume of Tokyo ESP, Rinka is now deep undercover in the bowels of Hong Kong! Participating in an underground fighting tournament, her life is at risk as she tries to discover who is behind this strange form of esper exploitation. And why has Rinka decided to put everything on the line for the CIA? Everything from the competitors, the strange suicides, and the bizarre outfits Rinka has been wearing have all been head-scratchers. What sort of mysteries will this volume uncover next?

In Witchcraft Works 9 readers are treated to the bubbly and colorful world of Kasumi’s heart! A world where she and her brother have an unbreakable bond! But this world is not one without its problems. It was one distilled from witchcraft and infused with some wickedness from an unknown source.

So when Kasumi’s world starts falling apart it is up to Honoka, and eventually Kagari, to find the person behind the trouble-making. Will they find this rogue before the world collapses, and do they really want to know who was capable of betraying their city like this?

With Wolfsram now gone the only threat to the Three Cantons is…the Habsburgs! The lords that control these lands are not pleased with what has transpired recently in Wolfsmund 7 and now they have gathered their forces to destroy any rebel insurgence from creating a foothold in the Alps.

In the second volume of To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts, Schaal and Hank head off in search of Cain. Hank and Cain were once on the same side of the war, now they stand on opposite sides of the Beast problem with Hank possibly on the hunt of his old comrade these days.

But along their journey Schaal meets another pair of Beasts. These new encounters continue to create doubt and uncertainty  between her and her new colleague on the road. Their histories have failed them, because what they see before them are no longer heroes, these people are now truly beasts.

While August featured some long-running Vertical properties, September is loaded with recently launched Vertical hits.

Debuting this month is a re-release of a sci-fi manga classic – Tsutomu Nihei’s BLAME! After a successful week at San Diego Comic Con where Tsutomu Nihei discussed the property and announced the up-coming anime for, BLAME! 1 hits shelves to great fanfare. The book has immediately shot up the Amazon rankings as we bring Kylii to a whole generation new manga readers looking forward to.

Keiichi Arawi’s nichijou returns with a handful of random slice of life moments. Volume 4 starts with a strange game of “shiritori” word-chains done via bad classroom sketches and then a strange game of hide-and-go-seek provides a playful aura to this already punny comic.

Then Ms. Nakamura conceives a plan to uncover Shinonome’s secrets. Could she really be a robot? How does she work? Maybe short circuiting her would give the educator some time to do some research? Or maybe she’ll take a nap when her plan fails…

Volume 3 of Ryo Hanada’s Devils’ Line reveals more details about the world of Devil’s. Anzai struggles to come to terms with the transformative powers of human blood.

Knowing that Tsukasa has offered her blood to him makes him even more weary, as he is not sure what he would do if forced to consume blood to save his life again.
So when shots are heard in connection to another devil hunt, Anzai must come face to face with blood being used against him to lure the darkness inside him. Can he get out of this trap?

If you thought one Urabe was intense, imagine dealing with two! In the third volume of Mysterious Girlfriend X, Tsubaki runs into a pair of young women with ambitions to become his “temporary girlfriend.”

First, Tsubaki is reunited with an old crush who is looking for affection, and maybe love in all the wrong places. The wrong place in this case is with Urabe’s boyfriend!  introduced to a carbon copy of his girlfriend! Then Urabe runs into her doppelganger and her “twin” is looking to change careers/lives if only for a brief period of time.

From new hits to beloved long-running titles, Vertical has everything for the well-read manga fan.


A Novel to Remember

Move over, garden-variety anti-heroes, and make way for a villain-hero, darker than the darkest knight: a lawyer with a faulty conscience graces us with his unsolicited presence.

Not only does this barrister have no qualms about taking on guilty-as-hell clients provided they can pay his exorbitant fees, but his own past seems mired in inexpiable sin. Yet the cynical attorney, whose legal acumen, at least, is impeccable, mysteriously seeks to defend a thirty-something woman with limited means and below-average looks who has murdered her deadbeat husband. A sordid case if there ever was one, it makes a veteran prosecutor wonder what the bastard is really after. What unfolds is one of the best courtroom dramas ever to come out of Japan.
The inspiration for a recent Japanese procedural drama of the same name, Nocturne of Remembrance is at the vanguard for what is a relatively new genre in Japanese media is now in print and digital formats.


