Seki Returns to Late Night

Seki Returns to Late NightAfter nearly half a year in publication, Takuma Morishige’s My Neighbor Seki has become something of a quiet hit in North America. Soon to be in its second printing, this collection of vignettes on how Toshinari Seki kills time in school has charmed readers across the continent. And now the series is about to return to television screens in Japan.

Japanese manga news portal Comic Natalie reports that My Neighbor Seki will be adapted into a live-action comedy for Japanese broadcaster TBS starting in July. Early news states the Seki adaptation will be shown during a late night time slot as part of a 30-minute comedy program alongside a live-action adaption of another property from Japanese publisher Shogakukan.

Given how creative the few live-action promotional clips Media Factory produced to promote the manga a few years back and the positive response for the Seki anime last year, we are certain that this new attempt to bring Seki to the little screen will be a hit amongst Japanese fans. Fans outside of Japan, should keep their fingers crossed for an English translation!

Vertical Comics has currently released the first two of seven volumes of My Neighbor Seki in eBook and print editions. Volume 3 goes on sale in July.

Vertical Does Dallas

A-KonThe Vertical Comics 2015 Tour continues this month with a long-awaited trip to Dallas, Texas for Project A-Kon. After taking 2014 off, due to scheduling conflicts, Vertical will be returning to A-Kon for a second time, with an expanded catalog and broader event presence.

As usual we will be in the Dealers’ Room (Booth EP-6) selling manga and novels and interacting with Vertical readers. At A-Kon we will have a few advance releases available for sale: Gundam: The ORIGIN Part X, AJIN volume 5, and Witchcraft Works volume 5. And as per usual, all books at the booth will be available at a discount (10% to 35% off cover price!!).

This year Vertical will also be hosting two panels: Vertical Comics Industry Panel and Seinen Up!: A Guide to Men’s Manga. As the premiere seinen publisher in North America, Vertical Comics knows the insides and outs of this segment of the manga industry. They’ll be going over the history of seinen manga and also share some of the best titles that are currently available in English. And in our Industry panel we will take questions from the public after revealing our 2015 schedule. If everything lines up well with our licensing partners in Japan, we might even reveal a new acquisition or two in the process.

So put your boots on! Grab a bag and a notebook! Vertical will be seeing you all in Big D! We hope to soak up some Texan hospitality!

Project A-Kon
June 5th through 7th
Hilton Anatole Dallas
2201 N Stemmons Fwy
Dallas, TX 75207

Summer Reading

It’s June and summer is practically here. And with warmer days come longer days and more time for leisure reading. So why not partake in a Vertical Comics release or two this month while on the beach, on the patio while sipping iced tea, or as you jet to some holiday destination.

This month VC and Vertical have a wealth of cool titles for readers to dive into…

New from Vertical Comics:

  • Witchcraft WorksWitchcraft Works, volume 5: A wicked witch named Weekend has assaulted the entire city of Tougetsu. By planting explosives across the municipality this witch was able to use up and neutralize Tougetsu Workshop Witches’ magic while endangering the lives of the public. Will Honoka and Ayaka be able to find the strength to take on this cunning witch before more of Weekend’s explosives harm their hometown?

 

  • A Sky Longing for Memories – The Art of Makoto Shinkai: This unique artbook looks back at some of the most beloved works from award-winning anime director Makoto Shinkai. Featuring hundreds of background art pieces from such works as, 5 Centimeters per Second, Voices of a Distant Star, and A Place Promised in Our Early Days, this collection reveals rarely translated details of the Japanese animation process. The book also contains interviews with Makoto Shinkai and his staff about their experiences within the Japanese anime industry. A must read for anime fanatics and Shinkai admirers.

