And you thought you knew Hanekawa?

BAKEMONOGATARI: Monster Tale, Part 01BAKEMONOGATARI: Monster Tale, Part 03 turns the spotlight on Tsubasa Hanekawa, bespectacled model student, class president among class presidents, and unwavering supporter of Koyomi Araragi.

Since self-described loser Araragi’s very first encounter with an aberration, Hanekawa has been along for the wild ride. Araragi owes her for his position as class vice-president, and more importantly, for having his back during what could easily be the darkest spring break ever.

In “Tsubasa Cat,” the last episode in NISIOISIN’S epic Bakemonogatari saga, Araragi finally realizes that he may have been taking Hanekawa for granted and not paying enough attention to what’s going on in her life. Is her family situation perhaps less-than-perfect? Is her relentlessly upbeat attitude merely a cover-up? And how is she dealing with her own unlikely aberration?

Once again joined by his acid-tongued girlfriend Senjogahara, sly elementary schooler Hachikuji, ace basketball player Kanbaru, his sister’s strange friend Sengoku – and of course, Shinobu and Oshino – the hapless Araragi navigates the pitfalls of high school, girls, and vampires.

NISIOISIN delivers another hugely entertaining story that combines supernatural adventure with teen romance and lots of laughs. BAKEMONOGATARI: Monster Tale, Part 03 is must reading for Monogatari addicts everywhere.

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

Love is like a box of Vertical Book

New Releases

For the month of February, we at Vertical turned our focus on the passion and honor the month represents as we release titles from some of the biggest names in prose and comics. And while our books may not have the impact of the civil leaders honored in February, we do hope they express the compassion and humanity that the month represents.

In February we said good-bye to a series by one of our best-selling authors. Konami Kanata’s FukuFuku: Kitten Tales 2 marks the finale of our latest kitty comic. Kitten Tales is a collection of vignettes starring the titular FukuFuku as she grows up under the care of a lonely doting grandma.

In this volume FukuFuku engages in a number of adventures, some realistic and some fantastic. FukuFuku decides to help Granny celebrate the annual Tanabata Star Festival by destroying some decorations! Then Granny finds a winter holiday outfit for FukuFuku that is not just cute but very cozy! And then FukuFuku makes friends, or is it enemies, with a mole living in Granny’s backyard! Will she take to the underground? Or will the boundaries of her turf be limited to the surface, when there are so many places to explore down under?

In Devils’ Line 5, there is a large conference taking place, discussing the subject of Redeyes and their rights. While Anzai and Tsukasa themselves will not be attending the event, Dr. Kano, who will be present, takes this opportunity to set up a moment for Anzai to meet with someone that is very important to the young officer’s past.

Before her lecture before the conference, Ms. Sako will briefly meet Anzai and Tsukasa leading to a short conversation. The exchange may not have seemed to be significant on the surface. But to Ms Sako, head of a laboratory that researches Redeyes, meeting Anzai is like a reunion of sorts. A reunion between two people who are much closer than they may know.

A reunion is also at the core of To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts 4. After Schaal went home and was reunited with her father, Hank has now gone missing. She embarks on a journey to find her friend, but she was not alone.

She would be followed there by Liza and the rest of Coup de Grace, who are chasing after an incarnate. But who are they hunting now? Are they going after Hank? Will this end up tragically like her family reunion, or is there another beast that is in the region? Could Hank be entangled in his own secret mission right now as the Coup de Grace are chasing him down!

And finally, after a long and unwanted delay, Cardfight!! Vanguard 7 returns to the West! The timing is perfect also, as Aichi and friends just wrapped up their efforts at the Asia Circuit.

Aichi’s Cardfight club has finally received official recognition, so it is now time for them to battle local rival schools. But this also means competing against friends and longtime rivals in Fukuhara High. Will Aichi and friends be able to overcome their renewed rivalries to enter the Vanguard National Championships!

Bakemono, literally “altered thing,” which translates as “monster.” Monogatari, literally “thing narrated,” which translates as “tale.” Combined into a neologism by he of the reversible nom de plume, they yield BAKEMONOGATARI, the monster tale that kicked off a series whose anime adaptations have enjoyed international popularity and critical acclaim.

Previously, our hero, Koyomi Araragi, turned into a vampire and back, gained an acid-tongued girlfriend, and couldn’t find his way home thanks to a lost child. In this second of three parts, which introduces Suruga Kanbaru and Nadeko Sengoku, he becomes embroiled in a case that riffs on a classic English story from 1902.

In Keigo Higashino’s latest novel, The Name of the Game is a Kidnapping, the internationally renowned author moves away from traditional whodunits to something more modern and potentially more sinister.

