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

April Showers bring Manga Flowers

Spring Forward

So we are certain you have done so already. But in Vertical’s case this has a slightly bitter and very sweet taste to it. With a beloved series coming to an end, two other titles showcasing new lead characters, and the return of a fan favorite with a tear-jerking one-shot, the Vertical fam is a little…misty-eyed.

Thankfully all these titles are bound to entertain. So even if we may have to deal with some emotional moments, the results should whet the palette for even more from your favorite publisher.


New Releases

Spring in the US means the start of a number of sporting seasons. Soccer season is now in full swing here and soccer is one of the primary themes in Kaori Okazaki’s The Gods Lie.

Natsuru’s life hasn’t been easy. Not having a dad means having to learn sports by yourself and having to learn about girls by yourself. Sure his mom is amazing, but she has a child to raise on her own and a career as a novelist to balance. So Natsuru has to look up to his teachers and coaches for direction. Sadly his soccer coach has left the team, his health has become a factor. And Natsuru is beginning to dread his summer, until he met Rio.

Now his life is tough, but Rio lives alone with her younger brother. Her life is a constant struggle. Rio is in Natsuru’s 6th grade class, so she definitely has no experience living alone, and she has no choice in the matter as her father is “away.” His summer might be a mess but Rio’s life is constantly a struggle.  Well this summer, their break will be different! It will be fun, exciting…eye-opening. A summer they’ll never forget. A summer that might drive Natsuru to meet his goals as a soccer player!

In the final volume of Tsutomu Nihei’s Knights of Sidonia the crew of the Sidonia are engaging in what may be their defining battle. Unfortunately for them, they may have to engage in this war to end all wars without their talisman – Tsumugi.

With freedom within their grasp, will the Sidonia be able to live through this for the future of mankind? Or will Tanikaze and his colleagues suffer through another millennia of searching?

Ninja Slayer returns this month without much Ninja Slayer! Ninja Slayer might have been killed when a nuke went off in the Saitama suburbs. So who will defend the “weak” or maintain the “peace”? Possibly no one. Possibly a new “hero” who is looking to make a buck in the process. Or maybe someone who isn’t a hero at all. Maybe the dark world will overtake the megalopolis even more. Either way, with all the chaos the world needs Ninja Slayer even more!

In Tokyo ESP 4, it is been more than a year since Rinka’s story ended. Tokyo is a very different place now. A good portion of the population have become mutants. Among them is high school student Ren Jomaku. She never asked or wanted to be a mutant. But now she has the ability to turn things into ice. And to properly control that ability, she is now enrolled in the new ESP Academy in Tokyo Bay. Ren is going to have to refine those skills because her school is going to be at the center of a lot of mutant mishaps, many of them which will lead to mayhem!

Ok so maybe very little has changed in Tokyo.

Yup, spring is here! And with it comes glowing fish, sports, alien attacks and soccer camps. Oh and more great manga from your favorite publisher!


Listen to our Words

Vertical, Inc. a division of Kodansha USA, will release the first three titles in in audiobook publishing program this Spring. Each of the three initial releases is an unabridged version of a recent best-selling novel from the publisher.

Unique to most audiobooks, Vertical’s releases feature music and sound effects to enhance the reading, and create a feel that is somewhat similar to an anime experience.
In order to resonate with the enormous fanbase for the original material, the audio-books feature voice actors well-known for their work in anime and video games. We feel the actors we have cast have enormous followings of their own among the millions of American fans of the many animation series, films, and video games based on Japanese comics. And we believe that by using their recognizable names and voices in the audio versions of our books the audience will make a seamless transition to listening to the stories we publish.

The actors include:

  • Cristina Vee (KIZUMONOGATARI) – Sailor Moon,  Knights of Sidonia, Squid Girl
  • Erica Linbeck (Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City) – The Seven Deadly Sins: Jericho, Aldnoah.Zero, Coppelion
  • Erik Kimerer (KIZUMONOGATARI) –Your Lie in April, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Iron-Blooded Orphans, ToraDora
  • Keith Silverstein (KIZUMONOGATARI and Attack on Titan: Harsh Mistress of the City) – Sailor Moon, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, Naruto

Vertical’s audiobooks will be available for download from a wide range of sources including Audible, iTunes, Nook, Audiobooks.com, Overdrive, and others.

