Spring into a New Season with Vertical

New Releases

There is an idiom that states, “march comes in like a lion…” For Vertical this year, that is definitely apt! This month we have some heavy hitters including the debut of one of our most anticipated series yet! So prepare to hear some noise this month cause we do not expect to go out like a lamb!

Debuting this month is Chihiro Ishizuka’s Flying Witch volume 1. The inspiration for 2016’s sleeper hit by JC Staff is a heart-warming thoughtful comedy set in an unusual location, which only adds to its charm.

Witch-in-training, Makoto Kowata, has relocated to Japan’s far north – Aomori! It’s a different world up there when compared to Yokohama and Tokyo, but that does not mean it does not have its own magic. Actually with Makoto there life is about to get a lot more fantastic for her relatives whom she is staying with. Days up there were rather sleepy and traditional before Makoto arrived, but now they are filled with mysterious people, flying broomsticks, and screaming mandrakes. Still, even with new spell casters around, life is only as magical as you make it and every chapter of Flying Witch makes every day feel enchanted.

In volume 3 of Tsutomu Nihei’s BLAME!, Kyrii and Cibo have reached the mega-structure! After searching through Nihei’s massive world, Kyrii is now close to revealing some of its secrets.

Once inside Toha Heavy the two become witness to a world that is quite different from what was outside. The landscape is less chaotic. The rules are more rigid and restricted. And the threats are significantly greater. Kyrii will have to deal with forces that control time, space, and other elements of physics while still on the search for human life and the Net Terminal Gene! But can he do so without his trusted gravitation beam emitter?

In Mysterious Girlfriend X 5, we are treated to one of the longest story lines in this series so far. Set in the backdrop of the annual Kazamidai High cultural fair, Tsubaki and Urabe are pulled into playing some of the most intimate scenes of their short relationship.
Tsubaki’s film club has decided to make a movie for their festival entry. But the theme and plot of this film is cutting very close to the bone for Tsubaki, as it reminds him of the relationship he has with Urabe. And what’s more, eventually Urabe is asked to participate as one of the supporting actors!

And finally, in Nichijou 7, we are treated a number of sudden surprises! Imagine the scene when friends discuss copying homework when one of them confesses her feelings towards a classmate! The Go/Soccer Club is about to describe its moves to the new members! Yuuko and Mai have repeated battles of strength with consistent results! And a vice principal grows a new head of hair overnight!

Nothing is unusual in the world of Nichijou. And expect the unexpected from Vertical this March!


Vertical Film Club

It is not uncommon to see Vertical properties on the television screens. But over the next two months two of Vertical’s premier brands will be gracing the big screen.

Later this month, a Hollywood remake of Masamune Shirow’s The Ghost in the Shell will be screening across the globe to much fanfare. Starring Beat Takeshi, Chin Han and Scarlett Johansson, this live action adaptation of Shirow’s legendary manga (by Kodansha Comics) is one of the most talked about movies in recent memory. Vertical will follow up the film release with a collection of short stories based on the world of The Ghost in the Shell in April. Featuring stories from some of the biggest names in Japanese sci-fi and fantasy – Toh EnJoe (Self-Reference ENGINE – Viz Media), Tow Ubukata (Mardock Scramble – Kodansha Comics), and Gakuto Mikumo (Strike the Blood – Yen Press) – this is a most read for Ghost in the Shell fans old and new.

A week later, NISIOISIN’s KIZUMONOGATARI will return to theaters as the third entry in this trilogy will have a limited engagement across the US. Subtitled, Reiketsu, KIZU 3 will focus on Araragi and Kisshot after his encounters with the vampire hunters that were searching for her. Distributed by Aniplex fans who head out to view this final chapter will be eligible to receive a limited edition KIZUMONOGATARI/BAKEMONOGATARI from Vertical. Aniplex will also be distributing Memorial Portrait Boards at showings. Stocks are limited so please show up early and enjoy NISIOISIN’s tale.

The Ghost in the Shell will be screening nationwide.

For more information on KIZUMONOGATARI, Part 3: REIKETSU click here.


Future Releases:

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

  • Toh Enjoe, Gakuto Mikumo, Kafka Asagiri, Yoshinobu Akita and Tow Ubukata; based on the comic by Masamune Shirow, The Ghost in the Shell: Five Short Stories (April 2017)
  • Shuka Matsuda and Nakaba Suzuki, Seven Deadly Sins (Light Novel) (May 2017)
  • NISIOISIN’s NISEMONOGATARI (June 2017)
  • Katsuyuki Sumizawa and Tomofumi Ogasawara, Mobile Suit Gundam WING: Glory of the Losers (July 2017)
  • Yui Tokiumi and Naoshi Arakawa, Your Lie in April (Light Novel) (July 2017)

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved

BLAME! 3 © 2017 Tsutomu Nihei; Mysterious Girlfriend X 5 © 2017 Riichi Ueshiba; Flying Witch 1 © 2013 Chihiro Ishizuka; nichijou 7 © Keiichi ARAWI 2011; Koukaku Kidoutai Shousetsu Ansoroji © 2017 SHIROW MASAMUNE / TOH ENJOE, GAKUTO MIKUMO, KAFKA ASAGIRI, YOSHINOBU AKITA, TOW UBUKATA / KODANSHA, LTD. All Rights Reserved

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

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

A Vertical Feast

Last month we alerted you all of Vertical’s plans for this fall. Big launches for Ninja Slayer and Tokyo ESP followed. A successful New York ComicCon also came out of what was a monstrously big October. But that was just the start of what is going to be a hearty and tasty fourth quarter.