Battle-tested project leader at a PR firm and slippery bachelor, Sakuma sees himself as a player. His smug self-regard doesn’t seem entirely unfounded, both in love and at work. When is idea for a mini-theme park is dismissed as too costly and vacuous at the last minute by a major client he seems to have met his match.

Katsuragi, an heir and executive at the global car maker, Nissei Auto, is back from a marketing stint in the US with an authentic conviction that everything is a game. Once the man’s daughter by a former mistress teams up with Sakuma so she can come into her inheritance in an expeditious manner -Juri is indeed her father’s flesh and blood- the game is good to go!

Passion, honor, valor and friendship are core principles of Vertical. We hope we can continue to share a dialogue of unity with you all with these books and more.


New Acquisitions!

Last month we gave our readers a taste of what we have in store in the coming year. Earlier this month, at Katsucon, Vertical followed that up when they announced a handful of new acquisitions scheduled for 2017 and 2018!

Here are our latest manga licenses:

  • Keiichi Arawi’s Helvetica Standard
  • Katsuyuki Sumizawa & Tomofumi Ogasawara’s Mobile Suit Gundam WING: Glory of Losers
  • NISIOISIN & Mitsuru Hattori’s Shojo Fujuubun
  • Makoto Shinkai & Mizu Sahara’s Voices of a Distant Star

As you can see among these titles are some new faces and some Vertical regulars. But what is consistent with this list of titles is quality. There are some big hitters among this set of titles and we hope our readers will sample them all as they are released starting this summer.


Con Season is Coming

After a quick trip to Washington DC for Katsucon, Vertical will be taking a brief break from cons to focus on licensing and publishing. But we will be returning to the convention scene in a few months.
Below is a list of the events we tentatively have plans to attend this year.

2017 Vertical Comics Convention Schedule:

  • Anime Central – Chicago, Illinois; May 2017
  • Anime Expo – Los Angeles, California; July 2017
  • Comic Con International – San Diego, California; July 2017
  • Otakon – Washington, DC; August 2017
  • Anime Weekend – Atlanta, Georgia; September 2017
  • Anime NYC – New York, New York; November, 2017

Whether at KatsuCon or one of these other events, we look forward to making your acquaintance in the coming months!


Future Releases:

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

  • Chihiro Ishizuka’s Flying Witch (March 2017)
  • Toh Enjoe, Gakuto Mikumo, Kafka Asagiri, Yoshinobu Akita and Tow Ubukata; based on the comic by Masamune Shirow, Ghost in the Shell (Spring 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 Losers (July 2017)
  • Yui Tokiumi and Naoshi Arakawa, Your Lie in April (Light Novel) (July 2017)

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved

FukuFuku: Kitten Tales © 2017 Konami Kanata; To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts © 2017 MAYBE; Devils’ Line © 2017 Ryo Hanada; Cardfight!! Vanguard © Akira ITOU 2013 © bushiroad; BAKEMONOGATARI  © 2006 NISIOISIN; GAME NO NA HA YUKAI © Keigo Higashino 2002; Helvetica Standard © Keiichi ARAWI 2011

Read More…the Ideal Resolution for 2017

New Releases

A new year has begun and with a new calender comes a new list of titles ready and awaiting Vertical readers. We kick-off 2017 with some of the biggest names from Japan’s media industry. And we promise that these are only the first of a number of Grade-A works we have in store for our supporters.

There are few comic artists as well-known or as beloved as Junji Ito. An international icon, Ito works have defined J-Horror for many readers across the globe. Mr Ito makes his Vertical debut this month with his latest translated collection – Dissolving Classroom.

Yuuma Azawa is a new transfer student with a peculiar behavior – he constantly apologizes. To some that seems humbling or curious, but as his classmates will soon find out there is something more nefarious behind his deeds. With this new collection Ito digs into the concepts of vanity, pride and vengeance as Ito has minds and bodies melt with confusion and guilt!

Positive thinking makes the world go around in Nichijou 6. Keiichi Arawi’s hit comedy returns with what might possibly be the most zany volume in this series yet. Anything that can happen, will happen in this volume. So expect the laughs to flow from page one.

Foreigners invade their town and suddenly even those who “knew” foreign languages in previous volumes are overwhelmed by these native speakers from abroad. Then Ms. Nakamura decides to invade Nano’s home. But once she infiltrates enemy turf, she is then assaulted by horrors she never imagined existed!

In Ninja Slayer 7, Ninja Slayer is in deep deep trouble! Nina Slayer has already dived into the cyber world. He recently spent time in the Kyoto Badlands. Now his biggest threat yet will be coming to him! And not only that! This impressively powerful ninja will be chasing him to the grounds of his ninja master!

