A Spook-tacular Month for Vertical

October is a special month for Vertical, especially its imprint Vertical Comics. Apart from it being the 1st Anniversary for the manga imprint, October also tends to be the beginning of the calendar year for the publishing house as a hole. This is the month when we start rolling our biggest titles of the year. Whether prose or manga, craft book or art book…if a property launches in October (and November) it is a title we are really looking forward to sharing with our readers.

This October we have some heavy hitters. A pair of hits from the manga world are joined by one of the most talked about novels in Japanese history. And then there’s the Kizumonogatari news from Japan and some little event called New York Comic Con we attend.

Yeah, big big month! A scary big month! But more about that below…
So we hope you all continue to stand up against basic Japanese content as we launch our fall and winter catalog. Prepare to be surprised!

A Monstrous October
If you are in the States in October then there is no escaping Halloween fever. Ghouls, monsters and jack-o-lanterns dominate the landscape, and genres like the supernatural and horror begin to dominate the media scene.

Vertical is not oblivious to such trends. And as trend-setters we have a couple of works that should thrill readers for months if not years to come

Debuting this month is Hajime Segawa’s long awaited release of Tokyo ESP. A Japanese take on the mutant superhero genre, Tokyo ESP combines slap-stick comedy with action and supernatural in what has become a beloved franchise. Having already inspired an animated TV series and a pair of manga spin-offs, we are certain readers will not wait to sink their teeth into these pretty omnibus releases when they hit shelves this month!

Ninja may not be monsters, but they sure seem to do most of their deeds from the shadows. And in the world of Ninja Slayer nothing is scarier or more powerful than those cursed with the power of ninja karate! Richly rendered by Yoshiaki Tabata and Yuki Yugo, this manga adaptation of the cult hit novel series compliments both the prose and the animated series by Studio Trigger by bringing the whole world of Ninja Slayer to life through detailed action and biting satire in this hilarious ninja exploitation manga.

Not exactly a Halloween title, Naoki Hyakuta’s The Eternal Zero has been something like a monster within the publishing world. This tale of WWII flyboys and the killer fighter they pilot has sold more than 3 million copies in Japan making it one of the best selling prose releases in Japan’s recent history.

And finally, October also will bring the release of the seventh volume of one of Vertical’s most spooky titles: Ryu Mizunagi’s Witchcraft Works. In this volume, Ayaka is on the search for her past demons. To uncover the secrets from her youth, she takes Honoka to her ancestral home… Which just happens to be guarded by magicians and giant wolves!! CREEPY!!

KIZUMONOGATARI

This Tale is Going to be a Trilogy

On October 3rd, it was revealed that NISIOISIN’s long-awaited KIZUMONOGATARI would finally be released in theaters with a January 8, 2016 premiere date. But that was just the beginning of what would be a string of news around the property. The January release is scheduled to be the first of three movies produced by studio SHAFT based on the novel.

Our edition of the novel has been pushed back to December, but fear not the book is now deep in production and we will soon be revealing the new original art for the cover provided by MONOGATARI’s illustrator VOFAN.

Stay tuned to the Vertical twitter for more information on the novel release and for news on the anime please follow the official site (link here).

Future Releases:

Vertical Convention Tour 2015

In a matter of days the Vertical tour bus will be retired for the year. But before it goes into hibernation, we will be making one last stop in our hometown and this show will be a doozy!

As usual we’ll be in the exhibitor hall, booth #2020, selling wares including advance releases of Witchcraft Works 7 and Ninja Slayer 1. On Friday at 5:00p, we ask that NYCC patrons please join us at our industry panel where our staff will go over our up-coming titles. Over the hour we’ll also be revealing some interesting plans for 2016, so be sure to be present to witness the future of Vertical and J-Pop content! And stick around for some exclusive con goodies from Japan too!

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
Tokyo ESP © Hajime Segawa 2015; Ninja Slayer © 2012 Ninja Entertainment; Yuki Yogo 2015 & Yoshiaki Tabata 2015; The Eternal Zero © Naoki Hyakuta 2006; Witchcraft Works © 2015 Ryu Mizunagi; KIZUMONOGATARI © NISIOISIN 2015

Fall into Vertical

Summer is almost over and fall is just around the corner. But even with longer nights and cooler days in the horizon, Vertical continues to heat up the publishing world by releasing some of the hottest titles from Japan today. And this month we honestly do have some huge works in store for you all.

