Hot summer, hot reading from VERTICAL!

It’s June and now the summer is really getting started! Time for the beach, the pool, some quiet reading in the shade – and some of the best that Vertical has to offer. The month is bookended by the release of the seventh Devils’ Line installment and NISEMONOGATARI Part 01, NISIOISIN’S eagerly- anticipated sequel to BAKEMONOGATARI. With Mysterious Girlfriend X 6, BLAME! 4 and Flying Witch 2 in between, every week of the month brings an exciting new Vertical adventure.

New Releases

Vampires and vampire hunters are also at the center of Devils’ Line, the modern dark fantasy series that’s romantic,thought-provoking, and action-packed. Book Seven finds Ishimaru, still shrouded in suspicion, leading Squad F on a raid of the CCC’s hideout. But the CCC is ahead of them in this cat-and-mouse game, and things do not go according to plan. When Anzai is caught in the crossfire, Tsukasa has to make a life-or-death decision.

Romance is on the agenda as well in Mysterious Girlfriend X 6, but here the couple in question share powers – and a special bond – quite different from the vampiric variety. As the school year wraps up, so does this 6-volume series, which was the basis for the hit anime available in English from Sentai Films and Crunchyroll. In this latest installment, Tsubaki invites Urabe to join him in a special place to watch the fireworks. Urabe also comes clean to Tsubaki’s sister about their relationship. And when Urabe “sees” an important event from Tsubaki’s past, she makes him an offer that will bring them even closer.

The fourth Master Edition of the groundbreaking BLAME! series returns you to the dystopian future world so skillfully created by comics artist Tsutomu Nihei. In this world-to-come, machines have pushed humanity to the brink. Robots known as the “Builders” have constructed a meaningless civilization with no one to reside in it. Soon these ghost cities begin reaching out to the outer planets, and another breed of life form emerges.

Makoto’s magical education continues in Flying Witch 2, the second of newcomer Chihiro Ishizuka’s funny, surreal slice-of-life series. This second episode finds Makoto attending a local cherry blossom festival, where she runs into someone who has a bone to pick with her sister, Akane. Akane makes an appearance, and teaches Makoto a few new tricks for flying as well as  some easy spellcraft. Their kid cousin Chinatsu is so charmed by the witches’ talents that she makes an unexpected request. Laughs, enchantment, and a taste of traditional Japanese culture combine to make this a perfect summer read!

Prolific phenom NISIOISIN’s legendary MONOGATARI saga continues in NISEMONOGATARI, Part 01, the follow-up to BAKEMONOGATARI. Hapless teenage vampire Koyomi Araragi is back, but this time, the action focuses on Araragi’s home life and his two younger sisters. Junior high schoolers Karen and Tsukihi are known by their schoolmates as the Fire Sisters. And they’re definitely balls of fire. Dedicated to defending justice, their brand of vigilantism is causing a lot of trouble – not just for the perps they’re pursuing, but for themselves. . . and their brother!

Please drop by the Kodansha Comics Booth #1006 at AX. We’ll be pre-selling She and Her Cat, Mobile Suit Gundam WING 1, and Nichijou 9!!


Future Releases:

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

  • 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)
  • Makoto Shinkai and Tsubasa Yamaguchi, She and Her Cat (August 2017)
  • NISIOISIN’s NISEMONOGATARI, Part 02 (August 2017)
  • Mizuki Tsujimura’s Anime Supremacy! (September 2017)

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved

DEVILS’ LINE 7 © 2017 Ryo Hanada.  All rights reserved.; My Neighbor Seki 9 © 2016 Takuma Morishige; MYSTERIOUS GIRLFRIEND X 6 © 2017 Riichi Ueshiba.  All rights reserved.; BLAME! 4 © 2017 Tsutomu Nihei. All rights reserved.; NISEMONOGATARI PART 01 © 2008 NISIOISIN.  All rights reserved.; FLYING WITCH 2 © 2014 Chihiro Ishizuka.  All rights reserved.