  • KIZUMONOGATARI: Wound Tale ($19.95 / May 25, 2016) is by NISIOISIN, arguably Japan’s best-selling novelist, and is the first volume in the legendary Monogatari series to be translated into English.
  • THE HARSH MISTRESS OF THE CITY Parts 1 & 2 ($14.95 Each / June 1, 2016) is a two-part stand-alone saga set in the days after the Wall has been breached and the marauding Titans are terrorizing humanity. The “Attack on Titan” mega-franchise is one of today’s most successful pop-culture phenomena.

Read the Manga, Watch the Anime

Ever so often Vertical is fortunate enough to find a true gem of a property. Works that are not just unique and well-crafted, but these gems are also accessible, timely, and capable of expanding not only our audience but the manga market as a whole. We were quite fortunate that AJIN: Demi-Human was one of those works. And starting this week, the property is taking another step towards broader acceptance as its anime adaptation debuts on NetFlix!

Polygon Pictures have taken Gamon Sakurai’s high stakes tale of a new world teeming with life-threatening immortals is rendered with attention to all the tension and intensity of the manga.


c8c23fd2122d7446d370847e_1180x5402016 Convention Schedule

Convention season is here! And maybe you weren’t aware but Vertical has already attended one con already this year!

To help inform our readers and fans out there, we wanted to share our tentative convention schedule with you all.

We’ll be hosting panels and events at most of these shows. And as usual, you can purchase goods and meet staff at the Vertical booth.

We look forward to seeing many of you throughout the year!


Future Releases:

From vampire hunting damphirs to monster hunting werewolves and various forms of sushi making, Vertical in 2016 should your source for some of the more eclectic works seen in Japan today!

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
Tokyo ESP © Hajime SEGAWA 2012-2013; Ninja Slayer © 2012 NINJ@ ENTERTAINMENT © Yuki YOGO 2015 © Yoshiaki TABATA  2015; Knights of Sidonia © 2016 Tsutomu Nihei; the gods lie. © 2016 Kaori Ozaki; AJIN ©Gamon Sakurai, KODANSHA/AJIN Production Committee; KIZUMONOGATARI © 2008 NISIOISIN

An Unforgettable February

3bd266479ac5e6d15794b8f9_380x532895e35ab5f6e87ccc7c0ed4c_380x532e7ed1e02cb7a5ca8f6c99a14_380x532e6b0cbb93a48517ed94c8568_372x560

Love and Politics

It’s February and that means a month full of presidential holidays and a special day where we celebrate love and romance. Vertical is always in the mood for both, and while we are lacking in pure romance this month there is plenty of love in the form of cute kittens!

Along with that we are also debuting the latest novel from legendary mangaka Kazuhiro Kiuchi. Another tale of love, but this book is more about vengeance than paternal love.

Add a battle for Japan’s capital and parliament building and you have a list that covers all the key Feb points…Kinda.


 

New Releases

Kazuhiro Kiuchi cut his teeth drawing the legendary yankii manga Be-Bop High School in the ’80s and ’90s, but upon entering the new century he turned his attention towards the world of prose. His first novel was something of a phenomenon. Shield of Straw was pure raw entertainment. A reflection of modern day Japan and how much society there has at times been too introverted, it focuses on vengeance at the cost of justice and humanity. And readers over there gobbled it up.

So much so its success would inspire a live-action film by the legendary director Takashi Miike. Miike fell in love with the story instantly, acknowledging that it was made for the big screen. Shield of Straw‘s film was a hit at Cannes and has been distributed across the globe in a number of languages.

Finally, a decade since the book debuted in Japanese Kiuchi’s novel is ready to make waves in English. Prepare to be entertained, and remember…trust no one!

Most Vertical readers should be familiar with the name Konami Kanata. Here series Chi’s Sweet Home is our best-selling manga and she was one of our first New York Times Best Sellers. Her cat comics have touched numerous readers, and we’re thrilled to soon release her longest running kitty comic yet.

FukuFuku has been running in some form since the ’80s; making it one of the longest running manga in history. But FukuFuku: Kitten Tales is a slightly more contemporary series focusing on the titular kitten’s early days in Granny’s home. Cute, touching and full of adventure Kitten Tales is poised to be the next level of Japan Cute! And is bound to warm hearts…of cat lovers and dog lovers alike!