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A Spectacular September
This September is huge! Some of the biggest names in anime and manga are coming your way courtesy of Vertical launching what should be a memorable fall for all our readers.

In My Neighbor Seki 4, Seki continues to haunt his fellow classmate Rumi Yokoi. This time, however, Yokoi is no longer going to take things quietly. As Seki continues to good around over P.E. and art class, Yokoi makes her mark on his little projects by changing the rules and even challenging Seki at his own games.

In Mobile Suit Gundam: The ORIGIN Part XI most of the war has been fought. Zeon is crumbling. But there is still some business left between two of this generation’s top mecha pilots – Char Aznable and Amuro Ray. Their rivalry now goes beyond just robot piloting.  After what occurred with Lalah, there is bad blood between these two and nothing is going to stop them. Not the destruction of their mecha. Not the death of most of the Zabi clan. Nothing!

Tragedy strikes in volume 14 of Knights of Sidonia. Nagate has done a good job defending the Sidonia from Gauna but it has long come at a cost. He has lost many comrades in battle, but few have meant as much to this as Tsumugi. While there is still hope for her survival, what will happen to the Guardian fighters without her support. She is an irreplaceable member of their squad.

And with the second part of Harsh Mistress of the City we are treated to the exciting conclusion of this Attack on Titan side story.

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(Image not final)

More Acquisitions
We might not have had any panels since Otakon, but that does not mean we weren’t working hard to acquire new content to translate for you readers.

Over the last month we were fortunate to acquire the rights to the following new property –

To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts by MAYBE

Combining fantasy and action this new series, from the makers of CrunchyRoll’s Tales of Wedding Rings, is setting up to be the next hit work for this beloved manga duo.

Expect to see monsters galore rendered gloriously by MAYBE and adapted into English by our Vertical Comics line starting next spring!

The Eternal Zero

A Story for the Ages
Once in every decade or so the publishing world is struck by a work that captivates a generation. Works like these are often timely and relevant, often possessing a voice that may have been awaited by the populous. Naoki Hyakuta’s The Eternal Zero is a title that fits that bill.

Having sold more than 7 million units in that small country, it has been considered a phenomenon and when considering the genre and themes of this work doubly so. This work of historical fiction takes readers back to World War II as it focuses one of that war’s deadliest weapons – the Zero Fighter.

Provocative, potentially controversial, and already being covered by journals such as The Economist, The Hollywood Reporter, and Variety, The Eternal Zero is poised to make its mark on the English book market when it hits shelves next month.

Vertical Convention Tour 2015
Summer is coming to a close, but the Vertical tour bus is still making stops across the country. We still have two more destinations before parking the bus for the winter. And we hope to see you at some of these events.

And if you happen to pass by one of our panels, stick around for special giveaways featuring goodies from some of our hit titles.

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City © 2015 Hajime Iseyama and Ryo Kawakami; Knights of Sidonia © 2015 Tsutomu Nihei; My Neighbor Seki © Takuma Morishige; Aizouban Mobile Suit Gundam: The ORIGIN © Yoshikazu Yasuhiko / SOTSU – SUNRISE; To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts © MAYBEi; The Eternal Zero © 2006 Naoki Hyakuta

Summer of Vertical

It’s summer time and as is often the case this season already has a been an ambitious one for Vertical, Inc. With a number of new releases, a range of new license announcements, and a now completed summer con tour over, there were plenty of topics to highlight for readers throughout the course of the summer.

We’ll get to some of that news a little later. But, before we do, we wanted to remind you of our August 2015 releases:

August 2015 ReleaseA Fantastic August
This August, Vertical is feeling fantastic! Sure, with titles like those found in our catalog we, and our readers, should always be feeling great, but this month we have three high quality fantasy and sci-fi tales that are particularly excellent!

