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

HANGING OUT WITH THE POPULAR GIRLS

Attack on Titan: Lost GirlsThe latest light novel in the Attack on Titan epic offers a glimpse behind the tough exteriors of Mikasa and Annie, two of the original comic’s most beloved characters.

In Lost Girls, a sequel to the manga, you’ll discover a trio of short stories that provide insights into the personalities of these two fan favorites, and also add depth to the Titan saga as a whole. Mikasa and Annie are arguably the toughest heroines in the Titan universe. Previously, you only got to see their badass side, but now, they reveal their true thoughts and feelings, and also what went on “behind the scenes” and in between the core action of the story.

Author Hiroshi Seko writes, “…as someone with a passing relationship to Attack on Titan, my interest (and heart) is hopelessly drawn to the burdens carried by Mikasa and Annie, and at the same time to the burdens they are probably carrying, and I think I wanted to understand the youg women on a deeper level by writing about them on my own.”

Two of the stories, “Lost in the Cruel World” and “Wall Sina, Goodbye,” were included as “visual novels” in the bonus features of the third and sixth Blue-ray releases of the Attack on Titan anime. Seko revised them, and composed the title story, “Lost Girls,” especially for this volume.

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

Vampires, Teenagers. And a very unusual Spring Break!

KIZUMONOGATARI: Wound TaleA disturbing, but titillating, rumor is making the rounds among the high school girls: a vampire has come to their small provincial town. Supposedly, she’s a beautiful blond woman “with eyes so cold they make your spine freeze.” And it’s just a matter of time before she’ll claim her first victim.

Loner Koyomi Araragi is naturally skeptical. But he’s the one the bloodsucking demon calls out to for help, as Araragi heads home on the first day of his school vacation. So begins two weeks of hell involving Kissshot Acerolaorion Heartunderblade (“the iron-blooded, hot-blooded, yet cold-blooded vampire”), vampire hunters, the smartest girl in the class, a pair of panties, and the hapless Araragi.

With KIZUMONOGATARI: Wound Tale, you’ll enter the mesmerizing world of best-selling author NISIOISIN’s legendary Monogatari series. KIZUMONOGATARI is the prequel to Bakemonogatari (“Monster Tale”) and the first in the series to be translated into English. The feature film of KIZUMONOGATARI will release in Japan in early January 2016!

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

TOUGH LOVE IN TOUGH TIMES

Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City

Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City, Part 1 is the first installment of a new stand-alone story set in the days following the breach of Wall Maria and the incursion of the Titans. Everyone who was able to, has fled the Quinta District, leaving it cut off and surrounded. Those who are left behind are desperate – and desperate people will do whatever it takes to survive.

Young Garrison soldier Rita Iglehaut finds herself in charge of Quinta by default. Small in stature and totally inexperienced, she believes that the only way she can gain control of the chaos is by ruling with an iron fist. Anyone who does anything she deems disloyal or unlawful, will be dealt with unmercifully. No exceptions. As the situation becomes more dangerous, her actions get crazier and crueler.

Rita’s rise to power puts her at odds with her childhood friend Mathias Kramer. Mathias had fled the District in time, but now seeks to reenter Quinta to reunite with Rita. An impulsive act on his part, however, could mean the end of their friendship – and quite possibly, his life.

The second part of The Harsh Mistress of the City, coming in September, continues the saga of Rita and Mathias, the humanity-decimating monsters they must conquer, and the terrifying world they inhabit.

The science is back in science fiction

BiogenesisSpecimens submitted for examination:

  • Winged mouse: appears to weep blood-tears; tiny “wings” vibrate and glow faintly in the dark.
  • Female: pure white hair, no memory, abnormally-low body temperature.
  • Plant: diminutive foliage, hanging bell-shaped flowers, almost completely devoid of color; needs human blood for nourishment.
  • Marine creature: bumpy tumorous exterior; seems to have mysterious cancer-healing powers when ingested by humans.

Findings:

  • Species in danger of extinction
  • Species in danger of extinction
  • Species in danger of extinction
  • Species in danger of extinction

These “specimens” inhabit the pages of Tatsuaki Ishiguro’s four imaginative, haunting, and genre-bending tales, now in English for the first time in Biogenesis.