The latest issue of Ninja Slayer wraps up the “Last Girl Standing” arc. Yamoto never wanted to be a she-ninja but now that her friends are caught in the crosshairs she is going to have to use her ninja soul to protect them. But where does that place her in Ninja Slayer’s vision? Will she be killed like all the rest?!

Tokyo is under siege again. However what makes this latest attack unique is how the renegades are not going after the Diet Building or some ancient artifacts. Instead a band of young baddies have decided to raid Rinka’s school in what might be the most diabolical and personal attack ever made in Tokyo ESP so far.


88c317ba8df75d49fb4413b7_380x540d49feda41367c21047fed8c2_380x540

New Licenses!

Over Katsucon weekend, in Washington DC last week, Vertical announced three new acquisitions scheduled for release in their Fall 2016 span. As usual the three new properties cover what readers have come to expect from the eclectic publisher, mixing genres but also bringing over some of the most well-known creators from Japan in recent history.

  • Tsutomu Nihei’s BLAME! -master’s edition- (On Sale September 2016)
  • NISIOISIN’s BAKEMONOGATARI (On Sale December 2016)
  • Junji Ito’s Dissolving Classroom (On Sale January 2017)

NISIOISIN’s BAKEMONOGARTARI is the original title in the MONOGATARI Series and has been one of the most anticipated Japanese prose releases in recent memory. Having debuted in Japan in 2006, BAKE catapulted an already successful NISIOISIN to legendary status, especially amongst young readers across Japan. And with a stylish adaptation by SHAFT and Aniplex the MONOGATARI Series soon became one of the most beloved works of the ’00s, setting a tone for the potential of Japanese YA in and outside of Japan.

Junji Ito is considered by many across the globe to be a master of horror. The veteran artist is admired worldwide for his striking designs and his unique ability to turn the mundane into shocking, and often comically distributing, parodies of society. Works like Uzumaki (Viz Media) and Cat Diary (Kodansha USA Publishing) have illustrated the breadth of Ito’s talents as of late. And his latest comic Dissolving Classroom does more of the same focusing on the idea of melting minds and bodies, while combining horror with some more comedic moments. This short story collection should be a must by for Ito fans!

Finally, one of Vertical’s more popular artists returns to our lineup with a repackaged classic. Tsutomu Nihei (Knights of Sidonia) made a name for himself in the manga scene back in the late ’90s with his dystopian work BLAME!. Nihei’s world building and truly out-of-this-world design would earn him recognition by comic readers and publishers across the globe. Unfortunately English editions of BLAME! had been out of print for years. But now, after a new omnibus master’s edition was released in Japan, Vertical has brought back this cult classic in this oversized format worthy of both Nihei and Vertical brands! Printed in oversized paperbacks (larger in trim than our Gundam: The ORIGIN releases) each 400+ page omnibus features high quality paper, new cover designs and treatments, and all of the color pages found in the Japanese releases (color page count varies volume to volume). These books will be too gorgeous to pass up!

And as usual, stay tuned to this newsletter and Vertical’s social media platforms for alerts on these projects.


MONOGATARI Movie Screenings

4e7c5ffc87bc6afb05b2992f_382x560

The KIZUMONOGATARI movie is here! Well, almost. Screening start February 26th and we have a list of venues to share with you:

  • Albuquerque, NM: The Guild Cinema
  • Atlanta, GA: Plaza Theatre
  • Austin, TX: Alamo Drafthouse Austin Lakeline
  • Bloomfield, MI: The Maple Theater
  • Boston, MA: Brattle Theatre
  • Chicago, IL: Music Box
  • Columbus, OH: Gateway Film Center
  • Dallas, TX: Angelika Film Center & Café
  • Fairfax, VA: Angelika Film Center & Café – Mosaic
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL: Cinema Paradiso
  • Hollywood, FL: Cinema Paradiso
  • Honolulu, HI: Ward Stadium 16
  • Houston, TX: Alamo Drafthouse Mason Park
  • Kalamazoo, MI: Alamo Drafthouse
  • Kansas City, MO: Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet
  • Littleton, CO: Alamo Drafthouse
  • Los Angeles, CA: Downtown Independent
  • Manville, NJ: Manville 12 Plex
  • Mililani, HI: Mililani 14
  • New York, NY: Village East Cinema
  • Pittsburgh, PA: The Hollywood Theater
  • Raleigh, NC: Raleighwood Cinema Grill
  • Sacramento, CA: Tower Theater
  • Sandy, UT: Megaplex – Jordan Commons
  • San Antonio, TX: Alamo Drafthouse Westlakes
  • San Diego, CA: Angelika Carmel Mountain
  • San Diego, CA: Town Square
  • San Francisco, CA: New People
  • Seattle, WA: Grand Illusion
  • Tempe, AZ: Harkins Theatres Bakersfield, CA: Valley Plaza
  • Vancouver, WA: The Kiggins Theatre
  • Washington DC: Angelika Pop-Up