Leading off the month is the sixth volume of Ryu Mizunagi’s hit rom-com Witchcraft Works. Ayaka’s battle with Weekend continues and it is quickly moving to its climax. But without a source of power for her magic will she be able to finally defeat this rogue bomb-wielding witch?

Meanwhile Kei Nagai and a handful of domestic demi-human are preparing to take on some truly rogue forces in volume 6 of Gamon Sakurai’s AJIN. But before they embark on their mission, readers are treated to a brief flashback involving the lone woman amongst the demi-human corps. Sakurai takes readers back to Izumi’s days as a high school teen when she first came to terms with her demi-human side. Her past is marked with tragedy. So it comes as no surprise to see her want to change others lives for the better. Especially those she feels she can trust.

When it came to trust, those within the fortress known as Wall Maria believed they were somewhat safe from Titan attacks. However in Ryo Kawakami’s Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City the walls have been breached and now titans roam what remains of the interior. A young trooper named Rita was on the frontlines, and after closing off gates in the interior, she will have to find a way to get inside Wall Rose to safety.

Vertical Inc. NewsletterSummer Acquisitions
This summer was one of our biggest and busiest yet! With a number of new series and one-shots covering the wide-range of content that Vertical is known for, we are sure there will be something for almost every reader to dive into next year.
Here’s what we have announced over the summer:

  • Nichijou, by Keiichi Arawi (March 2016)
  • Mysterious Girlfriend X by Riichi Ueshiba (March 2016)
  • Sukibayashi Jiro by Shinzo Satomi (March 2016)
  • FukuFuku: Kitten Tales by Konami Kanata (April 2016)
  • A Cop’s Eyes by Gaku Yakumaru (April 2016)
  • The Gods Lie by Kaori Ozaki (April 2016)
  • Devilsline by Ryo Hanada (May 2016)
KizuMonogatari

KizuMonogatari (cover not final)

A Fall to Get Up For
Fall is around the corner and with it some big new debuts. With titles like Ninja Slayer, Tokyo ESP, Seraph of the End on the horizon, an already stacked line-up should be greatly enhanced. And we’ll look at the other books a little closer in the coming months. Because this month we’ll focus our spotlight on a work that deserves plenty of attention from readers: NISIOISIN’s KizuMonogatari.

Within the Monogatari series, Kizu (as it is known in some circles) is considered to be the series prequel, as it details the life of Monogatari’s lead Koyomi Araragi before what occurs in the two BakeMonogatari books. Something of an occult-mystery series, NISIOISIN weaves modern themes found in popular anime and manga, while including the supernatural elements, moments of horror, and high-stakes action. NISIOISIN’s legendary wordplay is also in full-effect in this series, which only adds character to what may already be the most ambitious Japanese prose release of the year.

With an established anime adaption for most of the Monogatari series already available from ANIPLEX the brand was already at the top of most young readers’ wish lists. And now with KizuMonogatari‘s debut just around the corner, we feel this release should fulfill a wish long held by western fans by finally completing and properly realizing NISIOISIN’s “tale” in English.

Vertical Convention Tour 2015
It’s summer so the Vertical tour bus is still making stops across the country. We’ve got three more destinations before retiring the bus for the year. And we hope to see you at some of these events.

And if you happen to pass by one of our panels, stick around for special giveaways featuring goodies from some of our hit titles.

Once again, whether in person at an event, or by following us here and on our various social media platforms, this summer Vertical has the content to keep you cool and up to date with what is the best in Japanese content today.

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
Witchcraft Works © 2015 Ryu Mizunagi; Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City © 2015 Hajime Iseyama and Ryo Kawakami; AJIN: Demi-human © 2015 Gamon Sakurai; Devilsline © Ryo Hanada; Mysterious Girlfriend X © Riichi Ueshiba; The Gods Lie © Kaori Ozaki; KizuMonogatari © NISIOISIN / Kodansha

Summer Reading

It’s June and summer is practically here. And with warmer days come longer days and more time for leisure reading. So why not partake in a Vertical Comics release or two this month while on the beach, on the patio while sipping iced tea, or as you jet to some holiday destination.

