Summer Blockbusters

Summer is full of big big franchises! Full of action, excitement and tension these works tend to be memorable and often big budgeted.

Vertical may not have the biggest budgets to blow, but it does have some big names. And this month we have some big hitters along with a new action title debuting; a little bit of everything for everyone.


New Releases

Debuting this month, Ryo Yasohachi’s Immortal Hounds combines high intensity bullet ballet action with a high concept science-fiction narrative that digs deep into Japan’s dwindling population problems.

In a world where everyone is immortal some people have contracted a disease called Resurrection Deficiency Syndrome that prevents them from coming back to life after experiencing physical trauma or life-threatening illness. A police task force has been assigned to uncover the origins of this disease, as well as find a rogue group of vigilantes protecting those with RDS.

In Devils’ Line 2, Anzai is wounded badly and he begins to doubt whether he has the mental strength to continue with his duties. The taste of blood changed something within this half-devil and now he fears that he might not see Tsukasa ever again! But as he struggles with his psychological darkness another devil makes an appearance with some well timed optimism.

Not-so-ordinary hijinks continue in Nichijou 3. Yukko forgets her homework, again, and just when she thinks she has escaped without punishment Mr. Takasaki decides to unless a barrage unseen before in manga history. Later, Mio and Sasahara share a moment by a vending machine. Their struggle, so real and painful, brings them closer together as they stand together under overcast skies…

Konami Kanata’s Chi’s Sweet Home will soon wrap up. In this third collection Chi and her new furry friend, Cocchi, share a number of adventures in Green Park. And after we are treated to a FukuFuku bonus chapter, readers can check out a brand new Chi comic made for the announcement of the Chi’s Sweet Home anime, scheduled for broadcast Fall 2016!

So as you can see, this month we have some heavy hitters! Cat comics, not so sparkly vampires, very mortal immortals, and anemic educators… This is a line-up that deserves to be an almost every all-star team!


Comic Con or Bust!

After a tremendously successful Anime Expo, Vertical now goes down the coast south to San Diego for Comic Con International. The world’s premiere comic convention will host Vertical and their special guest Tsutomu Nihei this July and fans are in for a big treat!

As usual Vertical will be setting up shop in the Exhibition Hall (booth #1631). This year we’ll be having a few exclusive goodies to give away along with a handful of advance releases.

Goodies:

  • BLAME! Shikishi (with purchase of BLAME! or Knights of Sidonia or by attending his autograph session)
  • BLAME! T-Shirt (free on Preview Night only!)
  • Chi’s Sweet Home Mini-Poster (Free)
  • KIZUMONOGATARI Mini-Poster (Free)

Quantities will be limited for these exclusive items, so please make your way to our booth as soon as you can.

We’ll also have a couple advanced releases for readers to take advantage of:

A rare appearance by Vertical mangaka Tsutomu Nihei highlights our programming for the weekend.

First on Saturday (3:00pm), we will be joining Mr. Nihei and staff from the Knights of Sidonia anime in a spotlight of Nihei’s career. His panel will cover his work on Sidonia, the process of adapting his work into anime, and then into the release of BLAME! in the new MASTERS’ EDITION omnibus. A Q&A with the public will follow. And who knows maybe Mr. Nihei and crew will announce something new also!

At 5:30pm also on Saturday, Mr. Nihei will then have his official autograph session at SDCC. Commemorative shikishi signing boards will be provided to the first 150 people in line for this once in a lifetime special event.


2016 Convention Schedule

California, here we come! And once we are done with our West Coast leg of our tour, we head out to the Atlantic for two mega-shows!

We look forward to seeing many of you throughout the year!


If you happen to pass by SDCC, you’ll be able to pick up some advance releases, including BLAME!

Future Releases:

Stay Vertical!


