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.

Love is like a box of Vertical Book

New Releases

For the month of February, we at Vertical turned our focus on the passion and honor the month represents as we release titles from some of the biggest names in prose and comics. And while our books may not have the impact of the civil leaders honored in February, we do hope they express the compassion and humanity that the month represents.

In February we said good-bye to a series by one of our best-selling authors. Konami Kanata’s FukuFuku: Kitten Tales 2 marks the finale of our latest kitty comic. Kitten Tales is a collection of vignettes starring the titular FukuFuku as she grows up under the care of a lonely doting grandma.

In this volume FukuFuku engages in a number of adventures, some realistic and some fantastic. FukuFuku decides to help Granny celebrate the annual Tanabata Star Festival by destroying some decorations! Then Granny finds a winter holiday outfit for FukuFuku that is not just cute but very cozy! And then FukuFuku makes friends, or is it enemies, with a mole living in Granny’s backyard! Will she take to the underground? Or will the boundaries of her turf be limited to the surface, when there are so many places to explore down under?

In Devils’ Line 5, there is a large conference taking place, discussing the subject of Redeyes and their rights. While Anzai and Tsukasa themselves will not be attending the event, Dr. Kano, who will be present, takes this opportunity to set up a moment for Anzai to meet with someone that is very important to the young officer’s past.

Before her lecture before the conference, Ms. Sako will briefly meet Anzai and Tsukasa leading to a short conversation. The exchange may not have seemed to be significant on the surface. But to Ms Sako, head of a laboratory that researches Redeyes, meeting Anzai is like a reunion of sorts. A reunion between two people who are much closer than they may know.

A reunion is also at the core of To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts 4. After Schaal went home and was reunited with her father, Hank has now gone missing. She embarks on a journey to find her friend, but she was not alone.

She would be followed there by Liza and the rest of Coup de Grace, who are chasing after an incarnate. But who are they hunting now? Are they going after Hank? Will this end up tragically like her family reunion, or is there another beast that is in the region? Could Hank be entangled in his own secret mission right now as the Coup de Grace are chasing him down!

And finally, after a long and unwanted delay, Cardfight!! Vanguard 7 returns to the West! The timing is perfect also, as Aichi and friends just wrapped up their efforts at the Asia Circuit.

Aichi’s Cardfight club has finally received official recognition, so it is now time for them to battle local rival schools. But this also means competing against friends and longtime rivals in Fukuhara High. Will Aichi and friends be able to overcome their renewed rivalries to enter the Vanguard National Championships!

Bakemono, literally “altered thing,” which translates as “monster.” Monogatari, literally “thing narrated,” which translates as “tale.” Combined into a neologism by he of the reversible nom de plume, they yield BAKEMONOGATARI, the monster tale that kicked off a series whose anime adaptations have enjoyed international popularity and critical acclaim.

Previously, our hero, Koyomi Araragi, turned into a vampire and back, gained an acid-tongued girlfriend, and couldn’t find his way home thanks to a lost child. In this second of three parts, which introduces Suruga Kanbaru and Nadeko Sengoku, he becomes embroiled in a case that riffs on a classic English story from 1902.

In Keigo Higashino’s latest novel, The Name of the Game is a Kidnapping, the internationally renowned author moves away from traditional whodunits to something more modern and potentially more sinister.

Battle-tested project leader at a PR firm and slippery bachelor, Sakuma sees himself as a player. His smug self-regard doesn’t seem entirely unfounded, both in love and at work. When is idea for a mini-theme park is dismissed as too costly and vacuous at the last minute by a major client he seems to have met his match.

Katsuragi, an heir and executive at the global car maker, Nissei Auto, is back from a marketing stint in the US with an authentic conviction that everything is a game. Once the man’s daughter by a former mistress teams up with Sakuma so she can come into her inheritance in an expeditious manner -Juri is indeed her father’s flesh and blood- the game is good to go!

Passion, honor, valor and friendship are core principles of Vertical. We hope we can continue to share a dialogue of unity with you all with these books and more.


New Acquisitions!

Last month we gave our readers a taste of what we have in store in the coming year. Earlier this month, at Katsucon, Vertical followed that up when they announced a handful of new acquisitions scheduled for 2017 and 2018!

Here are our latest manga licenses:

  • Keiichi Arawi’s Helvetica Standard
  • Katsuyuki Sumizawa & Tomofumi Ogasawara’s Mobile Suit Gundam WING: Glory of Losers
  • NISIOISIN & Mitsuru Hattori’s Shojo Fujuubun
  • Makoto Shinkai & Mizu Sahara’s Voices of a Distant Star

As you can see among these titles are some new faces and some Vertical regulars. But what is consistent with this list of titles is quality. There are some big hitters among this set of titles and we hope our readers will sample them all as they are released starting this summer.