In both content and form, the short works in the collection at first seem to be scientific notes or reports. Yet, within the matter-of-fact, expository prose are startlingly beautiful descriptions and observations. The basic question is why some species survive, while others become extinct.

And the answer that Ishiguro reveals – that the existence of all species is precarious – will both challenge you and move you deeply.

Praise for Ishiguro’s “It is with the Deepest Sincerity that I Offer Prayers. . .”

“A metaphor of perdition, on the level of all of humanity, is concretized as a small, imaginary animal via the mediating factor of incurable diseases that bring death to two doctors of medicine. In our nation, such excellent conceptions used to belong to Kobo Abe.” – Kenzaburo Oe, Nobel Laureate in Literature

“The work’s novel form and style will be remembered as a turning point in Japanese literature. Moreover, the exploration of the enigma of the ‘winged mouse’s extinction’ can also be easily enjoyed as the finest of mysteries.” – Koji Suzuki, author of Ring and Dark Water

“Why does such dry writing in the format of a report touch me so? Why is it so beautiful? No matter how many times I read it, the tears keep flowing. This is no ‘fusion of science and literature.’ It is the overwhelmingly reality of animate ‘life’ itself.” – Hideaki Sena, author of Parasite Eve

THE CRAFT OF KILLING TITANS

Attack on Titan: Before the fallA generation before Wall Maria fell, before the Titans breached humanity’s defenses, before Eren and Mikasa fought to defeat the monsters. . . there was a young blacksmith named Angel Aaltonen, tasked with creating the weapons and devices to take on the  brutal foes.

As the story opens, the future of humankind looks bleak. There is no organized plan for fighting the Titans, the grotesque, sexless creatures whose appetite for humans seems insatiable. Not only are they enormous and destructive, but they are invincible. Traditional weapons are incapable of killing them, and if they are wounded or lose a body part, it just regenerates itself. The Survey Corps is ridiculed for their ineffective expeditions that result in countless soldiers’ deaths but make no progress against the Titans.

Among his fellow craftsmen at the arms workshop, Angel is considered a master inventor. Angel never really gets the chance to use his talents, however, since the workshop’s products are made to order. But as the citizens of the walled cities become increasingly desperate, Angel has an inspiration for a piece of equipment that will take away one of the Titans’ major advantages: their height. The Vertical Maneuvering Equipment is a brilliant feat of engineering that will play a critical role well into the future, as humanity fights on to rid themselves of the Titan scourge.

In his Afterword, Ryo Suzukaze writes, “In this book, I tried to bring readers to the world of Attack on Titan from a slightly different angle as compared to the original by doing things like making the protagonist, Angel, a craftsman of arms. It explains the inner workings of things such as materials, manufacturing, processes, facilities, and so on. . . . I went into a lot of detail about it, but one item I hope you pay special attention to is the Vertical Maneuvering Equipment. Without it, Attack on Titan would never get off the ground.”

To read a free preview, click here.

Edge Takes Shirley Jackson Award

EdgeVertical, Inc. would like to congratulate author Koji Suzuki as he was acknowledged with the 2012 Shirley Jackson Award yesterday for his novel Edge.

It has been ten years since Vertical entered the publishing world with Mr. Suzuki’s RING series, and to see Mr. Suzuki’s works still being accepted and recognized by the public and critics alike is a testament his mastery of the horror and thriller genres. We hope that with this award, even more readers will be introduced to Edge and Mr. Suzuki’s unique brand of quantum-horror.

Boston, MA (July 2013) — In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, The Shirley Jackson Awards, Inc. has been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.

The Shirley Jackson Awards are voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics, with input from a Board of Advisors. The awards are given for the best work published in the preceding calendar year in the following categories: Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology.
The 2012 Shirley Jackson Awards were presented on Sunday, July 14th at Readercon 24, Conference on Imaginative Literature, in Burlington, Massachusetts, hosted by Readercon 24 Guest of Honor, Maureen McHugh.

The winners for the 2012 Shirley Jackson Awards are:

NOVEL

Winner: Edge, Koji Suzuki (Vertical, Inc.)

Finalists:

  • The Drowning Girl, Caitlín R. Kiernan (ROC)
  • The Devil in Silver, Victor LaValle (Spiegel & Grau)
  • Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn (Crown Publishers)
  • Immobility, Brian Evenson (Tor)