 

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved

BLAME! © 2016 Tsutomu Nihei; Immortal Hounds © 2014 Ryo Yasohachi; The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home © 2016 Konami Kanata; nichijou © Keiichi ARAWI 2008; Devils’ Line © 2016 Ryo Hanada

April Showers bring Manga Flowers

Spring Forward

So we are certain you have done so already. But in Vertical’s case this has a slightly bitter and very sweet taste to it. With a beloved series coming to an end, two other titles showcasing new lead characters, and the return of a fan favorite with a tear-jerking one-shot, the Vertical fam is a little…misty-eyed.

Thankfully all these titles are bound to entertain. So even if we may have to deal with some emotional moments, the results should whet the palette for even more from your favorite publisher.


New Releases

Spring in the US means the start of a number of sporting seasons. Soccer season is now in full swing here and soccer is one of the primary themes in Kaori Okazaki’s The Gods Lie.

Natsuru’s life hasn’t been easy. Not having a dad means having to learn sports by yourself and having to learn about girls by yourself. Sure his mom is amazing, but she has a child to raise on her own and a career as a novelist to balance. So Natsuru has to look up to his teachers and coaches for direction. Sadly his soccer coach has left the team, his health has become a factor. And Natsuru is beginning to dread his summer, until he met Rio.

Now his life is tough, but Rio lives alone with her younger brother. Her life is a constant struggle. Rio is in Natsuru’s 6th grade class, so she definitely has no experience living alone, and she has no choice in the matter as her father is “away.” His summer might be a mess but Rio’s life is constantly a struggle.  Well this summer, their break will be different! It will be fun, exciting…eye-opening. A summer they’ll never forget. A summer that might drive Natsuru to meet his goals as a soccer player!

In the final volume of Tsutomu Nihei’s Knights of Sidonia the crew of the Sidonia are engaging in what may be their defining battle. Unfortunately for them, they may have to engage in this war to end all wars without their talisman – Tsumugi.

With freedom within their grasp, will the Sidonia be able to live through this for the future of mankind? Or will Tanikaze and his colleagues suffer through another millennia of searching?

Ninja Slayer returns this month without much Ninja Slayer! Ninja Slayer might have been killed when a nuke went off in the Saitama suburbs. So who will defend the “weak” or maintain the “peace”? Possibly no one. Possibly a new “hero” who is looking to make a buck in the process. Or maybe someone who isn’t a hero at all. Maybe the dark world will overtake the megalopolis even more. Either way, with all the chaos the world needs Ninja Slayer even more!

In Tokyo ESP 4, it is been more than a year since Rinka’s story ended. Tokyo is a very different place now. A good portion of the population have become mutants. Among them is high school student Ren Jomaku. She never asked or wanted to be a mutant. But now she has the ability to turn things into ice. And to properly control that ability, she is now enrolled in the new ESP Academy in Tokyo Bay. Ren is going to have to refine those skills because her school is going to be at the center of a lot of mutant mishaps, many of them which will lead to mayhem!

Ok so maybe very little has changed in Tokyo.

Yup, spring is here! And with it comes glowing fish, sports, alien attacks and soccer camps. Oh and more great manga from your favorite publisher!


Listen to our Words

Vertical, Inc. a division of Kodansha USA, will release the first three titles in in audiobook publishing program this Spring. Each of the three initial releases is an unabridged version of a recent best-selling novel from the publisher.

Unique to most audiobooks, Vertical’s releases feature music and sound effects to enhance the reading, and create a feel that is somewhat similar to an anime experience.
In order to resonate with the enormous fanbase for the original material, the audio-books feature voice actors well-known for their work in anime and video games. We feel the actors we have cast have enormous followings of their own among the millions of American fans of the many animation series, films, and video games based on Japanese comics. And we believe that by using their recognizable names and voices in the audio versions of our books the audience will make a seamless transition to listening to the stories we publish.

