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

Not your typical high school day!

Seraph of the End Guren Ichinose: Catastrophe at Sixteen 1Math, science, historypreparing for the apocalypse. Guren Ichinose and his fellow students at First Shibuya High School have a lot on their minds besides rooting for the school football team.

SERAPH OF THE END: Guren Ichinose: Catastrophe at Sixteen is a light novel series set eight years before the events of the blockbuster manga and anime. In the novels, we know the end of the world is coming at Christmas, but how and why it will end, who will be responsible, and what will happen afterwards is still a mystery.

Like any group of high school kids, the students at elite First Shibuya have their cliques and crushes, their enemies and their heartbreaks. But for Guren, Mahiru, Shinya, Kureto, Mito, Norito, Sayuri, and Shigure, school is also about getting stronger, becoming better fighters, making strategic alliances, and defending the honor and power of their family clans.

Book I introduces the gang. As the heir to the weakened Ichinose Clan, Guren is in a vulnerable position among his classmates. His plan is to act meek and diffident, and suffer through the taunts and bullying until the moment is right to reveal his true strength.

Book 2 finds Guren’s fortunes have changed—at least for the time being. He’s now part of Seraph of the End Guren Ichinose: Catastrophe at Sixteen 2the inner circle of Kureto Hiragi, star student, powerbroker, and scion of the Hiragi Clan, leaders of the magical syndicate The Order of the Imperial Demons. On the surface, a submissive follower, at heart, unbowed, Guren directs his clan to research forbidden magic in preparation for the impending apocalypse.

Books I and 2 of SERAPH OF THE END are loaded with illustrations, written by Takaya Kagami in the exciting style that fans of his manga crave, and feature great characters (some of whom appear in the manga). And watch for Book 3, coming this September!

GOOD COP – BAD COP!

A Cop's EyesWhat does it take to be a good cop? Natsume in A COP’S EYES and Mekari in SHIELD OF STRAW each brings his own approach—along with some pretty heavy personal baggage—to his work as a Tokyo police detective.

Calm, soft-spoken Natsume certainly doesn’t fit the image of a hardened Tokyo cop. He’d started his career working with troubled kids at a reformatory but had abruptly quit to join the force. Those who know him wonder why this gentle man, whose vocation had been to believe in other people, had chosen a new profession based on doubting them. Sincere, empathetic, and persistent, Natsume doesn’t resort to physical force or even flashy forensics. He solves cases by listening closely and winning the trust of both victims and perps—then looking into their hearts and minds with the eyes of someone who can truly understand.

Shield of StrawAssistant Inspector Mekari, on the other hand, has no interest in getting into the head of the child rapist-murderer he’s ordered to escort back to Tokyo to stand trial. He just wants to complete the assignment and be done with the creep. A recent and still-grieving widower, he had thought he’d be willing to take a bullet in the line of duty. But things have gotten complicated: a billion-dollar bounty has been placed on the killer’s head by the latest victim’s grandfather. Now, with just about everyone in Japan lusting after the money, Mekari struggles to come to grips with his own sense of duty…to his job, to the thoroughly evil person he’s supposed to keep safe, and to himself.

April Showers bring Manga Flowers

Spring Forward

So we are certain you have done so already. But in Vertical’s case this has a slightly bitter and very sweet taste to it. With a beloved series coming to an end, two other titles showcasing new lead characters, and the return of a fan favorite with a tear-jerking one-shot, the Vertical fam is a little…misty-eyed.

Thankfully all these titles are bound to entertain. So even if we may have to deal with some emotional moments, the results should whet the palette for even more from your favorite publisher.


New Releases

Spring in the US means the start of a number of sporting seasons. Soccer season is now in full swing here and soccer is one of the primary themes in Kaori Okazaki’s The Gods Lie.

Natsuru’s life hasn’t been easy. Not having a dad means having to learn sports by yourself and having to learn about girls by yourself. Sure his mom is amazing, but she has a child to raise on her own and a career as a novelist to balance. So Natsuru has to look up to his teachers and coaches for direction. Sadly his soccer coach has left the team, his health has become a factor. And Natsuru is beginning to dread his summer, until he met Rio.