New Acquisitions!

It has a been a little while since we have made a dedicated entry for new acquisitions. And after a busy two months of events, we have a few new titles to share with you all.

Over the summer at events such as AnimeCentral, AnimeNext, Anime Expo, and Otakon we had a number of opportunities to reveal new licenses with our growing core of readers. But for those of you who have not yet heard, we’ll be sharing a bit of info about those new acquisitions here.

Expect the usual mix of manga and prose that we are best-known for; all available in the first half of 2017.

Manga:

  • Flying Witch by Chihiro Ishizuka

Prose:

  • The Name of the Game is a Kidnapping by Keigo Higashino
  • NISEMONOGATARI by NISIOISIN
  • Seven Deadly Sins – Gaiden by Shuka Matta and Nakaba Suzuki

Fans over the summer have been clammoring over the recent announcements of Flying Witch and NISEMONOGATARI. Ishizuka’s heartwarming witch comedy Flying Witch was the surprise hit of the Spring 2016 anime season. And NISIOISIN’s NISE dives deep into the Araragi household by introducing his memorable siblings to a fanbase hungry for more of NISIOISIN’s “Tales.”

Expect to see these two titles and more over the next year. And stay tuned to this newsletter for more licensing news!


Vertical Fall 2016 Tour

28377576fb19a6dbe366f274_698x288The summer con season is over. But over the next few weeks fans  and readers alike will have the opportunity to meet Vertical staff and purchase our wears at our final events of the year.

First comes a rare trip to the South, as we make our seventh trip to Anime Weekend Atlanta. As usual, expect unique panels and a few licenses from Vertical including big news from a beloved Vertical author.

Then in October we return to New York ComicCon! Vertical has been to every one of these so far, and we’ll be excited to see our hometown fans as we promote BLAME!, MONOGATARI, and a few other Vertical hits. We’ll be at Booth #441 all weekend long!


Chi’s Sweet News!

Vertical top seller Chi’s Sweet Home is returning to the small screen next month with the debut of a new 3DCG animation! The new anime is called “A Kitty Named Chi” and it will debut on TV Tokyo in Japan starting October 2nd. International pop sensation Perfume will be providing the opening theme song for this weekly series produced by Marza Animation Planet (whose previous works include Hatsune Miku: Project Diva; Resident Evil: Vendetta; Splatoon; Space Captain Harlock).

Team Chi is already working on potential global partners for the anime, so fans should be able to see her new adventures in English and other languages in the not too distant future. Stay tuned!

In the meantime we have a promotional video to for you all to enjoy.

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We’re at the time of year where new launches start slowing down a bit. But we still have a few new series to look forward to before this fall.

Future Releases:

If you happen to pass by AWA, you’ll be able to pick up some advance releases for October and maybe November.

And here is what to expect over the next few months:

  • Hisashi Nozawa’s Deep Red (debuts July 2016)
  • Keigo Higashino’s The Name of the Game is A Kidnapping (debuts 2017)
  • NISIOISIN’s BAKEMONOGATARI (debuts December 2016)
  • Junji Ito’s Dissolving Classroom (debuts January 2017)
  • NEW LICENSE (January 2017!)

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved

Mysterious Girlfriend X © 2016 Riichi Ueshiba; Tokyo ESP © Hajime SEGAWA 2014; Witchcraft Works © 2016 Ryu Mizunagi; Wolfsmund © 2015 Mitsuhisa Kuji; BLAME! © 2016 Tsutomu Nihei; nichijou © Keiichi ARAWI 2009; Tsuioku no Nocturn © 2013 Shichiri Nakayama; To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts © 2016 MAYBE; Flying Witch © 2013 Chihiro Ishizuka; Devils’ Line © 2016 Ryo Hanada

WHO’S THE REAL GUILTY PARTY?