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

You’re Gonna Fall for These Hits

So Much Manga to Choose From…

Two months worth of manga to cover, so let’s get going…


New Releases

In the sixth volume of Tokyo ESP, Rinka is now deep undercover in the bowels of Hong Kong! Participating in an underground fighting tournament, her life is at risk as she tries to discover who is behind this strange form of esper exploitation. And why has Rinka decided to put everything on the line for the CIA? Everything from the competitors, the strange suicides, and the bizarre outfits Rinka has been wearing have all been head-scratchers. What sort of mysteries will this volume uncover next?

In Witchcraft Works 9 readers are treated to the bubbly and colorful world of Kasumi’s heart! A world where she and her brother have an unbreakable bond! But this world is not one without its problems. It was one distilled from witchcraft and infused with some wickedness from an unknown source.

So when Kasumi’s world starts falling apart it is up to Honoka, and eventually Kagari, to find the person behind the trouble-making. Will they find this rogue before the world collapses, and do they really want to know who was capable of betraying their city like this?

With Wolfsram now gone the only threat to the Three Cantons is…the Habsburgs! The lords that control these lands are not pleased with what has transpired recently in Wolfsmund 7 and now they have gathered their forces to destroy any rebel insurgence from creating a foothold in the Alps.

In the second volume of To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts, Schaal and Hank head off in search of Cain. Hank and Cain were once on the same side of the war, now they stand on opposite sides of the Beast problem with Hank possibly on the hunt of his old comrade these days.

But along their journey Schaal meets another pair of Beasts. These new encounters continue to create doubt and uncertainty  between her and her new colleague on the road. Their histories have failed them, because what they see before them are no longer heroes, these people are now truly beasts.

While August featured some long-running Vertical properties, September is loaded with recently launched Vertical hits.

Debuting this month is a re-release of a sci-fi manga classic – Tsutomu Nihei’s BLAME! After a successful week at San Diego Comic Con where Tsutomu Nihei discussed the property and announced the up-coming anime for, BLAME! 1 hits shelves to great fanfare. The book has immediately shot up the Amazon rankings as we bring Kylii to a whole generation new manga readers looking forward to.

Keiichi Arawi’s nichijou returns with a handful of random slice of life moments. Volume 4 starts with a strange game of “shiritori” word-chains done via bad classroom sketches and then a strange game of hide-and-go-seek provides a playful aura to this already punny comic.

Then Ms. Nakamura conceives a plan to uncover Shinonome’s secrets. Could she really be a robot? How does she work? Maybe short circuiting her would give the educator some time to do some research? Or maybe she’ll take a nap when her plan fails…

Volume 3 of Ryo Hanada’s Devils’ Line reveals more details about the world of Devil’s. Anzai struggles to come to terms with the transformative powers of human blood.

Knowing that Tsukasa has offered her blood to him makes him even more weary, as he is not sure what he would do if forced to consume blood to save his life again.
So when shots are heard in connection to another devil hunt, Anzai must come face to face with blood being used against him to lure the darkness inside him. Can he get out of this trap?

If you thought one Urabe was intense, imagine dealing with two! In the third volume of Mysterious Girlfriend X, Tsubaki runs into a pair of young women with ambitions to become his “temporary girlfriend.”

First, Tsubaki is reunited with an old crush who is looking for affection, and maybe love in all the wrong places. The wrong place in this case is with Urabe’s boyfriend!  introduced to a carbon copy of his girlfriend! Then Urabe runs into her doppelganger and her “twin” is looking to change careers/lives if only for a brief period of time.

From new hits to beloved long-running titles, Vertical has everything for the well-read manga fan.


A Novel to Remember

Move over, garden-variety anti-heroes, and make way for a villain-hero, darker than the darkest knight: a lawyer with a faulty conscience graces us with his unsolicited presence.