Now his life is tough, but Rio lives alone with her younger brother. Her life is a constant struggle. Rio is in Natsuru’s 6th grade class, so she definitely has no experience living alone, and she has no choice in the matter as her father is “away.” His summer might be a mess but Rio’s life is constantly a struggle.  Well this summer, their break will be different! It will be fun, exciting…eye-opening. A summer they’ll never forget. A summer that might drive Natsuru to meet his goals as a soccer player!

In the final volume of Tsutomu Nihei’s Knights of Sidonia the crew of the Sidonia are engaging in what may be their defining battle. Unfortunately for them, they may have to engage in this war to end all wars without their talisman – Tsumugi.

With freedom within their grasp, will the Sidonia be able to live through this for the future of mankind? Or will Tanikaze and his colleagues suffer through another millennia of searching?

Ninja Slayer returns this month without much Ninja Slayer! Ninja Slayer might have been killed when a nuke went off in the Saitama suburbs. So who will defend the “weak” or maintain the “peace”? Possibly no one. Possibly a new “hero” who is looking to make a buck in the process. Or maybe someone who isn’t a hero at all. Maybe the dark world will overtake the megalopolis even more. Either way, with all the chaos the world needs Ninja Slayer even more!

In Tokyo ESP 4, it is been more than a year since Rinka’s story ended. Tokyo is a very different place now. A good portion of the population have become mutants. Among them is high school student Ren Jomaku. She never asked or wanted to be a mutant. But now she has the ability to turn things into ice. And to properly control that ability, she is now enrolled in the new ESP Academy in Tokyo Bay. Ren is going to have to refine those skills because her school is going to be at the center of a lot of mutant mishaps, many of them which will lead to mayhem!

Ok so maybe very little has changed in Tokyo.

Yup, spring is here! And with it comes glowing fish, sports, alien attacks and soccer camps. Oh and more great manga from your favorite publisher!


Listen to our Words

Vertical, Inc. a division of Kodansha USA, will release the first three titles in in audiobook publishing program this Spring. Each of the three initial releases is an unabridged version of a recent best-selling novel from the publisher.

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.
In order to resonate with the enormous fanbase for the original material, the audio-books feature voice actors well-known for their work in anime and video games. We feel the actors we have cast have enormous followings of their own among the millions of American fans of the many animation series, films, and video games based on Japanese comics. And we believe that by using their recognizable names and voices in the audio versions of our books the audience will make a seamless transition to listening to the stories we publish.

The actors include:

  • Cristina Vee (KIZUMONOGATARI) – Sailor Moon,  Knights of Sidonia, Squid Girl
  • Erica Linbeck (Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City) – The Seven Deadly Sins: Jericho, Aldnoah.Zero, Coppelion
  • Erik Kimerer (KIZUMONOGATARI) –Your Lie in April, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Iron-Blooded Orphans, ToraDora
  • Keith Silverstein (KIZUMONOGATARI and Attack on Titan: Harsh Mistress of the City) – Sailor Moon, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, Naruto

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

  • KIZUMONOGATARI: Wound Tale ($19.95 / 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.
  • THE HARSH MISTRESS OF THE CITY Parts 1 & 2 ($14.95 Each / 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.

Read the Manga, Watch the Anime

Ever so often Vertical is fortunate enough to find a true gem of a property. Works that are not just unique and well-crafted, but these gems are also accessible, timely, and capable of expanding not only our audience but the manga market as a whole. We were quite fortunate that AJIN: Demi-Human was one of those works. And starting this week, the property is taking another step towards broader acceptance as its anime adaptation debuts on NetFlix!

Polygon Pictures have taken Gamon Sakurai’s high stakes tale of a new world teeming with life-threatening immortals is rendered with attention to all the tension and intensity of the manga.


c8c23fd2122d7446d370847e_1180x5402016 Convention Schedule

Convention season is here! And maybe you weren’t aware but Vertical has already attended one con already this year!