Con Season is Coming

After a quick trip to Washington DC for Katsucon, Vertical will be taking a brief break from cons to focus on licensing and publishing. But we will be returning to the convention scene in a few months.
Below is a list of the events we tentatively have plans to attend this year.

2017 Vertical Comics Convention Schedule:

  • Anime Central – Chicago, Illinois; May 2017
  • Anime Expo – Los Angeles, California; July 2017
  • Comic Con International – San Diego, California; July 2017
  • Otakon – Washington, DC; August 2017
  • Anime Weekend – Atlanta, Georgia; September 2017
  • Anime NYC – New York, New York; November, 2017

Whether at KatsuCon or one of these other events, we look forward to making your acquaintance in the coming months!


Future Releases:

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

  • Chihiro Ishizuka’s Flying Witch (March 2017)
  • Toh Enjoe, Gakuto Mikumo, Kafka Asagiri, Yoshinobu Akita and Tow Ubukata; based on the comic by Masamune Shirow, Ghost in the Shell (Spring 2017)
  • 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 Losers (July 2017)
  • Yui Tokiumi and Naoshi Arakawa, Your Lie in April (Light Novel) (July 2017)

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved

FukuFuku: Kitten Tales © 2017 Konami Kanata; To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts © 2017 MAYBE; Devils’ Line © 2017 Ryo Hanada; Cardfight!! Vanguard © Akira ITOU 2013 © bushiroad; BAKEMONOGATARI  © 2006 NISIOISIN; GAME NO NA HA YUKAI © Keigo Higashino 2002; Helvetica Standard © Keiichi ARAWI 2011

Read More…the Ideal Resolution for 2017

New Releases

A new year has begun and with a new calender comes a new list of titles ready and awaiting Vertical readers. We kick-off 2017 with some of the biggest names from Japan’s media industry. And we promise that these are only the first of a number of Grade-A works we have in store for our supporters.

There are few comic artists as well-known or as beloved as Junji Ito. An international icon, Ito works have defined J-Horror for many readers across the globe. Mr Ito makes his Vertical debut this month with his latest translated collection – Dissolving Classroom.

Yuuma Azawa is a new transfer student with a peculiar behavior – he constantly apologizes. To some that seems humbling or curious, but as his classmates will soon find out there is something more nefarious behind his deeds. With this new collection Ito digs into the concepts of vanity, pride and vengeance as Ito has minds and bodies melt with confusion and guilt!

Positive thinking makes the world go around in Nichijou 6. Keiichi Arawi’s hit comedy returns with what might possibly be the most zany volume in this series yet. Anything that can happen, will happen in this volume. So expect the laughs to flow from page one.

Foreigners invade their town and suddenly even those who “knew” foreign languages in previous volumes are overwhelmed by these native speakers from abroad. Then Ms. Nakamura decides to invade Nano’s home. But once she infiltrates enemy turf, she is then assaulted by horrors she never imagined existed!

In Ninja Slayer 7, Ninja Slayer is in deep deep trouble! Nina Slayer has already dived into the cyber world. He recently spent time in the Kyoto Badlands. Now his biggest threat yet will be coming to him! And not only that! This impressively powerful ninja will be chasing him to the grounds of his ninja master!

Fighting a battle of this magnitude on home turf would normally be an advantage, especially when your allies outnumber your enemy. In this case, the range of skills possessed by those engaged will level the battlefield. Ninja Slayer and his master may not be much of a match against this mysterious foe individually. Together, however, they might just be able to muster enough resolve to overcome this…but not without heavy loses.

Meanwhile in Immortal Hounds 3, local officials have uncovered some of the secrets behind the dangerous Resurrection Deficiency Syndrome (RDS)! And with this shocking information in hand, they begin to make moves to try to capture more Vectors.

Fuurin, as a mole working within this department, takes to the defensive and alerts those on her side of the new moves. Unfortunately those she has been tasked to protect are not interested in finishing their tasks just yet. They wish to continue to proceed, even after their missions were complete, as the process has become as sort of entertainment in what has become a monotonous world. How will this attitude be taken by Mama and her Vectors? And how will Fuurin deal with all this added work on her already packed schedule?

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In Decapitation -Kubikiri Cycle-, a dropout from an elite Houston-based program fro teens is on a visit to a private island. Its mistress, virtually marooned there, surrounds herself with geniuses, especially of the young and female kind, one of whom ends up headless one morning.