Please check with the theaters nearest you for exact dates and times, as they are subject to change and availability.

Distributed by ANIPLEX fans of this property can find more details about the film at the official KIZU website http://kizumonogatari-usa.com.


Future Releases:

  • The gods lie. by Kaoru Ozaki (debuts April 2016)
  • Abandoned Sacred Beasts by MAYBE (debuts May 2016)
  • Devil’s Line by Ryo Hanada (debuts May 2016)
  • A Cop’s Eye by Gaku Yakumaru (May 2016)
  • Sushi Chef: Sukiyabashi Jiro by Shinzo Satomi (May 2016)

From cat comics to surreal comedies and various forms of Japanese gumshoe prose, Vertical in 2016 is your opportunity to accomplish that one key resolution you make every year… Read more good content!

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
FukuFuku: Kitten Tales © 2016 Konami Kanata; Ninja Slayer © 2012 Ninj@ Entertainment © Yuki YOGO 2014 © Toshiaki TABATA 2014; Tokyo ESP © Hajime Segawa 2012; Wara no Tate © 2007 Kazuhiro Kiuchi; KIZUMONOGATARI © 2008 NISIOISIN; KIZUMONOGATARI: Part One -TEKKETSU- © NISIOISIN/KODANSHA, ANIPLEX, SHAFT; BAKEMONOGATARI © 2006 NISIOISIN; BLAME! © Tsutomu Nihei 2015; Youkai Kyoushitsu © 2014 Junji Ito (AKITASHOTEN JAPAN)

New Year, New Reads

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

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

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


New Releases

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

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

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

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

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


Now Hear This!

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

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

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

Voice Actors for KIZUMONOGATARI:

  • Erik Kimerer
  • Keith Silverstein
  • Cristina Vee

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

  • Keith Silverstein
  • Erica Lindbeck

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


This Tale is Now a Movie

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

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

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

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

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

 


Future Releases:

From cat comics to surreal comedies and various forms of Japanese gumshoe prose, Vertical in 2016 is your opportunity to accomplish that one key resolution you make every year… Read more good content!

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

Tis the Season for Vertical

As we move into the final month of the year, Vertical continues to progress as if there will be no tomorrow. By bringing the best in contemporary Japanese prose and comics we’ll also be filling stockings and hearts up with glee and wonder.

Every December is generally been an exceptional month for Vertical. This year, however, Vertical and Vertical Comics plan to trump previous efforts by bringing forth some of the biggest names in the industry within a few weeks’ span.

Fiction, nonfiction, manga…all from some of the biggest names in Japan are in store and we are more than certain they’ll be part of our readers’ holiday season this year.


bb4b571cdcebcd80c941bee3_128x198
fe719fce11e19942be411568_285x389

6 Books for Reading…

New Releases

MONOGATARI, Mobile Suit Gundam, and Ninja Slayer roll out to the North American J-Pop market with massive releases following success in Japan and across Asia.

This is it, Char and Amuro for one final showdown amongst the stars. The final volume of The ORIGIN wraps up this critically acclaimed series and then provides a glimpse into the universe after what transpires in the One-Year War.

In volume 2 of Ninja Slayer readers are treated to two more ninja tales. In “Killzone Sumo Wrestler” high-powered salaryman kill time and get their rage on by hunting down genetically engineered freaks in an abandoned mega-mall. Unfortunately for them as their kills pile up they would cross into ninja occupied territory. And in “Last Girl Standing” a She-Ninja is finally revealed. Yamoto’s abilities were latent until the day she was pushed to the brink of death…by another soon to be high school ninja.