Fighting a battle of this magnitude on home turf would normally be an advantage, especially when your allies outnumber your enemy. In this case, the range of skills possessed by those engaged will level the battlefield. Ninja Slayer and his master may not be much of a match against this mysterious foe individually. Together, however, they might just be able to muster enough resolve to overcome this…but not without heavy loses.

Meanwhile in Immortal Hounds 3, local officials have uncovered some of the secrets behind the dangerous Resurrection Deficiency Syndrome (RDS)! And with this shocking information in hand, they begin to make moves to try to capture more Vectors.

Fuurin, as a mole working within this department, takes to the defensive and alerts those on her side of the new moves. Unfortunately those she has been tasked to protect are not interested in finishing their tasks just yet. They wish to continue to proceed, even after their missions were complete, as the process has become as sort of entertainment in what has become a monotonous world. How will this attitude be taken by Mama and her Vectors? And how will Fuurin deal with all this added work on her already packed schedule?

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In Decapitation -Kubikiri Cycle-, a dropout from an elite Houston-based program fro teens is on a visit to a private island. Its mistress, virtually marooned there, surrounds herself with geniuses, especially of the young and female kind, one of whom ends up headless one morning.

The top-selling novelist year by year in his native Japan, NISIOISIN made his debut when he was only twenty with this Mephisto Award winner, a whodunit and locked-room mystery at once which is equally old school and eye-opening.

Koji Suzuki’s Ring Trilogy returns just in time for the Hollywood premiere of RINGS. To honor this occasion Vertical has worked with Mr Suzuki and Paramount on a movie-tie in rerelease of the original Ring featuring artwork from the new film. The new paperback should be hitting stores now and it should be a great introduction to this thrilling franchise. Horror fans and Japanese prose fans alike will marvel at the many twists and shocks Suzuki’s book provides.


Chi Returns to the Small Screen

The new year also means a new anime season! And this month fans will be treated to two Vertical Comics adaptations in English!

After some delays fans in North America can finally enjoy the latest adaptation of Konami Kanata’s cat comic sensation –Chi’s Sweet Home! Now available on Amazon’s AnimeStrike service Chi’s Sweet Adventure is a 3D-CG that great expands Chi’s sweet universe. With a number of all new stories this year-long anime series is a must for existing fans looking for new Chi tales and brand new cat cartoon fans alike!

Over on NETFLIX, Gamon Sakurai’s AJIN returns with its second season. Produced by Polygon this 3D-CG anime is the second of a planned three series and has been dubbed into a number of languages for global distribution. All thirteen episodes of the second season are available now for viewing.

In this season the stakes are high as an all out war between immortals is about to begin!

So whether on print or on the small screen, in 2017 you have more opportunities to experience some of Japan’s best from Vertical!


On the Road Again

After a few months rest, the Vertical marketing team is about ready to hit the road again. Our first event of the year is currently scheduled for KatsuCon in National Harbor, Maryland located in the Washington D.C. suburbs. Given our long break, we will be announcing a handful of our new licenses scheduled for Fall 2017 there and we should be premiering a few of our Spring 2017 titles there in the KatsuCon Dealers’ Room.

2017 Vertical Comics Convention Schedule:

  • KatsuCon – National Harbor, Maryland; Feb 2017
  • Anime Central – Chicago, Illinois; May 2017
  • Anime Expo – Los Angeles, California; July 2017
  • Comic Con International – San Diego, California; July 2017
  • Otakon – Washington, DC; August 2017
  • Anime Weekend – Atlanta, Georgia; September 2017
  • Anime NYC – New York, New York; November, 2017

Whether at KatsuCon or one of these other events, we look forward to making your acquaintance in the coming months!


Future Releases:

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

  • Keigo Higashino’s The Name of the Game is A Kidnapping (February 2017)
  • Chihiro Ishizuka’s Flying Witch (March 2017)
  • Various Authors, Ghost in the Shell (Spring 2017)
  • Shuka Matsuda and Nakaba Suzuki, Seven Deadly Sins (May 2017)
  • NISIOISIN’s NISEMONOGATARI (June 2017)

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved

YOKAI KYOSHITSU © 2015 Junji Ito; nichijou © Keiichi ARAWI 2011; Immortal Hounds © 2015 Ryo Yasohachi; NINJA SLAYER © 2012 NINJ@ ENTERTAINMENT  © Yuki YOGO 2016  © Yoshiaki TABATA 2016; Decapitation © 2007 NISIOISIN; Ring © 2004, 2007, 2016 by Koji Suzuki; RINGS © 2016 Paramount Pictures; Chi’s Sweet Adventure © Konami Kanata・Kodansha / Koneko no Chi Production Committee

Hats (and Heads) off to *NISIOISIN* for Penning a Whodunit like Nothing You’ve Ever Read Before!