The actors include:

  • Cristina Vee (KIZUMONOGATARI) – Sailor Moon,  Knights of Sidonia, Squid Girl
  • Erica Linbeck (Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City) – The Seven Deadly Sins: Jericho, Aldnoah.Zero, Coppelion
  • Erik Kimerer (KIZUMONOGATARI) –Your Lie in April, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Iron-Blooded Orphans, ToraDora
  • Keith Silverstein (KIZUMONOGATARI and Attack on Titan: Harsh Mistress of the City) – Sailor Moon, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, Naruto

Vertical’s audiobooks will be available for download from a wide range of sources including Audible, iTunes, Nook, Audiobooks.com, Overdrive, and others.

  • KIZUMONOGATARI: Wound Tale ($19.95 / May 25, 2016) is by NISIOISIN, arguably Japan’s best-selling novelist, and is the first volume in the legendary Monogatari series to be translated into English.
  • THE HARSH MISTRESS OF THE CITY Parts 1 & 2 ($14.95 Each / June 1, 2016) is a two-part stand-alone saga set in the days after the Wall has been breached and the marauding Titans are terrorizing humanity. The “Attack on Titan” mega-franchise is one of today’s most successful pop-culture phenomena.

Read the Manga, Watch the Anime

Ever so often Vertical is fortunate enough to find a true gem of a property. Works that are not just unique and well-crafted, but these gems are also accessible, timely, and capable of expanding not only our audience but the manga market as a whole. We were quite fortunate that AJIN: Demi-Human was one of those works. And starting this week, the property is taking another step towards broader acceptance as its anime adaptation debuts on NetFlix!

Polygon Pictures have taken Gamon Sakurai’s high stakes tale of a new world teeming with life-threatening immortals is rendered with attention to all the tension and intensity of the manga.


c8c23fd2122d7446d370847e_1180x5402016 Convention Schedule

Convention season is here! And maybe you weren’t aware but Vertical has already attended one con already this year!

To help inform our readers and fans out there, we wanted to share our tentative convention schedule with you all.

We’ll be hosting panels and events at most of these shows. And as usual, you can purchase goods and meet staff at the Vertical booth.

We look forward to seeing many of you throughout the year!


Future Releases:

From vampire hunting damphirs to monster hunting werewolves and various forms of sushi making, Vertical in 2016 should your source for some of the more eclectic works seen in Japan today!

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
Tokyo ESP © Hajime SEGAWA 2012-2013; Ninja Slayer © 2012 NINJ@ ENTERTAINMENT © Yuki YOGO 2015 © Yoshiaki TABATA  2015; Knights of Sidonia © 2016 Tsutomu Nihei; the gods lie. © 2016 Kaori Ozaki; AJIN ©Gamon Sakurai, KODANSHA/AJIN Production Committee; KIZUMONOGATARI © 2008 NISIOISIN

Fall into Vertical

Summer is almost over and fall is just around the corner. But even with longer nights and cooler days in the horizon, Vertical continues to heat up the publishing world by releasing some of the hottest titles from Japan today. And this month we honestly do have some huge works in store for you all.

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A Spectacular September
This September is huge! Some of the biggest names in anime and manga are coming your way courtesy of Vertical launching what should be a memorable fall for all our readers.

In My Neighbor Seki 4, Seki continues to haunt his fellow classmate Rumi Yokoi. This time, however, Yokoi is no longer going to take things quietly. As Seki continues to good around over P.E. and art class, Yokoi makes her mark on his little projects by changing the rules and even challenging Seki at his own games.

In Mobile Suit Gundam: The ORIGIN Part XI most of the war has been fought. Zeon is crumbling. But there is still some business left between two of this generation’s top mecha pilots – Char Aznable and Amuro Ray. Their rivalry now goes beyond just robot piloting.  After what occurred with Lalah, there is bad blood between these two and nothing is going to stop them. Not the destruction of their mecha. Not the death of most of the Zabi clan. Nothing!

Tragedy strikes in volume 14 of Knights of Sidonia. Nagate has done a good job defending the Sidonia from Gauna but it has long come at a cost. He has lost many comrades in battle, but few have meant as much to this as Tsumugi. While there is still hope for her survival, what will happen to the Guardian fighters without her support. She is an irreplaceable member of their squad.

