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.

Say Farewell to 2016 with Vertical

New Releases

As 2016 comes to a close, some of us in the Vertical office have begun looking back at what was a tremendous year. Over the past twelve months we have released a number of success stories, and made even more new customers and readers along the way.

With only a few days left in the year, we are also looking forward to 2017, which is already looking like it could end up being equally, if not more, impressive.
But before we welcome the new year, we still have a handful of books to share with you as we move deeper into winter.

Tsutomu Nihei’s BLAME! returns with the second volume of the Masters Edition. Already a cult hit, this new oversized omnibus release has rekindled a fandom for the 2017 Inkpot Award winning author and his now legendary debut series.

After searching the massive world known as “The City” Kyrii is discovered by the Administration. It warns him and Cibo of The City and its Safeguards, but also informs Kyrii of how it can do very little to aid Kyrii on his mission. And those Safeguards will go to any means to wipe out unregistered organisms from the net, as Kyrii will soon find out while on the mend.

In Mysterious Girlfriend X, part 4 the leading characters are seeing double. Or are they seeing triple? Are they ill or is there something more curious behind all of these doppelgangers.

Tsubaki meets another Urabe; meanwhile, Urabe sees hundreds of Tsubaki’s. But how does this happen? Well, on a random afternoon Tsubaki thinks he runs into Urabe on the street surrounded by people. He thought his girlfriend was being bullied, but no, unbeknownst to him that was not Urabe at all!

Moreover, the two Urabes know each other and they are actively participating in a plot to hide each others identity. Life was complicated enough with one Urabe in Tsubaki’s life. Two could bring even more confusion to his already delicate heart. And why is the real Urabe seeing hundreds of Tsubaki’s? People sure find motivation in weird places.

In Devils’ Line, volume 4 Tsukasa is caught in the crossfire between her Devil-allied friends and a new terrorist organization developed to exterminate Devils and those who harbor them. Unaware of such a group, just as she had been unaware of vampires until recently, Tsukasa is uncertain of how to react to not only the violence caused by these radicals, but upon interacting with them as a hostage, she wonders what their real motive is when it seems their tenets are hypocritical if not even malicious.

With Tsukasa missing Anzai and Lee must devise a plan to free her safely. The suspects are armed and no one knows how many of them are involved. To go into this mess is risky enough without having to worry about saving lives but when the suspects seem to be at odds with each other even approaching such a situation seems like playing with chaos.

Such is the life of a half-vampire and the vampire protection unit. And it is only set to get even more intense as this latest case unfolds.

Meanwhile with The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home, Part 4 we have reached the final installment of this beloved, best-selling series. This latest omnibus contains volumes 10, 11 and 12 and wraps up the series as our furry heroine Chi has to make a difficult decision about her home. Where is home? As readers will find out, it is where the heart is!

In BAKEMONOGATARI, Part 1 there’s a girl at school who is always ill. She routinely arrives late, leaves early, or doesn’t show up at all, and skips gym as a matter of course. She’s pretty, and the boys take to whispering that she’s a cloistered princess. As the self-described worst loser in her class soon finds out, they just don’t know what a monster she is.

So begins a tale of mysterious maladies that are supernatural in origin yet deeply revealing of the human psyche, a set of case files as given to unexpected feeling as it is to irreverent humor. So begins the legendary novel that kicked off the MONOGATARI series, whose anime adaptations have enjoyed international popularity and critical acclaim.

This first of three parts introduces Senjogahara and Hachikuji, and fans of the blockbuster prequel KIZUMONOGATARI will be delighted to meet their favorite crazies again: the weirdly reliable narrator Araragi, class president among class presidents Hanekawa, shady problem-solver Oshino, and a certain pale, blonde former vampire.


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Author Spotlight: Makoto Shinkai

In some ways 2016 was the year of Makoto Shinkai. This was especially true in Japan, where his latest film Your Name. is now the second highest grossing movie of all time. As his movie breaks records and as his star grows, the works of Shinkai are now being reviewed and analyzed with greater scrutiny to uncover the source of his talents.