In the second omnibus collection of Tokyo ESP a psychic hippo is on the loose! Thankfully, Rinka and her team have been training lately. And that includes Peggy, their trusty flying fish eating penguin. So if psychics and mutants running amok in Tokyo wasn’t enough, now it is like a super-powered zoo is on the loose as well!

The eighth volume of Witchcraft Works begins to reveal the origins of Ayaka and Honoka’s long lasting relationship. A few flashbacks reveal secrets that were deeply suppressed inside the magical pair. And once again, there is more little sister trouble. So moe…

After a short delay, NISIOISIN’s KIZUMONOGATARI is finally shipping. The beloved franchise is finally making its print debut in English with a brand new cover treatment by MONOGATARI illustrator VOFAN. Already shaping up to be a J-prose sleeper hit, KIZU will likely be the most demanded stocking stuffer for J-Pop fans this winter.

Finally, on a slightly more somber note, we will also be releasing a new paperback edition of A Slow Death. This non-fiction recollection of the horrors of radiation poisoning has become increasingly poignant in the aftermath of the Tohoku Tsunami and Fukushima Daiichi Incident.


 

One Last Look at THE ORIGIN

A few years ago everyone, and we do mean everyone, thought Mobile Suit Gundam in English would be a pipe-dream. No one thought it was a good idea.

Now three years later, here we are about to release the twelfth and final volume of this best selling series. Penned by the legendary Yas, The ORIGIN is not only a retelling of the original First Gundam story from 1979, but as readers would come to find out the series ends up building on that series by digging deep and expanding the role of Zeon in this story.

Presented in hardcovers, similar to the Japanese Collectors’ Edition released by Kadokawa, The ORIGIN almost instantly became must buys in the West. Readers praised the deluxe presentation and showcased their collections in numerous reviews and photographs since the first volume dropped in the Spring of 2013.

In the final volume of The ORIGIN we send off this modern classic with a number of extras including an interview between Makoto Shinkai and Yas, and a final afterword from the author himself. Easily a worthy farewell for a title that completely changed the landscape for manga in North America.

And what about the Gundam property after this… Stay tuned to this newsletter for details. In the meantime…

Thank you, Yas for all your hard work! It was an honor to join you in this endeavor.


Digital Stocking Stuffers

Earlier this month Vertical Comics + Kodansha Advanced Media announced new digital editions of a number of Vertical Comics titles, constituting 24 previously digitally uncollected volumes, to be distributed through comiXology, iBooks,Kindle, Kobo, and nook.

Vertical Comics, working in conjunction with Kodansha Advanced Media (KAM), will see more digital releases this holiday season. Previously digitally uncollected series Ajin: Demi-Human, The Flowers of Evil, and Witchcraft Works made their digital book debuts on December 8.

In addition, Chi’s Sweet Home, Knights of Sidonia, and The Drops of God, currently already available at major digital bookstores, will also see release for the first time on the comiXology platform. All 6 series, up to the current print volume, constituting over 50 volumes of material, are on sale on comiXology, iBooks, Kindle, Kobo, and nook. So rejoice this winter as readers now have even more choices for their eBook needs, while Vertical and KAM further expand their digital catalogs.


Future Releases:

As you can see there is a number of new properties from an equally diverse range of genres and styles. From josei romance to light novels and thrilling Japanese prose to surreal Japanese gag manga, Vertical has treasures for almost every reader’s tree.

So as we close out the year, why not consider a Vertical book (or two) to gift a loved one, or yourself, this holiday season. We’re certain they’ll leave you jolly, healthy and wise.

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
Witchcraft Works © 2015 Ryu Mizunagi; A SLOW DEATH © 2015 NHK; Ninja Slayer © 2012 Ninj@ Entertainment; Mobile Suit Gundam: The ORIGIN © Yoshikazu Yasuhiko 2012, Sotsu – Sunrise; KIZUMONOGATARI © 2008 NISIOISIN; Tokyo ESP © Hajime SEGAWA 2011

Vampires, Teenagers. And a very unusual Spring Break!

KIZUMONOGATARI: Wound TaleA disturbing, but titillating, rumor is making the rounds among the high school girls: a vampire has come to their small provincial town. Supposedly, she’s a beautiful blond woman “with eyes so cold they make your spine freeze.” And it’s just a matter of time before she’ll claim her first victim.