And with the second part of Harsh Mistress of the City we are treated to the exciting conclusion of this Attack on Titan side story.

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More Acquisitions
We might not have had any panels since Otakon, but that does not mean we weren’t working hard to acquire new content to translate for you readers.

Over the last month we were fortunate to acquire the rights to the following new property –

To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts by MAYBE

Combining fantasy and action this new series, from the makers of CrunchyRoll’s Tales of Wedding Rings, is setting up to be the next hit work for this beloved manga duo.

Expect to see monsters galore rendered gloriously by MAYBE and adapted into English by our Vertical Comics line starting next spring!

The Eternal Zero

A Story for the Ages
Once in every decade or so the publishing world is struck by a work that captivates a generation. Works like these are often timely and relevant, often possessing a voice that may have been awaited by the populous. Naoki Hyakuta’s The Eternal Zero is a title that fits that bill.

Having sold more than 7 million units in that small country, it has been considered a phenomenon and when considering the genre and themes of this work doubly so. This work of historical fiction takes readers back to World War II as it focuses one of that war’s deadliest weapons – the Zero Fighter.

Provocative, potentially controversial, and already being covered by journals such as The Economist, The Hollywood Reporter, and Variety, The Eternal Zero is poised to make its mark on the English book market when it hits shelves next month.

Vertical Convention Tour 2015
Summer is coming to a close, but the Vertical tour bus is still making stops across the country. We still have two more destinations before parking the bus for the winter. And we hope to see you at some of these events.

And if you happen to pass by one of our panels, stick around for special giveaways featuring goodies from some of our hit titles.

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City © 2015 Hajime Iseyama and Ryo Kawakami; Knights of Sidonia © 2015 Tsutomu Nihei; My Neighbor Seki © Takuma Morishige; Aizouban Mobile Suit Gundam: The ORIGIN © Yoshikazu Yasuhiko / SOTSU – SUNRISE; To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts © MAYBEi; The Eternal Zero © 2006 Naoki Hyakuta

Enter a New Generation…

Knights of Sidonia vol.8There is no denying that Tsutomu Nihei’s Knights of Sidonia is a departure from what this veteran comicker has previously worked on. But when comparing it to most of the science-fiction that is available in the market today, it is clear that this series is something unique on many levels. From its setting to its growing cast of characters, and even its impressively rendered world and mechanical designs set it apart from anything out there.

In the eighth volume of Knights of Sidonia a new generation of mechs are almost ready for combat and this new advancement in technology is just in time as a Gauna clustership has recently been spotted devouring a moon of a potential colony planet. With a new more aggressive stance to take the battle to the space monsters, and a new hybrid ally among them, the crew of the Sidonia may soon find themselves taking Planet 7 from the Gauna’s collective grasp.

As the manga moves towards a more action intense arc of this series, and with a new anime changing the scope of Japanese sci-fi animation, now is the time to dive into Tsutomu Nihei’s new flagship work. The culmination of more than a decade of comic work is now redefining many genres for this generation of seinen readers.

Reconfiguring the Space Opera

Knights of Sidonia vol. 6Now in its sixth volume Tsutomu Nihei’s science-fiction showpiece Knights of Sidonia continues to shock and inspire, through its thoughtful artistry and well-plotted story-building. And as the series begins to place on many Best of 2013 lists while videos of its animated TV series are repeatedly distributed on the internet, readers of the source material can experience a turning point in this epic’s narrative.

Nagate Tanikaze and his fellow Garde pilots know they are the vanguard in the fight for survival against the Gauna. Every time they sortie, the likelihood they will return to their homes becomes less and less likely. And when dealing with whole clusters of Gauna the odds become even more minute. So when Nagate and crew face off against the most recent evolution of the Gauna defense mechanism, it does not come as a shock to see mass destructions on both sides of the conflict. How the survivors deal with the tragedy and the aftermath will be critical as repairing a mobile suit, which adds plenty to this already engrossing drama.