Vertical has been by Shinkai for a number of years now. Having published three of his manga to date, we have seen his story-telling and artistry develop with each new property. And with each new work he produces we have been equally surprised and thrilled by his development. From the sci-fi tinged romance of Voices of a Distant Star to the visual force that is the fantasy-inspired Children Who Chase Lost Voices, Shinkai’s catalog covers a range of genres and themes, but common threads in all of his works are his use of scenery and a sense of sentimentality.

The success of Your Name. will likely spread to the US in 2017 as more theatrical screenings and physical media editions will be available. But in the meantime, readers can experience his works today! Whether by watching his films on CrunchyRoll or through Sentai Films, or reading his books by Vertical – 5 Centimeters per Second, Garden of Words, or A Sky Longing for Memories – there is plenty to explore in the growing works of Shinkai. 2017 will be the perfect time to do so, as together we can help make 2017 a year of Makoto Shinkai in the West!


New Acquisition!

Speaking of Makoto Shinkai, we are proud to announce the acquisition of one of his most recent manga adaptations!

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  • She & Her Cat by Makoto Shinkai and Tsubasa Yamaguchi

Adapted in 2016 by Tsubasa Yamaguchi this manga retells Makoto Shinkai’s first animated work by the same title. Shinkai released She & Her Cat as a seven-minute video on CD-Roms sold at small anime/manga events. It would go on to win DoGA’s CG Anime Contest Grand Prix in 2000. The success of this self produced project would eventually catch the attention of a small animation studio and distributor Comix Wave, and it serves as a primer for what would become a seventeen plus year career in animation.

A tale of loneliness and discovery, She & Her Cat in some ways lays down the foundation for the World of Shinkai. Yamaguchi does a wonderful job not only retelling Shinkai’s story, she also adds more visual depth and context to this tale of a single woman and her cat.

Expect to see Vertical’s translation of this beautiful adaptation in stores Summer 2017!


Future Releases:

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

  • Junji Ito’s Dissolving Classroom (January 2017)
  • NISIOISIN’s Decapitation – Kubikiri Cycle – (January 2017)
  • Keigo Higashino’s The Name of the Game is A Kidnapping (Early 2017)
  • Chihiro Ishizuka’s Flying Witch (March 2017)
  • Various Authors, Ghost in the Shell (March 2017)
  • Shuka Matsuda and Nakaba Suzuki, Seven Deadly Sins (May 2017)

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved

BAKEMONOGATARI, Part 1 © 2016 NISIOISIN, BLAME!, 2© 2016 Tsutomu Nihei, The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home, 4© 2016 Konami Kanata, Devils’ Line 4 © 2016 Ryo Hanada, Mysterious Girlfriend X 4 © 2016 Riichi Ueshiba, 5 Centimeters per Second © 2012 Makoto Shinkai – CWF – Yukiko Seike, The Garden of Words © 2014 Makoto Shinkai / CoMix Wave Films, Midori Motohashi, She and Her Cat © Makoto Shinkai/CWF-S&HC EF Film Partners/Tsubasa Yamaguchi 2016, A Sky Longing for Memories © 2015 Makoto Shinkai / CoMix Wave Films

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

Dig in to Vertical This Month

New Releases

It’s fall, and for many of us it is time to fill up with good reads. Whether digging into heaping piles of prose or hot servings of manga, these days readers can feast on great content and never feel ashamed to pack on the pounds of knowledge and entertainment.

To help with your literary spread Vertical is serving up some tasty reads full of humor, action, and suspense. And we’ve got more than enough to available for seconds or thirds…

Fumi Yoshinaga’s What Did You Eat Yesterday? is all about the eats and with this latest volume (11) Shiro is invited by his old friend Kayako to attend a family gathering and picnic.

It has been a while since Shiro has seen Kayako and her family, and this is an opportunity to reunite over a big bento meal. But Shiro already made plans for a picnic dinner for that evening also! Will he be able to pull of this double-duty with his wallet and stomach, or will he have to play favorites.