Not only does this barrister have no qualms about taking on guilty-as-hell clients provided they can pay his exorbitant fees, but his own past seems mired in inexpiable sin. Yet the cynical attorney, whose legal acumen, at least, is impeccable, mysteriously seeks to defend a thirty-something woman with limited means and below-average looks who has murdered her deadbeat husband. A sordid case if there ever was one, it makes a veteran prosecutor wonder what the bastard is really after. What unfolds is one of the best courtroom dramas ever to come out of Japan.
The inspiration for a recent Japanese procedural drama of the same name, Nocturne of Remembrance is at the vanguard for what is a relatively new genre in Japanese media is now in print and digital formats.


New Acquisitions!

It has a been a little while since we have made a dedicated entry for new acquisitions. And after a busy two months of events, we have a few new titles to share with you all.

Over the summer at events such as AnimeCentral, AnimeNext, Anime Expo, and Otakon we had a number of opportunities to reveal new licenses with our growing core of readers. But for those of you who have not yet heard, we’ll be sharing a bit of info about those new acquisitions here.

Expect the usual mix of manga and prose that we are best-known for; all available in the first half of 2017.

Manga:

  • Flying Witch by Chihiro Ishizuka

Prose:

  • The Name of the Game is a Kidnapping by Keigo Higashino
  • NISEMONOGATARI by NISIOISIN
  • Seven Deadly Sins – Gaiden by Shuka Matta and Nakaba Suzuki

Fans over the summer have been clammoring over the recent announcements of Flying Witch and NISEMONOGATARI. Ishizuka’s heartwarming witch comedy Flying Witch was the surprise hit of the Spring 2016 anime season. And NISIOISIN’s NISE dives deep into the Araragi household by introducing his memorable siblings to a fanbase hungry for more of NISIOISIN’s “Tales.”

Expect to see these two titles and more over the next year. And stay tuned to this newsletter for more licensing news!


Vertical Fall 2016 Tour

28377576fb19a6dbe366f274_698x288The summer con season is over. But over the next few weeks fans  and readers alike will have the opportunity to meet Vertical staff and purchase our wears at our final events of the year.

First comes a rare trip to the South, as we make our seventh trip to Anime Weekend Atlanta. As usual, expect unique panels and a few licenses from Vertical including big news from a beloved Vertical author.

Then in October we return to New York ComicCon! Vertical has been to every one of these so far, and we’ll be excited to see our hometown fans as we promote BLAME!, MONOGATARI, and a few other Vertical hits. We’ll be at Booth #441 all weekend long!


Chi’s Sweet News!

Vertical top seller Chi’s Sweet Home is returning to the small screen next month with the debut of a new 3DCG animation! The new anime is called “A Kitty Named Chi” and it will debut on TV Tokyo in Japan starting October 2nd. International pop sensation Perfume will be providing the opening theme song for this weekly series produced by Marza Animation Planet (whose previous works include Hatsune Miku: Project Diva; Resident Evil: Vendetta; Splatoon; Space Captain Harlock).

Team Chi is already working on potential global partners for the anime, so fans should be able to see her new adventures in English and other languages in the not too distant future. Stay tuned!

In the meantime we have a promotional video to for you all to enjoy.

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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:

If you happen to pass by AWA, you’ll be able to pick up some advance releases for October and maybe November.

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

  • Hisashi Nozawa’s Deep Red (debuts July 2016)
  • Keigo Higashino’s The Name of the Game is A Kidnapping (debuts 2017)
  • NISIOISIN’s BAKEMONOGATARI (debuts December 2016)
  • Junji Ito’s Dissolving Classroom (debuts January 2017)
  • NEW LICENSE (January 2017!)

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved

Mysterious Girlfriend X © 2016 Riichi Ueshiba; Tokyo ESP © Hajime SEGAWA 2014; Witchcraft Works © 2016 Ryu Mizunagi; Wolfsmund © 2015 Mitsuhisa Kuji; BLAME! © 2016 Tsutomu Nihei; nichijou © Keiichi ARAWI 2009; Tsuioku no Nocturn © 2013 Shichiri Nakayama; To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts © 2016 MAYBE; Flying Witch © 2013 Chihiro Ishizuka; Devils’ Line © 2016 Ryo Hanada

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