Nocturne of RemembranceNocturne of Remembrance is a taut legal thriller that introduces a lawyer whose past is so questionable it redefines the meaning of anti-hero!

Meet the ultimate sleazy lawyer—a man with a very dark past and no qualms about defending guilty-as-hell clients, as long as they can pay his exorbitant fees. So it’s totally out of character for the cynical Mikoshiba to seek out and take on the case of a young woman of limited means who has murdered her deadbeat husband.

This puzzling turn of events leaves veteran prosecutor Misaki wondering what the bastard is really after. The ensuing battle of wits that plays out in court will reveal not only the accused woman’s guilt or innocence, but that of her defense attorney as well.

Summer Blockbusters

Summer is full of big big franchises! Full of action, excitement and tension these works tend to be memorable and often big budgeted.

Vertical may not have the biggest budgets to blow, but it does have some big names. And this month we have some big hitters along with a new action title debuting; a little bit of everything for everyone.


New Releases

Debuting this month, Ryo Yasohachi’s Immortal Hounds combines high intensity bullet ballet action with a high concept science-fiction narrative that digs deep into Japan’s dwindling population problems.

In a world where everyone is immortal some people have contracted a disease called Resurrection Deficiency Syndrome that prevents them from coming back to life after experiencing physical trauma or life-threatening illness. A police task force has been assigned to uncover the origins of this disease, as well as find a rogue group of vigilantes protecting those with RDS.

In Devils’ Line 2, Anzai is wounded badly and he begins to doubt whether he has the mental strength to continue with his duties. The taste of blood changed something within this half-devil and now he fears that he might not see Tsukasa ever again! But as he struggles with his psychological darkness another devil makes an appearance with some well timed optimism.

Not-so-ordinary hijinks continue in Nichijou 3. Yukko forgets her homework, again, and just when she thinks she has escaped without punishment Mr. Takasaki decides to unless a barrage unseen before in manga history. Later, Mio and Sasahara share a moment by a vending machine. Their struggle, so real and painful, brings them closer together as they stand together under overcast skies…

Konami Kanata’s Chi’s Sweet Home will soon wrap up. In this third collection Chi and her new furry friend, Cocchi, share a number of adventures in Green Park. And after we are treated to a FukuFuku bonus chapter, readers can check out a brand new Chi comic made for the announcement of the Chi’s Sweet Home anime, scheduled for broadcast Fall 2016!

So as you can see, this month we have some heavy hitters! Cat comics, not so sparkly vampires, very mortal immortals, and anemic educators… This is a line-up that deserves to be an almost every all-star team!


Comic Con or Bust!

After a tremendously successful Anime Expo, Vertical now goes down the coast south to San Diego for Comic Con International. The world’s premiere comic convention will host Vertical and their special guest Tsutomu Nihei this July and fans are in for a big treat!

As usual Vertical will be setting up shop in the Exhibition Hall (booth #1631). This year we’ll be having a few exclusive goodies to give away along with a handful of advance releases.

Goodies:

  • BLAME! Shikishi (with purchase of BLAME! or Knights of Sidonia or by attending his autograph session)
  • BLAME! T-Shirt (free on Preview Night only!)
  • Chi’s Sweet Home Mini-Poster (Free)
  • KIZUMONOGATARI Mini-Poster (Free)

Quantities will be limited for these exclusive items, so please make your way to our booth as soon as you can.

We’ll also have a couple advanced releases for readers to take advantage of:

A rare appearance by Vertical mangaka Tsutomu Nihei highlights our programming for the weekend.

First on Saturday (3:00pm), we will be joining Mr. Nihei and staff from the Knights of Sidonia anime in a spotlight of Nihei’s career. His panel will cover his work on Sidonia, the process of adapting his work into anime, and then into the release of BLAME! in the new MASTERS’ EDITION omnibus. A Q&A with the public will follow. And who knows maybe Mr. Nihei and crew will announce something new also!