Loner Koyomi Araragi is naturally skeptical. But he’s the one the bloodsucking demon calls out to for help, as Araragi heads home on the first day of his school vacation. So begins two weeks of hell involving Kissshot Acerolaorion Heartunderblade (“the iron-blooded, hot-blooded, yet cold-blooded vampire”), vampire hunters, the smartest girl in the class, a pair of panties, and the hapless Araragi.

With KIZUMONOGATARI: Wound Tale, you’ll enter the mesmerizing world of best-selling author NISIOISIN’s legendary Monogatari series. KIZUMONOGATARI is the prequel to Bakemonogatari (“Monster Tale”) and the first in the series to be translated into English. The feature film of KIZUMONOGATARI will release in Japan in early January 2016!

A Vertical Feast

Last month we alerted you all of Vertical’s plans for this fall. Big launches for Ninja Slayer and Tokyo ESP followed. A successful New York ComicCon also came out of what was a monstrously big October. But that was just the start of what is going to be a hearty and tasty fourth quarter.

This month is when things really begin to heat up. Two of Vertical’s biggest hit-makers return after extended breaks. The English edition of one of Japan’s top selling novels eve will finally hit stores. To top that all off, we bring you more comedic gold from a rising star of Japanese humor.

There is plenty to be thankful this month, and we would be very grateful if you choose to have Vertical be a part of your fall this year.

A November to be Thankful For

New Releases

Back in 2009, Vertical began an initiative to expand its manga catalog. Prior to then we had only worked with three mangaka, releasing around a pair of titles a year since 2004. Now we have more than 50 manga titles under our belt. The first title from that new wave, though, was Konami Kanata’s Chi’s Sweet Home. By far the best selling manga title in our list and one of the longer running ones, at that, Chi is finally coming to a close this month with what might be the most heart-wrenching releases we have ever put to print. It will be sad to see this series wrap up, but thankfully we’ll be working more with Konami Kanata in the future. So that relationship will continue as we expand the North American cat comics market.

While Chi is big, our best selling authors are actually Aranzi Aronzo. The DIY duo from Osaka broke through globally not long after we introduced the Western world to The Cute Book and Cute Stuff. These collections of creepy-cute so-simple-it’s-fun doll and accessory making books have become a cult hit over the years. Now, five years removed from their last hit The Cuter Book and a number of storefronts later, Aranzi returns to English world with another 40 or so patterns in their Cuter Stuff collection. Crafters of all experience levels will rejoice when they see all the new ideas Aranzi have come up with lately.

In My Neighbor Seki volume 5, Rumi Yokoi might have thought she could escape Seki’s games while her class was on an extended field-trip. She possibly was being a little naive as Seki would not only continue his games on the road, he would even have his beloved Robot Family on the trip with him providing an addition bit of tension into Rumi’s already stressful life. Now with essentially two field trips occurring at once, Rumi must find a way to split her time between watching over her favorite action figures and enjoying her edu-tainment with her classmates. This may be Seki’s most diabolical project yet!

After a brief delay, Naoki Hyakuta’s The Eternal Zero is now scheduled to land in stores this month. Already legendary for breaking sales records in Japan, it has been the subject of a lot of debate and media attention in and out of Asia since it launched in 2006. It is not often the West gets to see books of this magnitude translated so quickly, so we are certain it will cause a stir once it hits North American literature’s radar.

Listen to This!

At New York ComicCon last month Vertical made news when they announced their new line of audio light novels!

Coming Spring 2016 prose releases like KIZUMONOGATARI and Attack on Titan: Harsh Mistress of the City will make their way to MP3 players and eBook readers in the near future. Voiced by trained voice actors and enhanced by music and audio effects, these audio books should give fans new ways to experience their favorite series.

Details, such as when and where these books will debut, are still being worked out. But stay tuned to this newsletter for more information on this new and unique way to enjoy Japanese prose in English!

Future Releases:

So whether in audio or in print (or even digital) as you come together with family and friends this fall, we would be very thankful if you all would gather with a Vertical book (or two). We’re certain they’ll warm you up and satisfy any hunger for entertainment you’d have.