Whether being read for the space opera or the unique twist on a gender-bending harem comedy, Nihei’s Knights of Sidonia satisfies in ways photosynthetic organisms can never fully realize.

CLONE WARS

Summer is here and with it come the big blockbusters: Superman, Ironman, Gundam and Pacific Rim! Wait Pacific Rim and Gundam…

Anywho, while it may be early to call Tsutomu Nihei’s latest a blockbuster, with an animated TV series recently announced for 2014, the folks at Vertical feel we may have next year’s summer hit in our grasp right now.

This month we released the third volume of Nihei’s attempt at a space opera. Tensions are high as the Sidonia have encountered a new form of alien foe. The shape-shifting Gauna have launched an attack with a new look and feel that may be eerily familiar to the Sidonia’s young heroes. This new approach is meant to cast doubt in the hearts of the many fighter pilots that engage with the Gauna, so will Tanikaze and his colleagues be able to vanquish this new threat and will they be able to capture a specimen to figure out how far these aliens have come over the last few hundreds of years?

And then, talking bear and den-mother, Lalah Hiyama recalls memories of early encounters with the Gauna. These memories all triggered by her new found moments with Nagate Tanikaze.

Before Nihei’s new hit takes to the small screen next year, why not dive into the depths of science-fiction story-telling and comedy that is Knights of Sidonia!

Space Operatic

There has been something in the air recently. For some reason, there has been a resurgence in space appreciation. Could it be caused by a return to Mars exploration? Or maybe inspired by nostalgia created by a Space Shuttle tour? Whatever the reason, space is on our minds and here at Vertical we have had our heads above the clouds for years now…

On the heels of a hugely-successful Gundam the ORIGIN launch comes volume two of Tsutomu Nihei’s Knights Of Sidonia. This latest volume starts off with a stunningly illustrated (complete with color pages) battle between the Guana and the Garde that leaves our protagonist, Tanikaze, and one of his fellow fighters, the beautiful yet quiet Shizuka Hoshijiro, stranded together in the depths of the abyss. How will things develop between them when it’s unclear if they will ever be rescued? Plus, readers are treated to a look into the past of Kunato, the resident son of nobility, as he makes his first decisive, though utterly repulsive, move.

The newest work by sci-fi manga godsend Tsutomu Nihei continues on as a beautifully illustrated portrayal of the last of humanity floating away in space fighting on for their survival. This second volume proves to be an ever more intimate and harrowing experience as the story begins to really move off the ground. So brace yourself for yet another atypical Vertical space adventure!

Zero G-Love

Happy Valentine’s Day readers!

As a gift to the best manga fans in the English reading world we have two titles to share with you today. First is the debut of Vertical’s newest manga series, Knights Of Sidonia. The most recent work by renowned comicker and world-builder, Tsutomu Nihei, of Blame and Biomega fame. Fans of Nihei’s previous works won’t be let down by Knights Of Sidonia.

As an homage to the space operas of the past, Sidonia is a tale of the last of humanity struggling to survive while on the run. Trekking through space fighting off aliens who have destroyed most of their kind is rendered with love in Nihei’s unique and haunting visual style. Yet, unlike some of his earlier works, this manga is noticeably more cohesive and concentrated, paying plenty of attention to its characters and story. Here, Nagate Tanikaze, a young man who has lived his entire life up until the start of this story in isolation, is the newest soldier in the battle against a race of space giants called the Gauna. He is alone in this new world where humans now photosynthesize and new biological genders have come into play. Will lonely, passionate and hungry Nagate, be able to function within this futuristic society?

The idleness and desperation of space is portrayed to a subtle degree in Knights Of Sidonia, and it becomes increasingly haunting as it progresses. You’ll feel for the characters trying to get by day to day in this cold reality. Between the crippling loneliness of space and the nauseating alien life forms trying to kill everyone, Knights Of Sidonia makes for the perfect Valentines Day present. …Really.