Reunions are in store also in To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts 3. In this fantasy tale by author-writer duo MAYBE, young main character Schaal returns home to pay respects to her fallen father. Her father was also an Incarnate, so she struggles with her memories of her family with the fear felt by her town upon hosting an Incarnate.

It has been a year and Schaal has returned to her home. The village is depressed as it is being haunted possibly by an Incarnate. And where there is a beast there will eventually be Beast Hunters. But this time Hank is not amongst them. And this time, it might be Schaal who will ultimately pull the trigger, even if it’s before a familiar face.

In Nichijou 5 the girls are proceeding with an interesting project; one that the readers of this series might be familiar with. Yukko, Mio, and Mai are working on a manga they plan to submit to a contest. Mio is basically expanding on a comic she has been doodling for a while now.

You would think that these three friends would come together to create something with a shared vision. That they would want to work with each other to make this project a success. But no. They’ll conspire to destroy the project. One of them might have done that accidentally and the other may have had more sinister intentions, yet the results are still the same… Mio will have to harden herself and work on the comic by herself while overcoming the challenges her own assistants have placed before her.

Meanwhile in Tokyo ESP 7 chaos reins supreme in this penultimate omnibus. Rinka’s mission in Hong Kong is complete. Now there is a bigger threat setting its eye on Tokyo with ambitions to take over the world! A new world order is afoot and the keys to this movement are a pair of espers the series has followed for some time now.

When Rinka and Ren thought they were going to have a happy reunion, suddenly new forces appear threatening the country and their allies directly. An international group with tentacles deep within the economic and political institutes of the world’s most powerful countries has set their eyes on espers and their abilities. Rinka, with her partners in Tokyo Metropolitan Police and the American CIA, will soon make plans to take down this new enemy…from within.

New Releases

Attack on Titan has been one of the biggest franchises to come out of Japan in years. And this month it returns to the West with a new light novel: Attack on Titan: End of the World.

Ever since the horde of seemingly immortal and mindless giants emerged a century ago, humanity has been eking out a secluded existence behind a series of concentric walls. The precarious peace does not last, and childhood friends Eren, Armin, and Mikasa, who witness the end of the world as they know it, embark on an infernal journey with no paradise in sight.

In this novelization of both parts of the mega-hit comic’s theatrical adaptation, the series’ familiar setting, plot, and themes are reconfigured into a compact whole that is fully accessible to the uninitiated and strangely clarifying for fans of the original.

After a short break, Takaya Kagami’s Seraph of the End 3 hits shelves with a gloomy holiday theme at its core. In this case, Christmas is finally here; an apocalyptic time of year for all good boys and girls.

Not only Guren but his closest allies among the Imperial Demons have accepted forbidden power, and the merciless Hiragi Clan orders them to go after its once-favorite but treacherous daughter Mahiru. The vampires, however, are ready to show that no human faction stands a chance against them.

So this month feast on these great works, but make sure to leave some room for seconds, because our December list will be just as filling.


Let’s Talk about J-Mysteries

Since Vertical’s inception in 2003 the publishing house has been at the forefront of translated Japanese mysteries. The genre has been at the core of the Japanese literary scene for decades and it has inspired numerous forms of media including movies, games, and manga throughout the years.

Supporting these works and their authors in Japan is the Mystery Writers of Japan.
Here is what they say about their position within that community:

The Mystery Writers of Japan (MWJ) brings together authors, critics, translators, illustrators, and other creators working in the mystery genre, and is the oldest organization in the field in Japan. It was born in Tokyo in 1947, as Japan was rebuilding from the destruction of World War II. The man who made it possible was Edogawa Rampo, one of the pioneers in the Japanese mystery literature genre, who became the first head of the MWJ.

Since its establishment, the MWJ has worked to promote mysteries in Japan, nurturing appreciation for works in the field. Its efforts over the years have been successful, and today mysteries are enormously popular in Japan.

With Japanese prose slowly gaining more acceptance in the West, Vertical and the MWJ feel it is important for readers to take a look at other genres to get a better appreciation for the culture and nuances of Japan. While there is a lot to learn from light novels and more youthful narratives, reading works such as Pro Bono, Shinjuku Shark, and The Cage may open up doors to a contemporary Japan that is more in tune with what is read by the masses there and a world outside of the subcultures of anime and manga.