The top-selling novelist year by year in his native Japan, NISIOISIN made his debut when he was only twenty with this Mephisto Award winner, a whodunit and locked-room mystery at once which is equally old school and eye-opening.

Koji Suzuki’s Ring Trilogy returns just in time for the Hollywood premiere of RINGS. To honor this occasion Vertical has worked with Mr Suzuki and Paramount on a movie-tie in rerelease of the original Ring featuring artwork from the new film. The new paperback should be hitting stores now and it should be a great introduction to this thrilling franchise. Horror fans and Japanese prose fans alike will marvel at the many twists and shocks Suzuki’s book provides.


Chi Returns to the Small Screen

The new year also means a new anime season! And this month fans will be treated to two Vertical Comics adaptations in English!

After some delays fans in North America can finally enjoy the latest adaptation of Konami Kanata’s cat comic sensation –Chi’s Sweet Home! Now available on Amazon’s AnimeStrike service Chi’s Sweet Adventure is a 3D-CG that great expands Chi’s sweet universe. With a number of all new stories this year-long anime series is a must for existing fans looking for new Chi tales and brand new cat cartoon fans alike!

Over on NETFLIX, Gamon Sakurai’s AJIN returns with its second season. Produced by Polygon this 3D-CG anime is the second of a planned three series and has been dubbed into a number of languages for global distribution. All thirteen episodes of the second season are available now for viewing.

In this season the stakes are high as an all out war between immortals is about to begin!

So whether on print or on the small screen, in 2017 you have more opportunities to experience some of Japan’s best from Vertical!


On the Road Again

After a few months rest, the Vertical marketing team is about ready to hit the road again. Our first event of the year is currently scheduled for KatsuCon in National Harbor, Maryland located in the Washington D.C. suburbs. Given our long break, we will be announcing a handful of our new licenses scheduled for Fall 2017 there and we should be premiering a few of our Spring 2017 titles there in the KatsuCon Dealers’ Room.

2017 Vertical Comics Convention Schedule:

  • KatsuCon – National Harbor, Maryland; Feb 2017
  • Anime Central – Chicago, Illinois; May 2017
  • Anime Expo – Los Angeles, California; July 2017
  • Comic Con International – San Diego, California; July 2017
  • Otakon – Washington, DC; August 2017
  • Anime Weekend – Atlanta, Georgia; September 2017
  • Anime NYC – New York, New York; November, 2017

Whether at KatsuCon or one of these other events, we look forward to making your acquaintance in the coming months!


Future Releases:

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

  • Keigo Higashino’s The Name of the Game is A Kidnapping (February 2017)
  • Chihiro Ishizuka’s Flying Witch (March 2017)
  • Various Authors, Ghost in the Shell (Spring 2017)
  • Shuka Matsuda and Nakaba Suzuki, Seven Deadly Sins (May 2017)
  • NISIOISIN’s NISEMONOGATARI (June 2017)

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved

YOKAI KYOSHITSU © 2015 Junji Ito; nichijou © Keiichi ARAWI 2011; Immortal Hounds © 2015 Ryo Yasohachi; NINJA SLAYER © 2012 NINJ@ ENTERTAINMENT  © Yuki YOGO 2016  © Yoshiaki TABATA 2016; Decapitation © 2007 NISIOISIN; Ring © 2004, 2007, 2016 by Koji Suzuki; RINGS © 2016 Paramount Pictures; Chi’s Sweet Adventure © Konami Kanata・Kodansha / Koneko no Chi Production Committee

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

Scary Good Titles!

New Releases

So October is generally a month full of thrills and chills. Our list this month has a bit of both but maybe not really from a spooky or creepy perspective.

We have thrills in the form of some great humor and satire. And the chills will come from some surprisingly intense action.

AJIN 8 returns with what might be its most intense volume yet. Sato and his renegades have raided a security building with ambitions to assassinate someone on their hit list. Kei Nagai awaits in the building hoping to trap his rival Mr. Hat.

But Kei is up against a man without many fears. Sato has years of military experience and lots of anger pent up. He’s got a plan and he is more than willing to take almost every possible opportunity available to make his way up and out of this guarded tower. And along the way, Kei is going to witness some of the most inconceivable escapes imaginable!

In Immortal Hounds 2 Fuurin has no time to train a new hound as she is busy trying to capture her mark. Unfortunately, she is forced to come to the aide of a new Escape Artist in the midst of a botched job. Forced into a multi-layered trap Fuurin and Kiriko have to drag their target across the city, hopefully towards safety.

