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

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

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.


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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