To follow the Mystery Writers of Japan and the many Japanese novels that are translated into English please follow the MWJ at their website:
http://www.mystery.or.jp/en/index.html.


New Acquisition!

Late fall is generally a quiet season for licensing at the Vertical offices, but this year that has changed a bit. We’ve been busy picking up titles for Fall 2017. We’ll discuss those titles in future newsletter, but in the meantime we have some early information on a new release we have scheduled for Spring 2017!

Prose:

  • Ghost in the Shell: Collection (official title to be determined)

This brand new Ghost in the Shell release is a new collection of short stories by some of the biggest names in Japanese prose today. Featuring works by Tow Ubukata (Mardock Scramble), Toh EnJoe (Self-Reference ENGINE), Kafka Asagiri (Bungo Stray Dogs), Gakuto Mikumo (Strike the Blood), and Yoshinobu Akita (Sorcerous Stabber ORPHEN). Each of these talents provide their perspectives to build upon and re-interpret the world of the Major and Public Security Section 9.

Vertical is proud to be releasing this as part of a global GitS project set around the motion picture scheduled for Spring 2017. News about this new book is still developing, so stay tuned to this newsletter and our social media platforms for more information and artwork.


Vote for Your Favorite Novels!

Every year we host a few licensing surveys hoping to find titles that our readership are most hungry for. This month we are asking fans out there to give us some feedback about a range of topics and a novel/light novel suggestion.

If you ever wanted to share your novels wishlist with the US’s premiere publisher of Japanese prose, here is your chance!

Click here to take our Annual Prose Survey


Future Releases:

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

  • NISIOISIN’s BAKEMONOGATARI (debuts December 2016)
  • Junji Ito’s Dissolving Classroom (debuts January 2017)
  • NISIOISIN’s Decapitation – Kubikiri Cycle – (debuts January 2017)
  • Keigo Higashino’s The Name of the Game is A Kidnapping (debuts 2017)
  • Chihiro Ishizuka’s Flying Witch (debuts March 2017)
  • Various Authors, Ghost in the Shell (debuts March 2017)

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved

To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts 3 © 2016 MAYBE; nichijou 6 © Keiichi ARAWI 2009; Attack on Titan: End of the World © 2016 Hajime Isayama, Touji Asakura; Tokyo ESP 7 © Hajime SEGAWA 2015; Seraph of the End 3 © 2016 Takaya Kagami

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

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.

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

Not your typical high school day!

Seraph of the End Guren Ichinose: Catastrophe at Sixteen 1Math, science, historypreparing for the apocalypse. Guren Ichinose and his fellow students at First Shibuya High School have a lot on their minds besides rooting for the school football team.

SERAPH OF THE END: Guren Ichinose: Catastrophe at Sixteen is a light novel series set eight years before the events of the blockbuster manga and anime. In the novels, we know the end of the world is coming at Christmas, but how and why it will end, who will be responsible, and what will happen afterwards is still a mystery.

Like any group of high school kids, the students at elite First Shibuya have their cliques and crushes, their enemies and their heartbreaks. But for Guren, Mahiru, Shinya, Kureto, Mito, Norito, Sayuri, and Shigure, school is also about getting stronger, becoming better fighters, making strategic alliances, and defending the honor and power of their family clans.

Book I introduces the gang. As the heir to the weakened Ichinose Clan, Guren is in a vulnerable position among his classmates. His plan is to act meek and diffident, and suffer through the taunts and bullying until the moment is right to reveal his true strength.

Book 2 finds Guren’s fortunes have changed—at least for the time being. He’s now part of Seraph of the End Guren Ichinose: Catastrophe at Sixteen 2the inner circle of Kureto Hiragi, star student, powerbroker, and scion of the Hiragi Clan, leaders of the magical syndicate The Order of the Imperial Demons. On the surface, a submissive follower, at heart, unbowed, Guren directs his clan to research forbidden magic in preparation for the impending apocalypse.

