April Showers mean more Vertical Reading Hours

New Releases

April is a month of transition. With it comes spring showers, warmer longer days, and the hope of memorable sunny holidays in the not to distant future. But while it rains and storms, Vertical readers are best served staying inside amongst the comfort of their books. Whether thrilled and chilled by action and sci-fi works or inspired by the passion and abilities of the supernatural, Vertical readers have plenty of reason to read often this month!

AJIN volume 9 might be our most intense release yet. Now that may sound hyperbolic, but when you as a reader can experience the chaos and mayhem that went down in the Forge Security Building, you will marvel at the action, the creativity and the sheer madness that is the world of AJIN.

Sato’s bitter. That as much is obvious. But he is also diabolical. The Battle of Forge Safety, which began when demi-humans who aim to upend Japanese society waltzed into an ambush set by those who would deny them the pleasure, reaches its crescendo and conclusion in this volume. It is Kei Nagai and Mr. Hat in a prolonged battle within a tower in lock-down. What could go wrong?!!

Meanwhile Devils’ Line 6 turns up the drama. What is already one of the more compelling police stories in manga today, adds some new layers to the world of devils.

Ishimaru tries to bring in Zero Seven and Nine to get inside info on the CCC. In exchange for her cooperation, Zero Seven asks for information on the devil that murdered her mother, and the fateful meeting between Seven and Kikuhara is revealed. The house of an activist for devil rights is set on fire, and at the scene, Kikuhara pushes Anzai to remember his past…

After 7 volumes and countless esper battles, Tokyo ESP comes to an exciting conclusion. This final omnibus edition brings together the vast majority of the cast together one last time to fight over much more than the Greater Tokyo Metropolitan Area. These espers are waging a final battle and the whole world is at stake!

Once the board members of Ares have gathered, Claudia uses Touko to awaken the Messiah and receive its benediction—a massive magnification of her ESP—just as Rinka, Kobushi, Minami and Nadja storm in, setting off the biggest ESP battle in Tokyo’s history. Then an old enemy shows up, and alliances are strained as allegiances are tested. Can Rinka and her friends take down the power-drunk Claudia before Tokyo is wiped off the map…?

In Immortal Hounds 4, the Escape Artists are in trouble! The police’s vice is closing in on them and their secrets are about to be partially revealed.

Karigane adpots Rin’s risky strategy to rescue Snow White from the UN’s Vector containment facility, but not everything goes according to plan. A colleague starts to worry about Rin and discovers her diary, which includes secrets from her past as well as her current mission. And Shige considers early retirement when tragedy strikes home…

In the conclusion of NISIOISIN’s BAKEMONOGATARI, part 3 focuses on a class president among class presidents. A bespectacled model student who soars to the top of honors lists without fail, Tsubasa Hanekawa also happens to be a decent human being. While she does have a habit of making single-minded assumptions, they come from a good place and turn out to be fortuitous as often as not.

Loser extraordinaire Koyomi Araragi owes her his post of class vice president and a more significant debt of gratitude for her unstinting support during the darkest spring break of his life. All of it has blinded him to the possibility that his saintly classmate’s family situation might be no less adverse than that of his other lady friends.

Thus, at last, we face Hanekawa’s unlikely aberration in “Tsubasa Cat”—the concluding part of the legendary novel that captured the sensibilities of a new generation in the aught years and spawned an animated series that has won international popularity and acclaim—before the story continues with a Fake Tale…


2f80d7ce64309b4e761b1ba8_392x560BLAME! Returns

Last year, cyberpunk fans across the globe rejoiced when we announced the return of BLAME! via our new Master Edition collection. The new oversized editions have the gravity and heft of something bigger than life, which is an appropriate way to describe Nihei’s massive futuristic universe.

Next month that universe will be moving from the page to the screen, as NETFLIX will be releasing a new feature length film adaptation of Tsutomu Nihei’s masterwork. Produced by Polygon Pictures, BLAME! will feature updated art that is more in line with Mr. Nihei’s current aesthetics.

Full of action and stunning visuals this new retelling of this legendary work is bound to create a whole new generation of Toha Industry supporters!


Future Releases:

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

  • Shuka Matsuda and Nakaba Suzuki, Seven Deadly Sins (Light Novel) (May 2017)
  • NISIOISIN’s NISEMONOGATARI (June 2017)
  • Katsuyuki Sumizawa and Tomofumi Ogasawara, Mobile Suit Gundam WING: Glory of the Losers (July 2017)
  • Yui Tokiumi and Naoshi Arakawa, Your Lie in April (Light Novel) (July 2017)
  • Makoto Shinkai and Tsubasa Yamaguchi, She and Her Cat (August 2017)

 


Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved

BLAME! 3 © 2017 Tsutomu Nihei; BAKEMONOGATARI, Part 3 © 2006 NISIOISIN; AJIN: Demi-Human 9 © 2017 Gamon Sakurai; Devils’ Line 6 © 2017 Ryo Hanada; Immortal Hounds 4 © Ryo Yasohachi 2016; Tokyo ESP 8 © Hajime SEGAWA 2016. All Rights Reserved

And you thought you knew Hanekawa?

BAKEMONOGATARI: Monster Tale, Part 01BAKEMONOGATARI: Monster Tale, Part 03 turns the spotlight on Tsubasa Hanekawa, bespectacled model student, class president among class presidents, and unwavering supporter of Koyomi Araragi.

Since self-described loser Araragi’s very first encounter with an aberration, Hanekawa has been along for the wild ride. Araragi owes her for his position as class vice-president, and more importantly, for having his back during what could easily be the darkest spring break ever.

In “Tsubasa Cat,” the last episode in NISIOISIN’S epic Bakemonogatari saga, Araragi finally realizes that he may have been taking Hanekawa for granted and not paying enough attention to what’s going on in her life. Is her family situation perhaps less-than-perfect? Is her relentlessly upbeat attitude merely a cover-up? And how is she dealing with her own unlikely aberration?

Once again joined by his acid-tongued girlfriend Senjogahara, sly elementary schooler Hachikuji, ace basketball player Kanbaru, his sister’s strange friend Sengoku – and of course, Shinobu and Oshino – the hapless Araragi navigates the pitfalls of high school, girls, and vampires.

NISIOISIN delivers another hugely entertaining story that combines supernatural adventure with teen romance and lots of laughs. BAKEMONOGATARI: Monster Tale, Part 03 is must reading for Monogatari addicts everywhere.

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)

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

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.