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
My Neighbor Seki © Takuma Morishige 2014; Cuter Stuff © ARANZI ARONZO 2013; The Eternal Zero © Naoki Hyakuta 2006; Chi’s Sweet Home © 2015 Konami Kanata; KIZUMONOGATARI © NISIOISIN 2015

A Spook-tacular Month for Vertical

October is a special month for Vertical, especially its imprint Vertical Comics. Apart from it being the 1st Anniversary for the manga imprint, October also tends to be the beginning of the calendar year for the publishing house as a hole. This is the month when we start rolling our biggest titles of the year. Whether prose or manga, craft book or art book…if a property launches in October (and November) it is a title we are really looking forward to sharing with our readers.

This October we have some heavy hitters. A pair of hits from the manga world are joined by one of the most talked about novels in Japanese history. And then there’s the Kizumonogatari news from Japan and some little event called New York Comic Con we attend.

Yeah, big big month! A scary big month! But more about that below…
So we hope you all continue to stand up against basic Japanese content as we launch our fall and winter catalog. Prepare to be surprised!

A Monstrous October
If you are in the States in October then there is no escaping Halloween fever. Ghouls, monsters and jack-o-lanterns dominate the landscape, and genres like the supernatural and horror begin to dominate the media scene.

Vertical is not oblivious to such trends. And as trend-setters we have a couple of works that should thrill readers for months if not years to come

Debuting this month is Hajime Segawa’s long awaited release of Tokyo ESP. A Japanese take on the mutant superhero genre, Tokyo ESP combines slap-stick comedy with action and supernatural in what has become a beloved franchise. Having already inspired an animated TV series and a pair of manga spin-offs, we are certain readers will not wait to sink their teeth into these pretty omnibus releases when they hit shelves this month!

Ninja may not be monsters, but they sure seem to do most of their deeds from the shadows. And in the world of Ninja Slayer nothing is scarier or more powerful than those cursed with the power of ninja karate! Richly rendered by Yoshiaki Tabata and Yuki Yugo, this manga adaptation of the cult hit novel series compliments both the prose and the animated series by Studio Trigger by bringing the whole world of Ninja Slayer to life through detailed action and biting satire in this hilarious ninja exploitation manga.

Not exactly a Halloween title, Naoki Hyakuta’s The Eternal Zero has been something like a monster within the publishing world. This tale of WWII flyboys and the killer fighter they pilot has sold more than 3 million copies in Japan making it one of the best selling prose releases in Japan’s recent history.

And finally, October also will bring the release of the seventh volume of one of Vertical’s most spooky titles: Ryu Mizunagi’s Witchcraft Works. In this volume, Ayaka is on the search for her past demons. To uncover the secrets from her youth, she takes Honoka to her ancestral home… Which just happens to be guarded by magicians and giant wolves!! CREEPY!!

KIZUMONOGATARI

This Tale is Going to be a Trilogy

On October 3rd, it was revealed that NISIOISIN’s long-awaited KIZUMONOGATARI would finally be released in theaters with a January 8, 2016 premiere date. But that was just the beginning of what would be a string of news around the property. The January release is scheduled to be the first of three movies produced by studio SHAFT based on the novel.

Our edition of the novel has been pushed back to December, but fear not the book is now deep in production and we will soon be revealing the new original art for the cover provided by MONOGATARI’s illustrator VOFAN.

Stay tuned to the Vertical twitter for more information on the novel release and for news on the anime please follow the official site (link here).

Future Releases:

Vertical Convention Tour 2015

In a matter of days the Vertical tour bus will be retired for the year. But before it goes into hibernation, we will be making one last stop in our hometown and this show will be a doozy!

As usual we’ll be in the exhibitor hall, booth #2020, selling wares including advance releases of Witchcraft Works 7 and Ninja Slayer 1. On Friday at 5:00p, we ask that NYCC patrons please join us at our industry panel where our staff will go over our up-coming titles. Over the hour we’ll also be revealing some interesting plans for 2016, so be sure to be present to witness the future of Vertical and J-Pop content! And stick around for some exclusive con goodies from Japan too!

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
Tokyo ESP © Hajime Segawa 2015; Ninja Slayer © 2012 Ninja Entertainment; Yuki Yogo 2015 & Yoshiaki Tabata 2015; The Eternal Zero © Naoki Hyakuta 2006; Witchcraft Works © 2015 Ryu Mizunagi; KIZUMONOGATARI © NISIOISIN 2015

Summer of Vertical

It’s summer time and as is often the case this season already has a been an ambitious one for Vertical, Inc. With a number of new releases, a range of new license announcements, and a now completed summer con tour over, there were plenty of topics to highlight for readers throughout the course of the summer.