Books I and 2 of SERAPH OF THE END are loaded with illustrations, written by Takaya Kagami in the exciting style that fans of his manga crave, and feature great characters (some of whom appear in the manga). And watch for Book 3, coming this September!

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

New Year, New Reads

Happy 2016 Vertical readers! With a new year comes a new slate of titles launching. And in this year we are pushing the envelope just as only we could.

New seinen series! New sports manga! New alternative manga! New light novels! New Japanese mystery novels! New cat comics! eBooks! AudioBooks!

And that’s just for the first half of the year. Imagine what the catalog will look like once we start announcing our Fall and Winter lists!


New Releases

Inio Asano is known as one of the more dynamic manga artists in Japan today. Combining photo-realistic background art that are in complete contrast to the almost super flat or moë inspired manga character designs his art is striking yet simple, and a perfect compliment to his angst filled narratives.

His latest work to hit North America is A Girl on the Shore. Part coming of age story, part teen romance gone wrong, Girl pushes readers and Asano into a new level of story-teller as he dives deep into the twisted and ever evolving lives of Japanese teens.

Look out for Girl. Asano has already received two Eisner Award nominations, this could be his third.

Fresh off our immensely successful KIZUMONOGATARI release comes our next light novel series, Seraph of the End by Takaya Kagami. Set before the events in the manga and anime, the light novel series revolves around Guren Ichinose and the on-coming war against vampires. A must for fans of the Seraph franchise this light novel series reveals critical details about the back story for many of the characters of the animation.

Our biggest new manga release of 2015 was also our biggest release of 2010! Konami Kanata’s The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home might have flown under the radar of vendors when we launched it in August, but the new oversized full-color omnibus has been a huge hit launching what seems to be a mini cat comics revival. This month we release the second of four Complete Chi‘s hoping even more readers will give our favorite manga feline a warm home this winter!


Now Hear This!

NISIOISIN’s KIZUMONOGARTARI is already one of the most successful Japanese novels in recent memory and this is before news of a North American theatrical tour of its anime (tentatively scheduled for February 2016). But what if novel and anime are not enough to satiate your hunger for all things Kissshot and Araragi?

Well, we have something completely new for you.
Announced at New York Comic Con, this Spring Vertical will be stepping into the world of audiobooks with none other  than KIZUMONOGATARI and Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City as our first releases. Each book will be read by established voice actors, recorded in professional dubbing studios, before being provided music and sound effects to enhance the overall listening experience. With some books clocking in at more than 12 hours, these “reads” will be a hearty experience that can rival the length of some anime tv series.

Distribution and pricing details are still being worked out, but in the meantime we do have some info to share with our newsletter readers:

Voice Actors for KIZUMONOGATARI:

  • Erik Kimerer
  • Keith Silverstein
  • Cristina Vee

Voice Actors for Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City:

  • Keith Silverstein
  • Erica Lindbeck

Stay tuned to this newsletter and Vertical’s social media platforms for alerts on these projects.


This Tale is Now a Movie

The wait is almost over! Announced back in 2012, the first KIZUMONOGATARI movie just debuted in Japan!

No that is not a joke! No it isn’t a scam! The KIZUMONOGATARI movie is here!

Produced by SHAFT, Part One: Tekketsu is the culmination of years of development from team NISIOISIN and the animation people behind this legendary franchise. Part of that project was making certain that this movie would be accessible by a global audience of MONOGATARI fans. And here in the US that means theatrical screenings starting February 26th!

Distributed by ANIPLEX fans of this property can find more details about theaters and screening times at their website http://kizumonogatari-usa.com.

We hope fans of NISIOISIN’s “Tales” will join us in theaters so we can relive this one via the big screen!

 


Future Releases:

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
Chi’s Sweet Home © 2016 Konami Kanata; Seraph of the End © 2016 Takami Takaya; My Neighbor Seki © Takuma Morishige 2014; KIZUMONOGATARI © 2008 NISIOISIN; KIZUMONOGATARI: Part One -TEKKETSU- © NISIOISIN/KODANSHA, ANIPLEX, SHAFT