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:

From vampire hunting damphirs to monster hunting werewolves and various forms of sushi making, Vertical in 2016 should your source for some of the more eclectic works seen in Japan today!

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
Tokyo ESP © Hajime SEGAWA 2012-2013; Ninja Slayer © 2012 NINJ@ ENTERTAINMENT © Yuki YOGO 2015 © Yoshiaki TABATA  2015; Knights of Sidonia © 2016 Tsutomu Nihei; the gods lie. © 2016 Kaori Ozaki; AJIN ©Gamon Sakurai, KODANSHA/AJIN Production Committee; KIZUMONOGATARI © 2008 NISIOISIN

March Manga Madness!

Spring is in the Air

Well, almost.

There are still a few days left of winter, but spring is right around the corner. And to kick off this new season, Vertical has a pair of new series to brighten readers’ days.

So in between spring picnics under plum blossom trees or college basketball and preseason Major League Baseball games readers can partake in four new releases full of energy, passion, and hilarity.


New Releases

In Riichi Ueshiba’s Mysterious Girlfriend X, spring is for lovers. But in this case love is almost like a welcome disease!

A new girl has joined Akira’s class and there is an air of mystery around this stranger. She constantly falls asleep in class. Doesn’t interact with her peers. And her random outbursts are bizarre to say the least. But there is something about Mikoto that has piqued Akira’s interest.

So after he is caught in a moment of curiosity, he realizes that he basically cannot live without Mikoto. Lovesick to the point of becoming physically ill, Akira comes to depend Mikoto. And the strange thing is that a little voice told Mikoto she was going to fall for Akira. Spring is in the air all right, and it’s going to lead to some warm and potentially viscous moments.

Expect the unexpected in Keiichi Arawi’s nichijou. On the surface this appears to be a slice of life comedy set in a Japanese school. But upon second, or third look, there is always something unique going down within the pages of this beloved series.

Whether it’s the random use of Malay in the dialogue or the occasional deer wrestling scene, moments of surrealism tend to saturate this manga. Something that will be normal, though, will be moments of laughter. Expect to laugh a lot!

Gamon Sakurai’s AJIN returns this month with the most recent volume to reveal some secrets of Mr. Hat’s past. After a series of attacks on politicos and people in positions of power, the Japanese government is starting to crack. But amongst those who have fought against Mr. Hat there is a deep-rooted feeling that Sato will never stop until he gets exactly what he wants! Because, as readers will soon find out, Mr. Hat is fighting his own personal war. A war he has been engaged in for decades now!

In My Neighbor Seki 7, Seki does not want winter to end! Typical Seki, always looking to cause trouble, he has devised a pyramid scheme to completely monopolize on the winter holiday season. First he works on his XMas cosplay. Then he launches a series of overpriced and over-hyped products kids and adults “must have”! Then he plants gifts for kids to go searching…stuffed with useless trinkets. Rumi is not going to have any of that though. She’ll be tearing down his plans, cause she knows Seki has been bad all year!

Love! Comedy! Vengeance! Salmon showers… Yup. We’ve got everything you could ever ask for this month. Enjoy the Madness!


c8c23fd2122d7446d370847e_1180x5402016 Convention Schedule

As Spring is upon us, so is convention season. Actually Vertical has already attended one con already this year!

So to help inform our readers and fans out there, we wanted to share our tentative concention 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:

From Titan-ic tales to not so sparkly vampires and various forms sushi making, Vertical in 2016 should your source for what is blooming brilliantly in Japan today!

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
Nichijou © Keiichi ARAWI 2007; My Neighbor Seki © Takumu Morishige 2015; Mysterious Girlfriend X © 2016 Riichi Ueshiba; AJIN © 2016 Gamon Sakurai

An Unforgettable February

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Love and Politics

It’s February and that means a month full of presidential holidays and a special day where we celebrate love and romance. Vertical is always in the mood for both, and while we are lacking in pure romance this month there is plenty of love in the form of cute kittens!