Even more complicated and potentially difficult is Fuurin’s attempt to fall “in love” with her coworker Lt. Kenzaki. Two hounds living lonely lives settling down with each other seems unlikely. And after a couple of dates, it really seems as if they are each better suited for being on out in the wild hunting down targets.

After wrapping up a tale of cyber ninjas Ninja Slayer 6 introduces readers to the Japanese badlands outside of Western Kyoto. Before heading West, Nancy Lee leads Ninja Slayer to the depths of the world cyber-ninja terrorism! And only their ninja-level typing speed will be able to save their ninja sensei.

Then we finally enter the second arc of the Ninja Slayer franchise as Bradley Bond and crew reveal “Three Dirty Ninja-Bond”! Set in the badlands outside of Kyoto this new arc is full of ninja desperados as well as mutant ninja Vietnam veterans… A damsel is not the only person in distress out there, and Ninja Slayer will need to work with other ninja to escape this hellish landscape.

After a long break in Japan My Neighbor Seki returns to English-language bookshelves with volume 8! Seki continues to exhibit his usual curious behavoir at the back of his classroom but his latest projects are not quite as sinister as we have seen them.
Seki decides to engage with a world of miniatures, all on his desktop! Giant Seki sits by a mini table arranged a tiny snack that is accompanied with a small bottle of pop. Tiny magazines are read as he eats small pizzas in what is essentially the tiniest of man caves. And then if playing house wasn’t weird enough, Seki then starts playing with invisible toys! His movements and expressions are so real and intense Rumi thinks she can actually see the toys he’s “playing with.”

Maybe this is actually more sinister, after all… Maybe our list is also!


Red Hot Vengeance

Deep Red is a novel about anger, of the slow burn and the itch for violence, and the unexpected places that fury can take us.

Sixth grader Kanako was looking forward to her school trip, and she sure is enjoying it. At night, as she and her friends exchange scary stories after lights-out, her teacher barges into their room to summon her. Yet he seems more solicitous than scolding, and when he asks her to pack her things so he can take her back to Tokyo in a cab, Kanako realizes that something terrible has happened to her family.

Educational supplies salesman Norio Tsuzuki was bamboozled into co-signing a fraudulent loan agreement by a business relation of his to whom he couldn’t say no. Enticed by the unscrupulous entrepreneur to recover the sum by unethical means, Tsuzuki indeed descends into criminality—by brutally murdering the man and his family. The only survivor, a daughter the same age as Tsuzuki’s own, just happened to be away on a school trip…

When the orphaned Kanako grows up into a young woman, she cannot but feel vengeful toward Miho, the fiend’s daughter, and seeks her out under false pretenses. What follows is a memorable waltz of two unmoored souls.


New Acquisitions!

While in Atlanta for Anime Weekend Vertical staff announced their most recent light novel NISIOISIN’s Decapitation -Kubikiri Cycle-.

Prose:

  • Decapitation by NISIOISIN

Decapitation, known in Japan as Kubikiri Cycle, is the first book in the Zaregoto Series and NISIOISIN’s debut work. This work from 2002 introduced the world to NISIOISIN’s love for mysteries and his passion for vibrant youthful characters.

It is also the inspiration for a new OVA series from SHAFT and ANIPLEX that is set to debut in Japan later this fall!

Stay tuned to Vertical’s newsletter and social media feeds for more information about this release tentatively scheduled for release January 2017!


Vote for Your Favorite Manga!

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 up to three manga requests.

If you ever wanted to share your manga wishlist with a manga publisher, here is your chance!
And fear not novel readers, we will be hosting a novel survey next month.

Click here to take our Fall 2016 manga licensing survey


Future Releases:

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

  • Touji Asakura’s Attack on Titan: End of the World (debuts November 2016)
  • NISIOISIN’s BAKEMONOGATARI (debuts December 2016)
  • Junji Ito’s Dissolving Classroom (debuts January 2017)
  • Keigo Higashino’s The Name of the Game is A Kidnapping (debuts 2017)
  • NISIOISIN’s Decapitation (debuts January 2017)

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved

AJIN © 2016 Gamon Sakurai; Immortal Hounds © 2015 Ryo Yasohachi; Ninja Slayer © 2012 Ninj@ Entertainment, © Yuki YOGO 2015, © Yoshiaki TABATA 2015; My Neighbor Seki: Tonari no Seki-kun © Takuma Morishige 2015; DEEP RED © 2004 by Yukiko Nozawa; Decapitation © 2002 NISIOISIN

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

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