At 5:30pm also on Saturday, Mr. Nihei will then have his official autograph session at SDCC. Commemorative shikishi signing boards will be provided to the first 150 people in line for this once in a lifetime special event.


2016 Convention Schedule

California, here we come! And once we are done with our West Coast leg of our tour, we head out to the Atlantic for two mega-shows!

We look forward to seeing many of you throughout the year!


If you happen to pass by SDCC, you’ll be able to pick up some advance releases, including BLAME!

Future Releases:

Stay Vertical!


 

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved

BLAME! © 2016 Tsutomu Nihei; Immortal Hounds © 2014 Ryo Yasohachi; The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home © 2016 Konami Kanata; nichijou © Keiichi ARAWI 2008; Devils’ Line © 2016 Ryo Hanada

Your Source for Summer Reading

Summer is here and for many people that offers plenty of opportunities to get some needed reading done. Vertical readers will have plenty to sink into whether at the beach or in the park as we have a handful of new releases, many of them with a little heft.


New Releases

Our big release of the month is the latest from the Attack on Titan franchise. Lost Girls is a series of shorts that focuses on two of the more vital female characters from the Titan world. Penned by Hiroshi Seko, the script writer for the Titan anime, Lost Girls looks at the motivations and backgrounds of Mikasa and Annie as they both stand on opposite sides of the walls. Featuring art from Hajime Isayama, this is a must read for hardcore fans of the Attack on Titan series.

Ninja Slayer returns this month and immediately takes the manga series into new worlds of cyberpunk in One Minute before the Tanuki! A ninja virus is threatening to kill Ninja Slayers mentor. To save him, he hacks his way into the dark internet to take on a co-op of cyber ninja, who have been cracking accounts and minds hooked up to the world-wide web. Will Ninja Slayer be able to type fast enough break through this most dangerous of firewalls?

In the second volume of Mysterious Girlfriend X, Urabe and Tsubaki continue to develop their special relationship. In the process they learn more about each other and their friends. But how they go about doing so still is a little, unusual. Especially when that means finding out more about Oka’s past. Or even weirder, learning about Tsubaki’s older sister and her romantic past!

Finally in Tokyo ESP, Rinka is back! But where ever there is Rinka there is usually chaos! First she returns to save Tokyo from another terrorist attack. But then she takes an assignment from the CIA to infiltrate a secret underground network of super-human fighting circles originating from Hong Kong! According to US intelligence this would be an esper rescue mission. But once Rinka enter this world, she wonders if it was all just a big trap!


Next Stop… Los Angeles

Vertical is now deep into con season and our next leg of our summer tour will be taking us to two events in Southern California. We’ll talk about ComicCon and Tsutomu Nihei’s appearance in the next newsletter. This time, though, we will focus our attention on the largest anime convention in North America – Anime Expo!

As usual Vertical will be setting up shop in the Exhibition Hall (booth #509). This year we’ll be having a few exclusive goodies to give away along with a handful of advance releases.

Goodies:

  • Chi’s Sweet Home Sticker Set (free)
  • The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home Mini-Poster (free)
  • KIZUMONOGATARI shikishi (with purchase of book)
  • Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City shikishi (with purchase of book)

Quantities will be limited for these exclusive items, so please make your way to our booth as soon as you can.

We’ll also have a couple advanced releases for readers to take advantage of:

For those looking for entertainment and news, join us for a pair of panels.

First on Friday, we will be joining Bang Zoom! and the editor for KIZUMONOGATARI in a read along of the KIZU and Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City light novels. Voice acting talents Eric Kimerer, Erica Lindbeck, Keith Silverstein, and Cristina Vee will read their roles from the audiobook releases of these books. After their reads, the editor of the MONOGATARI series, Mariko Yajima will give her thoughts on these performances before the panelists take questions about Vertical’s audiobook project.

On Saturday, Vertical will host its annual industry panel. Covering new releases and the 2016-2017 catalog, stay tuned for a new license announcement that should generate some buzz over the weekend. Ms. Yajima will also join us at this panel. Here she will take questions about MONOGATARI from the audience in a rare appearance from Japanese prose editors.