This month is when things really begin to heat up. Two of Vertical’s biggest hit-makers return after extended breaks. The English edition of one of Japan’s top selling novels eve will finally hit stores. To top that all off, we bring you more comedic gold from a rising star of Japanese humor.

There is plenty to be thankful this month, and we would be very grateful if you choose to have Vertical be a part of your fall this year.

A November to be Thankful For

New Releases

Back in 2009, Vertical began an initiative to expand its manga catalog. Prior to then we had only worked with three mangaka, releasing around a pair of titles a year since 2004. Now we have more than 50 manga titles under our belt. The first title from that new wave, though, was Konami Kanata’s Chi’s Sweet Home. By far the best selling manga title in our list and one of the longer running ones, at that, Chi is finally coming to a close this month with what might be the most heart-wrenching releases we have ever put to print. It will be sad to see this series wrap up, but thankfully we’ll be working more with Konami Kanata in the future. So that relationship will continue as we expand the North American cat comics market.

While Chi is big, our best selling authors are actually Aranzi Aronzo. The DIY duo from Osaka broke through globally not long after we introduced the Western world to The Cute Book and Cute Stuff. These collections of creepy-cute so-simple-it’s-fun doll and accessory making books have become a cult hit over the years. Now, five years removed from their last hit The Cuter Book and a number of storefronts later, Aranzi returns to English world with another 40 or so patterns in their Cuter Stuff collection. Crafters of all experience levels will rejoice when they see all the new ideas Aranzi have come up with lately.

In My Neighbor Seki volume 5, Rumi Yokoi might have thought she could escape Seki’s games while her class was on an extended field-trip. She possibly was being a little naive as Seki would not only continue his games on the road, he would even have his beloved Robot Family on the trip with him providing an addition bit of tension into Rumi’s already stressful life. Now with essentially two field trips occurring at once, Rumi must find a way to split her time between watching over her favorite action figures and enjoying her edu-tainment with her classmates. This may be Seki’s most diabolical project yet!

After a brief delay, Naoki Hyakuta’s The Eternal Zero is now scheduled to land in stores this month. Already legendary for breaking sales records in Japan, it has been the subject of a lot of debate and media attention in and out of Asia since it launched in 2006. It is not often the West gets to see books of this magnitude translated so quickly, so we are certain it will cause a stir once it hits North American literature’s radar.

Listen to This!

At New York ComicCon last month Vertical made news when they announced their new line of audio light novels!

Coming Spring 2016 prose releases like KIZUMONOGATARI and Attack on Titan: Harsh Mistress of the City will make their way to MP3 players and eBook readers in the near future. Voiced by trained voice actors and enhanced by music and audio effects, these audio books should give fans new ways to experience their favorite series.

Details, such as when and where these books will debut, are still being worked out. But stay tuned to this newsletter for more information on this new and unique way to enjoy Japanese prose in English!

Future Releases:

So whether in audio or in print (or even digital) as you come together with family and friends this fall, we would be very thankful if you all would gather with a Vertical book (or two). We’re certain they’ll warm you up and satisfy any hunger for entertainment you’d have.

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
My Neighbor Seki © Takuma Morishige 2014; Cuter Stuff © ARANZI ARONZO 2013; The Eternal Zero © Naoki Hyakuta 2006; Chi’s Sweet Home © 2015 Konami Kanata; KIZUMONOGATARI © NISIOISIN 2015

Seki Returns to Late Night

Seki Returns to Late NightAfter nearly half a year in publication, Takuma Morishige’s My Neighbor Seki has become something of a quiet hit in North America. Soon to be in its second printing, this collection of vignettes on how Toshinari Seki kills time in school has charmed readers across the continent. And now the series is about to return to television screens in Japan.

Japanese manga news portal Comic Natalie reports that My Neighbor Seki will be adapted into a live-action comedy for Japanese broadcaster TBS starting in July. Early news states the Seki adaptation will be shown during a late night time slot as part of a 30-minute comedy program alongside a live-action adaption of another property from Japanese publisher Shogakukan.

Given how creative the few live-action promotional clips Media Factory produced to promote the manga a few years back and the positive response for the Seki anime last year, we are certain that this new attempt to bring Seki to the little screen will be a hit amongst Japanese fans. Fans outside of Japan, should keep their fingers crossed for an English translation!

Vertical Comics has currently released the first two of seven volumes of My Neighbor Seki in eBook and print editions. Volume 3 goes on sale in July.

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.