We’ll get to some of that news a little later. But, before we do, we wanted to remind you of our August 2015 releases:

August 2015 ReleaseA Fantastic August
This August, Vertical is feeling fantastic! Sure, with titles like those found in our catalog we, and our readers, should always be feeling great, but this month we have three high quality fantasy and sci-fi tales that are particularly excellent!

Leading off the month is the sixth volume of Ryu Mizunagi’s hit rom-com Witchcraft Works. Ayaka’s battle with Weekend continues and it is quickly moving to its climax. But without a source of power for her magic will she be able to finally defeat this rogue bomb-wielding witch?

Meanwhile Kei Nagai and a handful of domestic demi-human are preparing to take on some truly rogue forces in volume 6 of Gamon Sakurai’s AJIN. But before they embark on their mission, readers are treated to a brief flashback involving the lone woman amongst the demi-human corps. Sakurai takes readers back to Izumi’s days as a high school teen when she first came to terms with her demi-human side. Her past is marked with tragedy. So it comes as no surprise to see her want to change others lives for the better. Especially those she feels she can trust.

When it came to trust, those within the fortress known as Wall Maria believed they were somewhat safe from Titan attacks. However in Ryo Kawakami’s Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City the walls have been breached and now titans roam what remains of the interior. A young trooper named Rita was on the frontlines, and after closing off gates in the interior, she will have to find a way to get inside Wall Rose to safety.

Vertical Inc. NewsletterSummer Acquisitions
This summer was one of our biggest and busiest yet! With a number of new series and one-shots covering the wide-range of content that Vertical is known for, we are sure there will be something for almost every reader to dive into next year.
Here’s what we have announced over the summer:

  • Nichijou, by Keiichi Arawi (March 2016)
  • Mysterious Girlfriend X by Riichi Ueshiba (March 2016)
  • Sukibayashi Jiro by Shinzo Satomi (March 2016)
  • FukuFuku: Kitten Tales by Konami Kanata (April 2016)
  • A Cop’s Eyes by Gaku Yakumaru (April 2016)
  • The Gods Lie by Kaori Ozaki (April 2016)
  • Devilsline by Ryo Hanada (May 2016)
KizuMonogatari

KizuMonogatari (cover not final)

A Fall to Get Up For
Fall is around the corner and with it some big new debuts. With titles like Ninja Slayer, Tokyo ESP, Seraph of the End on the horizon, an already stacked line-up should be greatly enhanced. And we’ll look at the other books a little closer in the coming months. Because this month we’ll focus our spotlight on a work that deserves plenty of attention from readers: NISIOISIN’s KizuMonogatari.

Within the Monogatari series, Kizu (as it is known in some circles) is considered to be the series prequel, as it details the life of Monogatari’s lead Koyomi Araragi before what occurs in the two BakeMonogatari books. Something of an occult-mystery series, NISIOISIN weaves modern themes found in popular anime and manga, while including the supernatural elements, moments of horror, and high-stakes action. NISIOISIN’s legendary wordplay is also in full-effect in this series, which only adds character to what may already be the most ambitious Japanese prose release of the year.

With an established anime adaption for most of the Monogatari series already available from ANIPLEX the brand was already at the top of most young readers’ wish lists. And now with KizuMonogatari‘s debut just around the corner, we feel this release should fulfill a wish long held by western fans by finally completing and properly realizing NISIOISIN’s “tale” in English.

Vertical Convention Tour 2015
It’s summer so the Vertical tour bus is still making stops across the country. We’ve got three more destinations before retiring the bus for the year. And we hope to see you at some of these events.

And if you happen to pass by one of our panels, stick around for special giveaways featuring goodies from some of our hit titles.

Once again, whether in person at an event, or by following us here and on our various social media platforms, this summer Vertical has the content to keep you cool and up to date with what is the best in Japanese content today.

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
Witchcraft Works © 2015 Ryu Mizunagi; Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City © 2015 Hajime Iseyama and Ryo Kawakami; AJIN: Demi-human © 2015 Gamon Sakurai; Devilsline © Ryo Hanada; Mysterious Girlfriend X © Riichi Ueshiba; The Gods Lie © Kaori Ozaki; KizuMonogatari © NISIOISIN / Kodansha