Then on Sunday, join the Voice Actors of MONOGATARI and AoT: Harsh Mistress for a special autograph session in the Kentia Hall at 2:30. Special shikishi signing boards will be distributed at the Vertical booth and at the Read Along panel at a first come first serve basis.

From swag to potentially once in a lifetime special events, if you need reasons to head on down to Anime Expo this weekend Vertical has you covered.


2016 Convention Schedule

California, here we come!

We look forward to seeing many of you throughout the year!


We’re at the time of year where new launches start slowing down a bit. But we still have a few new series to look forward to before this fall.

Future Releases:

Immortals and dystopian universes… Yup, Vertical does it all. Sci-fi, mystery, thrillers, and cat comics, anything good from Japan is within your grasp when you choose Vertical this summer.


 

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved

Mysterious Girlfriend X © 2016 Riichi Ueshiba; Tokyo ESP © Hajime SEGAWA 2013-2014; Shousetsu Shingeki no Kyojin LOST GIRLS © 2015 Hajime Isayama, Hiroshi Seko, Kodansha / ATTACK ON TITAN Production Committee; Ninja Slayer © 2012 NINJ@ ENTERTAINMENT  © Yuki Yogo 2015  © 2015 Yoshiaki Tabata; KIZUMONOGATARI © 2008 NISIOISIN; Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City © 2015 Hajime Isayama, Ryo Kawakami

HANGING OUT WITH THE POPULAR GIRLS

Attack on Titan: Lost GirlsThe latest light novel in the Attack on Titan epic offers a glimpse behind the tough exteriors of Mikasa and Annie, two of the original comic’s most beloved characters.

In Lost Girls, a sequel to the manga, you’ll discover a trio of short stories that provide insights into the personalities of these two fan favorites, and also add depth to the Titan saga as a whole. Mikasa and Annie are arguably the toughest heroines in the Titan universe. Previously, you only got to see their badass side, but now, they reveal their true thoughts and feelings, and also what went on “behind the scenes” and in between the core action of the story.

Author Hiroshi Seko writes, “…as someone with a passing relationship to Attack on Titan, my interest (and heart) is hopelessly drawn to the burdens carried by Mikasa and Annie, and at the same time to the burdens they are probably carrying, and I think I wanted to understand the youg women on a deeper level by writing about them on my own.”

Two of the stories, “Lost in the Cruel World” and “Wall Sina, Goodbye,” were included as “visual novels” in the bonus features of the third and sixth Blue-ray releases of the Attack on Titan anime. Seko revised them, and composed the title story, “Lost Girls,” especially for this volume.

Jiro Talks of Sushi

Sushi Chef: Sukiyabashi JiroSushi chef (and subject of the 2011 documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”) Jiro Ono is a true original – passionate, obsessive, opinionated, a perfectionist and a brilliant technician. Diners lucky enough to have experienced a meal at his Tokyo restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro know first-hand that he is the Master.

But the rest of us are left wondering, what is it about Jiro that makes him so good?

In SUSHI CHEF: SUKIYABASHI JIRO, Jiro reveals his secrets. The book is the ultimate guide to all things sushi, from a detailed explanation of what fish to use and why, to seasonal ingredients for nigiri, the preparation process, sushi rice, nori maki and tamagoyaki, pickling ginger, grating wasabi, and much, much more.

