GAME ON!

The Name of the Game is KidnappingFrom Edgar Award-nominated and best-selling author Keigo Higashino (The Devotion of Suspect X) comes a stand-alone novel about a can’t-fail con and the dangerous game of revenge it sets up between two masterful players.

Sakuma is a powerful and arrogant ad exec, who’s about to land the biggest gig of his career. Until his extravagant campaign for Nissei Auto is scuttled at the last minute by the company’s new EVP (and Chairman’s son). Sakuma is livid and looking for a way to retaliate against Katsuragi. And then the perfect opportunity walks into his life. Katsuragi’s illegitimate daughter Juri is pissed off at her father, and happily joins forces with Sakuma to concoct a fake kidnapping plot that will let her come into her inheritance early and give Sakuma his vengeance.

Praise for Higashino:

On The Devotion of Suspect X
“This character-driven mystery by the prolific Higashino has much to recommend it, including…a great surprise ending.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred)

On Salvation of a Saint
“Brilliant. . . readers of classic mysteries will be delighted with the elegant solution….”
Publishers Weekly (starred)

On Malice
“Higashino continues to elevate the modern mystery as an intense and inventive literary form.”
Library Journal (starred)

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

GOOD COP – BAD COP!

A Cop's EyesWhat does it take to be a good cop? Natsume in A COP’S EYES and Mekari in SHIELD OF STRAW each brings his own approach—along with some pretty heavy personal baggage—to his work as a Tokyo police detective.

Calm, soft-spoken Natsume certainly doesn’t fit the image of a hardened Tokyo cop. He’d started his career working with troubled kids at a reformatory but had abruptly quit to join the force. Those who know him wonder why this gentle man, whose vocation had been to believe in other people, had chosen a new profession based on doubting them. Sincere, empathetic, and persistent, Natsume doesn’t resort to physical force or even flashy forensics. He solves cases by listening closely and winning the trust of both victims and perps—then looking into their hearts and minds with the eyes of someone who can truly understand.

Shield of StrawAssistant Inspector Mekari, on the other hand, has no interest in getting into the head of the child rapist-murderer he’s ordered to escort back to Tokyo to stand trial. He just wants to complete the assignment and be done with the creep. A recent and still-grieving widower, he had thought he’d be willing to take a bullet in the line of duty. But things have gotten complicated: a billion-dollar bounty has been placed on the killer’s head by the latest victim’s grandfather. Now, with just about everyone in Japan lusting after the money, Mekari struggles to come to grips with his own sense of duty…to his job, to the thoroughly evil person he’s supposed to keep safe, and to himself.

Network of Terror

Prophecy part 1As technology continues to make our world smaller, it may also seem as if people’s freedoms are equally becoming more and more restricted. The internet is also being threatened as net-neutrality is becoming a hot-button issue. So what if those on the net decided to commit their own brand of justice, while they were still ahead of the police state? And what if in ways similar to the Anonymous Group, their word is spread and endorsed by countless unknowns on the net worldwide hoping for change?

Tetsuya Tsutsui’s Prophecy takes on these questions by presenting them in modern day Japan, where societal changes has driven many people to the web for their interaction and self-expression. These days with fewer and fewer people marrying or even getting into long-term relationships, the net is home to many in that country, and across the planet. And new forms of expression are rising from Japan in ways that only the internet could fully support. In Prophecy the net has created a place for vigilantism that is now streamed live on platforms like YouTube; commented on message boards like 4Chan; and shared and reblogged on network like Twitter and Facebook. There is no need for newspapers or radio anymore to spread this new form of messaging. And the four paperboys of this story are ready to tell the world their story.

Extremely timely and provocative, Prophecy is not your standard JUMP title. It is a thriller that does not rely on fantasy or fan-service, instead it turns its focus on themes and topics that are even more compelling – employment issues, class wars, immigration and internet-inspired movements.

Hardboiled and Hard to Put Down!

A Dog in WaterThe term “hardboiled” is used to describe a subgenre of detective fiction that typically incorporates graphic sex and violence, an urban setting, and fast-paced, slangy dialogue. The stories feature a protagonist who is a cynical, unsentimental detective, although sometimes he’s got a well-hidden soft spot for a pretty dame. The great American writer Dashiell Hammett is credited with inventing the genre in the late 1920’s, and it’s most frequently associated with American crime novels by the likes of  James M. Cain and Raymond Chandler.

But, as Kazuhiro Kiuchi proves in A Dog in Water, hardboiled detective fiction seamlessly makes the jump to Japan.  Kiuchi’s new novel has the taut pacing,  raw narrative, and tough-guy P.I. that tag it as a classic of the genre. The Detective (who is never named) is an antihero for today’s world, with his own version of a moral compass that keeps him on track as he takes on the Yakuza, gun dealers, sleazy nightclub owners, and other unsavory denizens of Tokyo’s back alleys and smoke-filled joints.

The wild ride begins when a beautiful bar hostess, calling herself Junko Tajima, hires the Detective to help her deal with her married lover’s violent brother. Following a trail that starts with Junko’s tale of sexual assault, the Detective discovers that the story gets only murkier as he keeps looking for clarity. People are not whom they say they are and not what they seem. Are the victims really the victims—and if the bad guys are really all bad, why is the Detective sometimes on the same team?

Dark, disturbing, brutal, A Dog in Water is the kind of novel that shows you the nastiest side of life, and then reminds you that it’s still possible to hold on to some shred of humanity in the face of it.