New from Vertical:

  • Ajin: Demi-HumanAJIN: Demi-Human, volume 5: In this latest volume, Sato and his crew of rogue Demi-Humans have taken to the offensive by launching an attack on Japan’s limited defense systems. And tension at his new home forces Kei Nagai to make his own move. But will it be in favor of humanity, or will he side with Sato?
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The ORIGIN, Part X: Solomon is now in the cross-hairs. With Federation forces moving in it appears as if Zeon’s leadership is falling apart from the top down. The tide may be turning but some members of Zeon are willing fight to their end for their family!

eBook Releases:

  • Black Jack, volume 15 and 16

From beloved classics to new hits, and everything in between, Vertical Comics has the right read for every manga and anime fan this summer!

All Hands on Deck

Cardfight!! Vanguard vol. 5Aichi and Ren continue their intense Cardfight battle. As both are capable of using PsyQualia to see the world of Vanguard and listen to the voices of their cards, Ren thinks he already knows how the battle ends—until something changes in Aichi, and a new card reveals a totally unexpected conclusion to their fight.

Later, Aichi’s younger sister, Emi, insists on going with him to Card Capitol, where the gang teaches her how to Cardfight. At the shop, Aichi and Kai battle again, Kai still intent on fighting only earnest battles. Yet as their Cardfight nears the end, Kai begins to sense a force emanating from his deck. Could he, too, be experiencing PsyQualia…?

Aichi, still new to the Cardfight world, has a natural ability to read the flow of the game, and his earnestness has an effect on those he battles, as both Ren and Kai, old dogs in the game, start to learn new tricks.

Time Killer

My Neighbor SekiIn almost every classroom there is that one kid that spends days staring off into space, daydreaming, and ignoring classwork. In the high school setting of My Neighbor Seki the person who does that more than anyone else is titular character Toshinari Seki. Every day Seki toils over his personal projects, usually giving them more effort than he does his studies. Whether making elaborate domino mazes or building his own desk-sized universes Seki never wastes a minute with education, instead he focuses on much more entertaining projects.

Penned by up-and-coming comedic cartoonist Takuma Morishige, My Neighbor Seki consistently finds new ways to entertain, while sticking to a simple formula and setting – high school.Whether Seki spends his school days delivering messages to classmates or playing Japanese chess, his actions are much more involved than they may seem at first glance. Easy to relate to and yet often surprisingly creative, through Seki Mr. Morishige is able to illustrate the curiosity and drive of youth while not having to resort to the gratuitous developing a story that embraces its limitations by pushing its limits with accessible visual humor.

So when readers need a pick me up or are in desperate search for something to entertain and inspire, Vertical Comics has their answer – My Neighbor Seki. Because within its 180 or so pages, there are at least a dozen awesome ways to find amusement and hilarity, all hidden from sight to most, in the back row.

Image Isn’t Everything

In Clothes Called FatOne of the things that has historically made the Japanese comic scene unique is how it can tackle social issues while presenting them in an accessible and entertaining manner. The manga market, even as it adjusts globally, can still find audiences for challenging realistic themes without having to frame them in the world of superheroes or school-age allegories.

Moyoco Anno’s latest translated work falls into that realm perfectly. In Clothes Called Fat never shies away from the topic at hand. Instead it presents eating disorders at the forefront, even frames it right on the cover in an almost frightening manner. Her lead character Noko Hanazawa is like many Japanese office ladies. She lives for her job, but her occupation gives her little more than a wage and stress. Her co-workers provide little support or comfort. And while she is fortunate to have a lover, her insecurities are piling up and to those around her so is her weight. To combat this, Noko, who at one point was being overcome by her frustrations leading her to eat as an escape mechanism, would instead come to purge everything in her life.

In Clothes Called Fat presents a story all too common, but sets it from a perspective that is fresh to Western readers. Told from the eyes of one of josei comics’ (women’s comics) premier talents Fat takes readers deep into a world that while not very different from ours, is simply rarely seen outside of Japan – the everyday office lady (OL). But unlike the handful of OL tales that have been translated before, Fat‘s world-view is not an OL fantasy, it’s an all true real tragedy that sent shock waves across Japan, and eventually across the globe.

