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

MEET NEW FRIENDS OR HANG OUT WITH SOME OLD FAVORITES

Attack on Titan: End of the WorldThe Attack on Titan franchise is legendary. Fans all over the world are addicted to these epic tales of the seemingly-immortal and mindless giants who’ve terrorized humanity for a century. Whether as manga, light or visual novels, TV anime, video games, or live-action films, the stories of these creatures and the courageous humans who resist them have captivated the imaginations of a huge audience and sell millions and millions of units.

But maybe you’re not familiar yet with the Titans’ universe. ATTACK ON TITAN: END OF THE WORLD, the fifth Titan light novel from Vertical, is the perfect way to plunge in. A novelization of both parts of the mega-hit comic’s theatrical adaptation, END OF THE WORLD introduces the basic plot lines and themes of the series in a way that’s completely accessible to newcomers. And for those of you who are already fans, here’s a chance to meet up again with some of your favorite characters: Eren, Armin, and Mikasa, childhood friends who embark on a treacherous journey…to hell.

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

Blood is Thicker than Water

Deep RedTwo young women…bound together by a tragic incident from the past that has damaged them both beyond repair.

When Kanako Akiba walks into the sketchy Ice Storm bar, it’s with the express purpose of meeting the bartender, Miho Tsuzuki. At first it seems like an unlikely friendship, but there’s definitely a spark of connection between the two young women.

Even though they’ve just met, the connection goes back to when both were in the sixth grade. Kanako’s entire family had been murdered. And Miho’s father was the man who committed the crime.

Kanako had been having a great time on a class trip when her parents and two brothers were killed by Norio Tsuzuki, who had been financially ruined by a business colleague, Kanako’s father.

Over the years, Kanako’s rage and lust for revenge grew to the point of obsession. But now that she’s met Miho and started to get into her head, Kanako realizes that perhaps the two of them are really not that different.

Deep Red is a dark and disturbing exploration of how anger can be ignited and burn slowly, until finally it bursts into a flame of fury that is all-consuming.

 

WHO’S THE REAL GUILTY PARTY?

Nocturne of RemembranceNocturne of Remembrance is a taut legal thriller that introduces a lawyer whose past is so questionable it redefines the meaning of anti-hero!

Meet the ultimate sleazy lawyer—a man with a very dark past and no qualms about defending guilty-as-hell clients, as long as they can pay his exorbitant fees. So it’s totally out of character for the cynical Mikoshiba to seek out and take on the case of a young woman of limited means who has murdered her deadbeat husband.

This puzzling turn of events leaves veteran prosecutor Misaki wondering what the bastard is really after. The ensuing battle of wits that plays out in court will reveal not only the accused woman’s guilt or innocence, but that of her defense attorney as well.

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

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