This month VC and Vertical have a wealth of cool titles for readers to dive into…

New from Vertical Comics:

  • Witchcraft WorksWitchcraft Works, volume 5: A wicked witch named Weekend has assaulted the entire city of Tougetsu. By planting explosives across the municipality this witch was able to use up and neutralize Tougetsu Workshop Witches’ magic while endangering the lives of the public. Will Honoka and Ayaka be able to find the strength to take on this cunning witch before more of Weekend’s explosives harm their hometown?

 

  • A Sky Longing for Memories – The Art of Makoto Shinkai: This unique artbook looks back at some of the most beloved works from award-winning anime director Makoto Shinkai. Featuring hundreds of background art pieces from such works as, 5 Centimeters per Second, Voices of a Distant Star, and A Place Promised in Our Early Days, this collection reveals rarely translated details of the Japanese animation process. The book also contains interviews with Makoto Shinkai and his staff about their experiences within the Japanese anime industry. A must read for anime fanatics and Shinkai admirers.

New from Vertical:

  • Ajin: Demi-HumanAJIN: Demi-Human, volume 5: In this latest volume, Sato and his crew of rogue Demi-Humans have taken to the offensive by launching an attack on Japan’s limited defense systems. And tension at his new home forces Kei Nagai to make his own move. But will it be in favor of humanity, or will he side with Sato?
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The ORIGIN, Part X: Solomon is now in the cross-hairs. With Federation forces moving in it appears as if Zeon’s leadership is falling apart from the top down. The tide may be turning but some members of Zeon are willing fight to their end for their family!

eBook Releases:

  • Black Jack, volume 15 and 16

From beloved classics to new hits, and everything in between, Vertical Comics has the right read for every manga and anime fan this summer!

Anchors aweigh!

Nan-CoreSoon after his mother dies, Ryosuke stops by to visit his father. Although the house seems to be empty, Ryosuke wanders from room to room, just to make sure. As he’s leaving his father’s study, he notices a slightly open closet door, with a jumble of old boxes inside. Curious, he opens the top box and finds a purse, a lock of hair. . . and four journals with notes that seem to be the confessions of a murderer.

So begins Nan-Core, a provocative new novel that explores the blurred line between a “good person” and a “bad person”—and what happens when the line is crossed. As Ryosuke reads the journals, he must question what’s fact, what’s fiction, and who are these people he’s called “Mom” and “Dad?” In his search to discover the truth about his family, Ryosuke finds out some very disturbing truths about himself, and what he’s capable of when he loses his moorings.

Click here for a preview, Q&A with the author, and Reader’s Guide.

All Hands on Deck

Cardfight!! Vanguard vol. 5Aichi and Ren continue their intense Cardfight battle. As both are capable of using PsyQualia to see the world of Vanguard and listen to the voices of their cards, Ren thinks he already knows how the battle ends—until something changes in Aichi, and a new card reveals a totally unexpected conclusion to their fight.

Later, Aichi’s younger sister, Emi, insists on going with him to Card Capitol, where the gang teaches her how to Cardfight. At the shop, Aichi and Kai battle again, Kai still intent on fighting only earnest battles. Yet as their Cardfight nears the end, Kai begins to sense a force emanating from his deck. Could he, too, be experiencing PsyQualia…?

Aichi, still new to the Cardfight world, has a natural ability to read the flow of the game, and his earnestness has an effect on those he battles, as both Ren and Kai, old dogs in the game, start to learn new tricks.

Time Killer

My Neighbor SekiIn almost every classroom there is that one kid that spends days staring off into space, daydreaming, and ignoring classwork. In the high school setting of My Neighbor Seki the person who does that more than anyone else is titular character Toshinari Seki. Every day Seki toils over his personal projects, usually giving them more effort than he does his studies. Whether making elaborate domino mazes or building his own desk-sized universes Seki never wastes a minute with education, instead he focuses on much more entertaining projects.

Penned by up-and-coming comedic cartoonist Takuma Morishige, My Neighbor Seki consistently finds new ways to entertain, while sticking to a simple formula and setting – high school.Whether Seki spends his school days delivering messages to classmates or playing Japanese chess, his actions are much more involved than they may seem at first glance. Easy to relate to and yet often surprisingly creative, through Seki Mr. Morishige is able to illustrate the curiosity and drive of youth while not having to resort to the gratuitous developing a story that embraces its limitations by pushing its limits with accessible visual humor.