Along with that we are also debuting the latest novel from legendary mangaka Kazuhiro Kiuchi. Another tale of love, but this book is more about vengeance than paternal love.

Add a battle for Japan’s capital and parliament building and you have a list that covers all the key Feb points…Kinda.


 

New Releases

Kazuhiro Kiuchi cut his teeth drawing the legendary yankii manga Be-Bop High School in the ’80s and ’90s, but upon entering the new century he turned his attention towards the world of prose. His first novel was something of a phenomenon. Shield of Straw was pure raw entertainment. A reflection of modern day Japan and how much society there has at times been too introverted, it focuses on vengeance at the cost of justice and humanity. And readers over there gobbled it up.

So much so its success would inspire a live-action film by the legendary director Takashi Miike. Miike fell in love with the story instantly, acknowledging that it was made for the big screen. Shield of Straw‘s film was a hit at Cannes and has been distributed across the globe in a number of languages.

Finally, a decade since the book debuted in Japanese Kiuchi’s novel is ready to make waves in English. Prepare to be entertained, and remember…trust no one!

Most Vertical readers should be familiar with the name Konami Kanata. Here series Chi’s Sweet Home is our best-selling manga and she was one of our first New York Times Best Sellers. Her cat comics have touched numerous readers, and we’re thrilled to soon release her longest running kitty comic yet.

FukuFuku has been running in some form since the ’80s; making it one of the longest running manga in history. But FukuFuku: Kitten Tales is a slightly more contemporary series focusing on the titular kitten’s early days in Granny’s home. Cute, touching and full of adventure Kitten Tales is poised to be the next level of Japan Cute! And is bound to warm hearts…of cat lovers and dog lovers alike!

The latest issue of Ninja Slayer wraps up the “Last Girl Standing” arc. Yamoto never wanted to be a she-ninja but now that her friends are caught in the crosshairs she is going to have to use her ninja soul to protect them. But where does that place her in Ninja Slayer’s vision? Will she be killed like all the rest?!

Tokyo is under siege again. However what makes this latest attack unique is how the renegades are not going after the Diet Building or some ancient artifacts. Instead a band of young baddies have decided to raid Rinka’s school in what might be the most diabolical and personal attack ever made in Tokyo ESP so far.


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New Licenses!

Over Katsucon weekend, in Washington DC last week, Vertical announced three new acquisitions scheduled for release in their Fall 2016 span. As usual the three new properties cover what readers have come to expect from the eclectic publisher, mixing genres but also bringing over some of the most well-known creators from Japan in recent history.

  • Tsutomu Nihei’s BLAME! -master’s edition- (On Sale September 2016)
  • NISIOISIN’s BAKEMONOGATARI (On Sale December 2016)
  • Junji Ito’s Dissolving Classroom (On Sale January 2017)

NISIOISIN’s BAKEMONOGARTARI is the original title in the MONOGATARI Series and has been one of the most anticipated Japanese prose releases in recent memory. Having debuted in Japan in 2006, BAKE catapulted an already successful NISIOISIN to legendary status, especially amongst young readers across Japan. And with a stylish adaptation by SHAFT and Aniplex the MONOGATARI Series soon became one of the most beloved works of the ’00s, setting a tone for the potential of Japanese YA in and outside of Japan.

Junji Ito is considered by many across the globe to be a master of horror. The veteran artist is admired worldwide for his striking designs and his unique ability to turn the mundane into shocking, and often comically distributing, parodies of society. Works like Uzumaki (Viz Media) and Cat Diary (Kodansha USA Publishing) have illustrated the breadth of Ito’s talents as of late. And his latest comic Dissolving Classroom does more of the same focusing on the idea of melting minds and bodies, while combining horror with some more comedic moments. This short story collection should be a must by for Ito fans!