Two For the Foodies

Effortless BentoA good month for foodies! What Did You Eat is obviously a must for manga readers who also appreciate a well drawn meal. But for those who wish to taste modern Japanese meals, Effortless Bento is the bento box bible! Compiling 300 recipes to fill your bento boxes this book from the editors of Shufunotomo Publishing has every must have bento dish and side imaginable!

Want a soup bento? It’s got it.

Want a veggie focused bento? There are dozens of vegetarian recipes in here.

Looking for something sweet to pack in your box? Yup. Effortless Bento has it.

Our biggest cookbook yet is gonna be that next must buy for everyone who has ever wondered…What should I eat tomorrow?

What Did You Eat Yesterday? Volume 2And for foodies who enjoy a bit of drama with their meals, the award-winning Fumi Yoshinaga returns this month with a fresh release of What Did You Eat Yesterday? In this latest volume, readers are treated to a sampling of Shiro and Kenji’s first meeting. The second course also focuses on Shiro’s past, before Kenji moved in with him. And for a main Ms. Yoshinaga has prepared a dramatic and unexpected Kakei family reunion full the usual juicy tension one would expect from a Yoshinaga work.

This month indulge yourself in Vertical and savour some of the best print media Japan has to offer.

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.

Mangia! Manga!

What Did You Eat YesterdayOver the last decade few new manga artists worldwide have received as much critical acclaim as Fumi Yoshinaga. After making a splash with her josei (women’s comics) baking-themed mystery Antique Bakery, she repeated surprised and thrilled the world with her subtle romances, innovative views on history, and honest take on gender issues. And in a very unique way, she has branched far outside the limited reach of the international manga community as she has received honors from the American comics industry and LGBT circles, as well.

Her latest work may be her most intriguing work yet. Combining her passion of food and her insights towards Tokyo’s gay community, What Did You Eat Yesterday? is a somber, subtly comical, but honest slice-of-life look at what it is like to be a gay couple in modern day Tokyo. Yoshinaga presents a couple with contrasting views on their privacy: one openly out but rejected by his family; while his partner is partly in the closet as his parents awkwardly try to be supportive. Presented without the titillation or graphic sex typically found in comparative works from the boys love genre, Eat at its core is a look at the couple’s struggles and their catharsis expressed over the finely prepared meals they share each and every night.

Packed with thoughtful writing, insightful and timely commentary and a recipe or two with every chapter, Eat is like a wonderfully prepared full-course meal by one of manga’s finest. And this volume will not only whet the appetite for more, but should satisfy the hunger of most manga gourmands desperately looking for some more substantial manga to consume.

Ota-King and Queen

Insufficient DirectionOur latest manga is a bit of an albatross in the world of translated manga. Biographical manga, while not extremely popular in Japan, has a significant place in Japan, but has been a rarity in the United States and beyond. And in the case of Moyoco Anno’s Insufficient Direction this biographical comedy not only covers the famous women’s comic artist but it also peels back the curtain on the life of one of anime’s most well-known directors, her husband Hideaki Anno.

In Insufficient Direction Anno, Moyoco, shares with her readers a touching and hilarious look at the couple’s marriage. Detailing what it is like to be engaged to one of the “top four” otaku of all time, Moyoco reveals a side of Hideaki that has not really been accessed as the director of Neon Genesis Evangelion, His and Her Circumstances and RE: Cutey Honey. In this comic, we do not see the hard working artisan with an obsessive compulsive streak, instead we see a fan of science-fiction, tokusatsu and classic anime. And as readers find out more of Hideaki, more of Moyoco is revealed as well. We see her admit to her knowledge of manga and her love of anime theme songs!

Never before have anime and manga creators been so accessible and approachable! And possibly like few biographical manga ever translated have they been this funny and smart.