Interspersed with the main chapters are “Jiro Sushi Talks,” in which the iconoclastic chef informally chats about a wide range of topics. Among his more eye-opening proclamations:

  • Kohada (gizzard shad) is the Yokuzuna (sumo wrestling champ) of nigiri. My throat    squeaks when I eat it. (p. 43)
  • It’s out of pride as a sushi craftsman that I disregard profit and make shinko (young    gizzard shad) nigiri. (p. 47)
  • The reason Edomae-style ebi (shrimp) is by far the best is that it’s superior in criteria    such as sweetness, aroma, and the color after boiling. This is probably because there’s plenty of food for them. The seawater needs to be somewhat dirty for the kuruma ebi’s food to grow. If the water is clean, ebi won’t live there, so Tokyo Bay became its perfect habitat. (p. 73)
  • Nori is such an important ingredient that it can affect the impression of a sushi    restaurant overall. (p. 208)
  • I’m often told that my customers don’t get thirsty after eating our nigiri. (p. 246)
  • Good sushi restaurants discipline customers. (p. 261)

When it was published in Japanese in 1997, SUSHI CHEF shocked the industry and aficionados alike with its revelations of insider information and startling opinions. Now, with Vertical’s new version, English-speaking sushi lovers everywhere will come to appreciate Jiro’s vision, and to understand why a seat at the counter of Sukiyabashi Jiro is, arguably, the most coveted in Japan.

Maybe Manga, Maybe Sushi

M is for Monsters

Some months are full of humor and some may overflow with action, but this month a curious coincidence occurred where we are scheduled to launch two new titles with supernatural themes.  One comes in the form of a sci-fi drama, the other in a shonen action-fantasy, but both are new in Japan and causing a stir within that industry.

Along with those two debuts are a couple of beloved on-going works, and a great selection of Japanese prose to make this month on of the more memorable ones we have had in ages.

So May is panning out of be a monster! A month full of releases; literally our biggest month ever!


New Releases

-Vampires are commonplace in media these days. TV, movies, comics and even prose are full of supernatural tales of the immortal bloodsuckers. Ryo Hanada’s Devils’ Line plays with these tropes but takes it to a new level.

Tsukasa like many young people these days has heard rumors of a series of vampire murders that have occurred around Japan. But most people are skeptical, believing the murders have been sensationalized by the media for ratings.

One day, on her way home, she finds herself in the midst of a vampire and a dhampir vampire hunter. Soon she will find herself under said dhampir’s protection and eventually his embrace, as he promises to cross an invisible line to watch over her in a world that is much more dangerous than previously imagined. Anzai, the dhampir, is part of a vampire related crime unit that monitors and hunts rogue vamps. And as they both will discover there are humans which hunt the hunters, as they want a world completely rid of vampires, instead!

-The Civil War is the backdrop to MAYBE’s To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts but it is a new take on what a pivotal time in history. In this world, the North was vastly outnumbered, so they turned to the dark arts to create monstrous super-soldiers to give them an edge. As the war has ended, the monsters remain, and many of them have turned against humanity and it is up to Beast Hunters to eliminate this new threat.

Schaal is searching for a specific beast hunter. The hunter who took down her father. And when she finds him, she soon comes to realize that there is much more to the Sacred Beasts than what she believed. There is some humanity to them, but many of them are looking for ways to end their suffering.

Nichijou is now a New York Times Best Seller and why wouldn’t it be with mad hijinks like those seen in volume two.

Poor Yuuko! On a routine morning walk to school she greets her classmates with a pun. Unfortunately it falls flat. So in typical Yuuko form she tries another. And another! And even another! None of them work! No one laughs! Her gags are dead. She has zero chemistry… Some days nothing is punny or funny. And poor Nano finds out what her big toe does. It’s a USB rocket toe… Some days it doesn’t pay to be a robot.

In What Did You Eat Yesterday 10, it is summer time and that means light easy to eat and prepare dishes for Shiro to make. His office has an excess of somen noodles, so the frugal gourmand has an opportunity to make cold noodles for himself and his friends! But it has been a while since he has gone out to cook for others and he is about to experience many life changes. Families grow around Shiro, while his remains the same. But as he will soon find out, over some watermelon, family is not only about blood relations. So his family is also about to grow!

Determination in the vein of Detective Columbo is at the core of Gaku Yakumaru’s A Cop’s Eyes. A former juvenile reformatory center staffer changes careers in his middle age to become a police detective. This gentle man has now have to dive head first in the cold violent underbelly of Japan’s criminal world. But through the seven shorts of this collection, Detective Natsume’s ability to understand the human condition will lead him to uncover a number of riddles and save the lives of many people, including one young man he met in juvie many years ago.

