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)

New Year, New Reads

Happy 2016 Vertical readers! With a new year comes a new slate of titles launching. And in this year we are pushing the envelope just as only we could.

New seinen series! New sports manga! New alternative manga! New light novels! New Japanese mystery novels! New cat comics! eBooks! AudioBooks!

And that’s just for the first half of the year. Imagine what the catalog will look like once we start announcing our Fall and Winter lists!


New Releases

Inio Asano is known as one of the more dynamic manga artists in Japan today. Combining photo-realistic background art that are in complete contrast to the almost super flat or moë inspired manga character designs his art is striking yet simple, and a perfect compliment to his angst filled narratives.

His latest work to hit North America is A Girl on the Shore. Part coming of age story, part teen romance gone wrong, Girl pushes readers and Asano into a new level of story-teller as he dives deep into the twisted and ever evolving lives of Japanese teens.

Look out for Girl. Asano has already received two Eisner Award nominations, this could be his third.

Fresh off our immensely successful KIZUMONOGATARI release comes our next light novel series, Seraph of the End by Takaya Kagami. Set before the events in the manga and anime, the light novel series revolves around Guren Ichinose and the on-coming war against vampires. A must for fans of the Seraph franchise this light novel series reveals critical details about the back story for many of the characters of the animation.

Our biggest new manga release of 2015 was also our biggest release of 2010! Konami Kanata’s The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home might have flown under the radar of vendors when we launched it in August, but the new oversized full-color omnibus has been a huge hit launching what seems to be a mini cat comics revival. This month we release the second of four Complete Chi‘s hoping even more readers will give our favorite manga feline a warm home this winter!


Now Hear This!

NISIOISIN’s KIZUMONOGARTARI is already one of the most successful Japanese novels in recent memory and this is before news of a North American theatrical tour of its anime (tentatively scheduled for February 2016). But what if novel and anime are not enough to satiate your hunger for all things Kissshot and Araragi?

Well, we have something completely new for you.
Announced at New York Comic Con, this Spring Vertical will be stepping into the world of audiobooks with none other  than KIZUMONOGATARI and Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City as our first releases. Each book will be read by established voice actors, recorded in professional dubbing studios, before being provided music and sound effects to enhance the overall listening experience. With some books clocking in at more than 12 hours, these “reads” will be a hearty experience that can rival the length of some anime tv series.

Distribution and pricing details are still being worked out, but in the meantime we do have some info to share with our newsletter readers:

Voice Actors for KIZUMONOGATARI:

  • Erik Kimerer
  • Keith Silverstein
  • Cristina Vee

Voice Actors for Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City:

  • Keith Silverstein
  • Erica Lindbeck

Stay tuned to this newsletter and Vertical’s social media platforms for alerts on these projects.


This Tale is Now a Movie

The wait is almost over! Announced back in 2012, the first KIZUMONOGATARI movie just debuted in Japan!

No that is not a joke! No it isn’t a scam! The KIZUMONOGATARI movie is here!

Produced by SHAFT, Part One: Tekketsu is the culmination of years of development from team NISIOISIN and the animation people behind this legendary franchise. Part of that project was making certain that this movie would be accessible by a global audience of MONOGATARI fans. And here in the US that means theatrical screenings starting February 26th!

Distributed by ANIPLEX fans of this property can find more details about theaters and screening times at their website http://kizumonogatari-usa.com.

We hope fans of NISIOISIN’s “Tales” will join us in theaters so we can relive this one via the big screen!

 


Future Releases:

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
Chi’s Sweet Home © 2016 Konami Kanata; Seraph of the End © 2016 Takami Takaya; My Neighbor Seki © Takuma Morishige 2014; KIZUMONOGATARI © 2008 NISIOISIN; KIZUMONOGATARI: Part One -TEKKETSU- © NISIOISIN/KODANSHA, ANIPLEX, SHAFT

Vertical Does Dallas

A-KonThe Vertical Comics 2015 Tour continues this month with a long-awaited trip to Dallas, Texas for Project A-Kon. After taking 2014 off, due to scheduling conflicts, Vertical will be returning to A-Kon for a second time, with an expanded catalog and broader event presence.

As usual we will be in the Dealers’ Room (Booth EP-6) selling manga and novels and interacting with Vertical readers. At A-Kon we will have a few advance releases available for sale: Gundam: The ORIGIN Part X, AJIN volume 5, and Witchcraft Works volume 5. And as per usual, all books at the booth will be available at a discount (10% to 35% off cover price!!).

