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

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

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

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