Shinzo Satomi’s Sushi Chef: Sukiyabashi Jiro is one of the most unique reads we have published in ages. On the surface it is a looks like a cookbook. But upon closer inspection it is a fascinating deconstruction of a restaurant that has inspired a food revolution and is at the core of the movie Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Satomi goes into great detail about the ingredients used by Jiro. How the are sources and how they are eventually prepared are looked at with great scrutiny to reveal the attention and precision that Jiro has put into his seasonal menus.

This is a book for the true foodies in your life, and also their chefs. So if you cannot go to Jiro, why not read about what has made his sushi must eats for Barack Obama and gourmands from across the globe.

In the second Seraph of the End, Guren finds himself in a much better social position amongst his peers. He’s now playing shogi and interacting with those who were once against him. But they have a common interest and that is what is also causing them a lot of trouble these days. Guren is going to have to confront the Thousand Nights, but something or someone is getting in his way.


Audiobook Options

This month Vertical will debut their new line of audiobooks. Focusing initially on popular cross media brands such as MONOGATARI and Attack on Titan, Vertical Audio is a revolutionary way to experience Japanese prose in English.

Unique to most audiobooks, Vertical’s releases feature music and sound effects to enhance the reading, and create a feel that is somewhat similar to an anime experience.

Vertical Audio releases will be available for download from a wide range of sources including Audible, iTunes, Nook, Audiobooks.com, Overdrive, and others.

  • KIZUMONOGATARI: Wound Tale (May 25, 2016) is by NISIOISIN, arguably Japan’s best-selling novelist, and is the first volume in the legendary MONOGATARI series to be translated into English.
  • Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City Parts 1 & 2 (June 1, 2016) is a two-part stand-alone saga set in the days after the Wall has been breached and the marauding Titans are terrorizing humanity. The “Attack on Titan” mega-franchise is one of today’s most successful pop-culture phenomena.

Note prices may vary from vendor to vendor.


New Acquisition

Last weekend at Chicago’s Anime Central, Vertical announced the acquisition of their newest manga license – Flying Witch.

Chihiro Ishizuka’s slice of life comedy set in Akita, Japan, covers the day to day life of a young aspiring witch and her young relatives.

Kodansha Ltd. in Japan has currently released four volumes of this series in their monthly Bessatsu Shonen Magazine anthology. Meanwhile Crunchyroll has been streaming the Flying Witch anime produced by J.C. Staff.

Vertical will launch this thoughtful and charming comedy in 2017. Stay tuned to the Vertical newsletter for more information and preorder links.


2016 Convention Schedule

Convention season is here! And the Vertical tour is already in full swing! We’ll be criss-crossing the country throughout the summer selling our wares and promoting our brand of Japanese print media.

To help inform our readers and fans out there, we wanted to share our tentative convention schedule with you all.

We’ll be hosting panels and events at most of these shows. And as usual, you can purchase goods and meet staff at the Vertical booth.

We look forward to seeing many of you throughout the year!


Future Releases:

  • Attack on Titan: Lost Girls (debuts June 2016)
  • Nocturne of Remembrance (debuts July 2016)
  • Immortal Hounds (debuts July 2016)

Titan conflicts and immortal consequences are at the forefront of our mid-year releases. So preorder a copy or two and prepare yourself for more high quality Vertical reads to keep you entertained over your long, warm summer days.

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
Devils’ Line © 2016 Ryo Hanada; To the Abandonded Sacred Beasts © 2016 MAYBE; nichijou © Keiichi Arawi 2007; What Did You Eat Yesterday? © 2016 Fumi Yoshinaga; A Cop’s Eyes © 2012 Gaku Yakumaru; Sushi Chef © 1997 NAITO Shizue; Seraph of the End © 2016 Takaya Kagami; Flying Witch © Chihiro Ishizuka 2012; KIZUMONOGATARI © 2008 NISIOISIN