This year Vertical will also be hosting two panels: Vertical Comics Industry Panel and Seinen Up!: A Guide to Men’s Manga. As the premiere seinen publisher in North America, Vertical Comics knows the insides and outs of this segment of the manga industry. They’ll be going over the history of seinen manga and also share some of the best titles that are currently available in English. And in our Industry panel we will take questions from the public after revealing our 2015 schedule. If everything lines up well with our licensing partners in Japan, we might even reveal a new acquisition or two in the process.

So put your boots on! Grab a bag and a notebook! Vertical will be seeing you all in Big D! We hope to soak up some Texan hospitality!

Project A-Kon
June 5th through 7th
Hilton Anatole Dallas
2201 N Stemmons Fwy
Dallas, TX 75207

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!

Ota-King and Queen

Insufficient DirectionOur latest manga is a bit of an albatross in the world of translated manga. Biographical manga, while not extremely popular in Japan, has a significant place in Japan, but has been a rarity in the United States and beyond. And in the case of Moyoco Anno’s Insufficient Direction this biographical comedy not only covers the famous women’s comic artist but it also peels back the curtain on the life of one of anime’s most well-known directors, her husband Hideaki Anno.

In Insufficient Direction Anno, Moyoco, shares with her readers a touching and hilarious look at the couple’s marriage. Detailing what it is like to be engaged to one of the “top four” otaku of all time, Moyoco reveals a side of Hideaki that has not really been accessed as the director of Neon Genesis Evangelion, His and Her Circumstances and RE: Cutey Honey. In this comic, we do not see the hard working artisan with an obsessive compulsive streak, instead we see a fan of science-fiction, tokusatsu and classic anime. And as readers find out more of Hideaki, more of Moyoco is revealed as well. We see her admit to her knowledge of manga and her love of anime theme songs!

Never before have anime and manga creators been so accessible and approachable! And possibly like few biographical manga ever translated have they been this funny and smart.

Read You Like a Book

Flowers of Evil 8As the old year came to a close, one title shined brightly as a unique visual and narrative experience – The Flowers of Evil anime. With its unusual artistic direction, thoughtful soundtrack and cloy pacing the work caught the attention of a significant segment of the animation community and also rekindled America’s fascination with Shuzo Oshimi’s source material.

Now in its eighth volume, the current cast of Oshimi’s shonen drama briefly takes a turn away from the angsty tension that was so thick for the first six or seven volumes in favor of a slightly more optimistic outlook. And at the core of this new perspective is Takao, who has found a new reason to come out of his shell. Once again motivated by the written word, his hunger for storytelling has opened his eyes to those around him. And all the while those around him who are witness to his blooming are seeing him in a different light. But has he learned anything from his past? Can the youth, who has experienced so much already, fully comprehend where he previously went astray? Will he continue to be a ghost and tail shadows those around him, or will he make a new narrative in his life’s story when adversity raises its head again?

Now moving into its final arc, The Flowers of Evil continues to inspire debate amongst comic readers globally. While not standard shonen material, its cast and the way they gradually grow and mature has captivated a community looking for the next evolution in manga.

Summer Countdown

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

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

New Media Sensation

Summer Wars part 1Over the last ten years or so, the world of Japanese animation has been a state of transition. While the traditional television industry has begun to fail the industry, film continues to be something of a financial challenge. Production costs prevent most studios from reaching the level of technological quality seen in other parts of the world. However, Japan does still see plenty of accomplishments from the writing and directorial realms of animation, and one of its rising stars is Mamoru Hosoda.

The director of the acclaimed The Girl Who Leapt Through Time firmly established himself as a member of the young vanguard of anime with the beloved Summer Wars. Now adapted into a graphic novel set, Hosoda’s Summer Wars is rendered in black and white by veteran comic artist Iqura Sugimoto (Variante). Iqura takes Hosoda’s vision and realizes it in a way that can only work in a comic, free of the budgetary restrictions of animation and also allowing for more perspectives and points of view as it can be visualized from the eyes of different characters in and out of the virtual world.

So why not relive one of the more beloved animated movies in recent memory. Take a trip to Ueda and join Kenji as he infiltrates the Jinnouchi clan in this two volume adaptation of Mamoru Hosoda’s Summer Wars.