Decapitation-Kubikiri Cycle-Iria Akagami collects geniuses. Eccentric and extremely rich (even after being disinherited by her family), Iria lives on a private island and surrounds herself with brilliant and accomplished women: the genius painter, the genius chef, the genius scholar, the genius fortune-teller, and the genius techie. There, on isolated Wet Crow’s Feather Island, the group of smarties work, share meals, converse, and match wits. Until one of them ends up dead – headless, in a room with the door bolted on the inside and no other means of entry or escape.

The story’s narrator, himself no slouch in the brains department and the friend/attendant of the digital diva of the bunch, has set himself the task of figuring out what’s going. Who’s doing the killing and WHY??? But the situation keeps getting more complicated and confusing. . . and he’s not receiving a whole lot of cooperation from anyone else at the mansion.

Written by Japan’s prolific and palindromic phenom NISIOISIN, DECAPITATION: Kubikiri Cycle – The Blue Savant and the Nonsense User is at once a traditional locked-room mystery and an edgy exploration of the nature of talent, intellect, and ego. The author made his debut at the age of twenty with this Mephisto Award-winner, which was first published in the U.S.by Del Rey as Zaregoto, Book I: The Kubikiri Cycle (2008). This new Vertical edition has been retitled and features a revised translation. The release of DECAPITATION is just in time for the long-awaited animated series based on illustrator take’s character concepts.

BAK(emonogatari) TO THE BEGINNING.

BAKEMONOGATARI: Monster Tale, Part 01Return to the mesmerizing world of Japanese phenom NISIOISIN’s Monogatari series, with the first of the legendary Bakemonogatari stories.

English-language readers got their first delicious taste of Monogatari last year, when Vertical released Kizumonogatari: Wound Tale, a stand-alone prequel to the Bakemonogatari cycle. Now, with BAKEMONOGATARI: Monster Tale, Part 01, they can experience the novel that originally kicked off the Monogatari series.

Here’s a chance to meet up again with your favorite characters from Kizumonogatari: hapless narrator Araragi, class president among class presidents Hanekawa, shady problem-solver Ogino, and a certain pale, blonde former vampire. Joining them in their new exploits are Senjogahara and Hachikuji.

This first Bakemonogatari tale revolves around a mysterious girl in school who suffers from a weird illness. She routinely arrives late, leaves early, or doesn’t show up at all, and skips gym as a matter of course. She very pretty, and the guys in her class are intrigued, speculating that she’s a pampered princess. But as Araragi and friends soon find out, she’s most certainly not a princess. . . she’s a monster (for real).

Part supernatural thriller, part high-school romance, and part laugh-out-loud comedy, BAKEMONOGATARI: Monster Tale, Part 01 is as entertaining as it is provocative.

Parts 02 and 03 of Bakemonogatari will be published by Vertical in February and April respectively.

Praise for Kizumonogatari:

“A great prose voice, strong central narrative, and endless thematic echoes make this a rich experience for Monogatari fans and likely a fun one even for newcomers.” – Anime News Network

Kizumonogatari keeps your eyes glued to the page by intertwining the normal with the paranormal. . . . the characters are still fun, quirky, and just as animated as they were in the show, supported by strong dialogue.” – Japanator.com

Blood is Thicker than Water

Deep RedTwo young women…bound together by a tragic incident from the past that has damaged them both beyond repair.

When Kanako Akiba walks into the sketchy Ice Storm bar, it’s with the express purpose of meeting the bartender, Miho Tsuzuki. At first it seems like an unlikely friendship, but there’s definitely a spark of connection between the two young women.

Even though they’ve just met, the connection goes back to when both were in the sixth grade. Kanako’s entire family had been murdered. And Miho’s father was the man who committed the crime.

Kanako had been having a great time on a class trip when her parents and two brothers were killed by Norio Tsuzuki, who had been financially ruined by a business colleague, Kanako’s father.

Over the years, Kanako’s rage and lust for revenge grew to the point of obsession. But now that she’s met Miho and started to get into her head, Kanako realizes that perhaps the two of them are really not that different.

Deep Red is a dark and disturbing exploration of how anger can be ignited and burn slowly, until finally it bursts into a flame of fury that is all-consuming.

 

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

GOOD COP – BAD COP!

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

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

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

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)