So when readers need a pick me up or are in desperate search for something to entertain and inspire, Vertical Comics has their answer – My Neighbor Seki. Because within its 180 or so pages, there are at least a dozen awesome ways to find amusement and hilarity, all hidden from sight to most, in the back row.

Harried Husband

What Did You Eat Yesterday?Shiro Kakei is a lawyer by day and thrifty househusband by night. His passion is to cook, and furthermore, to do so with a cost conscious attitude that suits his lifestyle. But Shiro has faces numerous pressures that exhaust him outside of the law firm. His constant concern over his sexuality and how it may be perceived in society weighs on him much more than any case or consultation.

In this fifth volume of What Did You Eat, Shiro’s cover is repeatedly blown. While his decision to stay partially in the closet is something that weighs heavy on him, those pressures are not mutually shared by his friends and acquaintances. First it is the weekend cooking party with his friends that turns into an afternoon with the local tennis club. Then comes the trip to the jewelers with Kenji to get their rings. And then there was that awkward time with his parents. If only work at the law firm wasn’t equally stressful, but ultimately all of this frustration ends up leading him to the kitchen where he can relax.

Nothing can be more relaxing than a good meal and some conversation. And with every new chapter, Fumi Yoshinaga slowly peels back the layers of this unique manga couple. Revealing some insights about Japan’s Gay culture and sharing some hearty Japanese cooking recipes in the process.

Network of Terror

Prophecy part 1As technology continues to make our world smaller, it may also seem as if people’s freedoms are equally becoming more and more restricted. The internet is also being threatened as net-neutrality is becoming a hot-button issue. So what if those on the net decided to commit their own brand of justice, while they were still ahead of the police state? And what if in ways similar to the Anonymous Group, their word is spread and endorsed by countless unknowns on the net worldwide hoping for change?

Tetsuya Tsutsui’s Prophecy takes on these questions by presenting them in modern day Japan, where societal changes has driven many people to the web for their interaction and self-expression. These days with fewer and fewer people marrying or even getting into long-term relationships, the net is home to many in that country, and across the planet. And new forms of expression are rising from Japan in ways that only the internet could fully support. In Prophecy the net has created a place for vigilantism that is now streamed live on platforms like YouTube; commented on message boards like 4Chan; and shared and reblogged on network like Twitter and Facebook. There is no need for newspapers or radio anymore to spread this new form of messaging. And the four paperboys of this story are ready to tell the world their story.

Extremely timely and provocative, Prophecy is not your standard JUMP title. It is a thriller that does not rely on fantasy or fan-service, instead it turns its focus on themes and topics that are even more compelling – employment issues, class wars, immigration and internet-inspired movements.

Image Isn’t Everything

In Clothes Called FatOne of the things that has historically made the Japanese comic scene unique is how it can tackle social issues while presenting them in an accessible and entertaining manner. The manga market, even as it adjusts globally, can still find audiences for challenging realistic themes without having to frame them in the world of superheroes or school-age allegories.

Moyoco Anno’s latest translated work falls into that realm perfectly. In Clothes Called Fat never shies away from the topic at hand. Instead it presents eating disorders at the forefront, even frames it right on the cover in an almost frightening manner. Her lead character Noko Hanazawa is like many Japanese office ladies. She lives for her job, but her occupation gives her little more than a wage and stress. Her co-workers provide little support or comfort. And while she is fortunate to have a lover, her insecurities are piling up and to those around her so is her weight. To combat this, Noko, who at one point was being overcome by her frustrations leading her to eat as an escape mechanism, would instead come to purge everything in her life.

In Clothes Called Fat presents a story all too common, but sets it from a perspective that is fresh to Western readers. Told from the eyes of one of josei comics’ (women’s comics) premier talents Fat takes readers deep into a world that while not very different from ours, is simply rarely seen outside of Japan – the everyday office lady (OL). But unlike the handful of OL tales that have been translated before, Fat‘s world-view is not an OL fantasy, it’s an all true real tragedy that sent shock waves across Japan, and eventually across the globe.