Finally, one of Vertical’s more popular artists returns to our lineup with a repackaged classic. Tsutomu Nihei (Knights of Sidonia) made a name for himself in the manga scene back in the late ’90s with his dystopian work BLAME!. Nihei’s world building and truly out-of-this-world design would earn him recognition by comic readers and publishers across the globe. Unfortunately English editions of BLAME! had been out of print for years. But now, after a new omnibus master’s edition was released in Japan, Vertical has brought back this cult classic in this oversized format worthy of both Nihei and Vertical brands! Printed in oversized paperbacks (larger in trim than our Gundam: The ORIGIN releases) each 400+ page omnibus features high quality paper, new cover designs and treatments, and all of the color pages found in the Japanese releases (color page count varies volume to volume). These books will be too gorgeous to pass up!

And as usual, stay tuned to this newsletter and Vertical’s social media platforms for alerts on these projects.


MONOGATARI Movie Screenings

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The KIZUMONOGATARI movie is here! Well, almost. Screening start February 26th and we have a list of venues to share with you:

  • Albuquerque, NM: The Guild Cinema
  • Atlanta, GA: Plaza Theatre
  • Austin, TX: Alamo Drafthouse Austin Lakeline
  • Bloomfield, MI: The Maple Theater
  • Boston, MA: Brattle Theatre
  • Chicago, IL: Music Box
  • Columbus, OH: Gateway Film Center
  • Dallas, TX: Angelika Film Center & Café
  • Fairfax, VA: Angelika Film Center & Café – Mosaic
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL: Cinema Paradiso
  • Hollywood, FL: Cinema Paradiso
  • Honolulu, HI: Ward Stadium 16
  • Houston, TX: Alamo Drafthouse Mason Park
  • Kalamazoo, MI: Alamo Drafthouse
  • Kansas City, MO: Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet
  • Littleton, CO: Alamo Drafthouse
  • Los Angeles, CA: Downtown Independent
  • Manville, NJ: Manville 12 Plex
  • Mililani, HI: Mililani 14
  • New York, NY: Village East Cinema
  • Pittsburgh, PA: The Hollywood Theater
  • Raleigh, NC: Raleighwood Cinema Grill
  • Sacramento, CA: Tower Theater
  • Sandy, UT: Megaplex – Jordan Commons
  • San Antonio, TX: Alamo Drafthouse Westlakes
  • San Diego, CA: Angelika Carmel Mountain
  • San Diego, CA: Town Square
  • San Francisco, CA: New People
  • Seattle, WA: Grand Illusion
  • Tempe, AZ: Harkins Theatres Bakersfield, CA: Valley Plaza
  • Vancouver, WA: The Kiggins Theatre
  • Washington DC: Angelika Pop-Up

Please check with the theaters nearest you for exact dates and times, as they are subject to change and availability.

Distributed by ANIPLEX fans of this property can find more details about the film at the official KIZU website http://kizumonogatari-usa.com.


Future Releases:

  • The gods lie. by Kaoru Ozaki (debuts April 2016)
  • Abandoned Sacred Beasts by MAYBE (debuts May 2016)
  • Devil’s Line by Ryo Hanada (debuts May 2016)
  • A Cop’s Eye by Gaku Yakumaru (May 2016)
  • Sushi Chef: Sukiyabashi Jiro by Shinzo Satomi (May 2016)

From cat comics to surreal comedies and various forms of Japanese gumshoe prose, Vertical in 2016 is your opportunity to accomplish that one key resolution you make every year… Read more good content!

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
FukuFuku: Kitten Tales © 2016 Konami Kanata; Ninja Slayer © 2012 Ninj@ Entertainment © Yuki YOGO 2014 © Toshiaki TABATA 2014; Tokyo ESP © Hajime Segawa 2012; Wara no Tate © 2007 Kazuhiro Kiuchi; KIZUMONOGATARI © 2008 NISIOISIN; KIZUMONOGATARI: Part One -TEKKETSU- © NISIOISIN/KODANSHA, ANIPLEX, SHAFT; BAKEMONOGATARI © 2006 NISIOISIN; BLAME! © Tsutomu Nihei 2015; Youkai Kyoushitsu © 2014 Junji Ito (AKITASHOTEN JAPAN)