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

You’re Gonna Fall for These Hits

So Much Manga to Choose From…

Two months worth of manga to cover, so let’s get going…


New Releases

In the sixth volume of Tokyo ESP, Rinka is now deep undercover in the bowels of Hong Kong! Participating in an underground fighting tournament, her life is at risk as she tries to discover who is behind this strange form of esper exploitation. And why has Rinka decided to put everything on the line for the CIA? Everything from the competitors, the strange suicides, and the bizarre outfits Rinka has been wearing have all been head-scratchers. What sort of mysteries will this volume uncover next?

In Witchcraft Works 9 readers are treated to the bubbly and colorful world of Kasumi’s heart! A world where she and her brother have an unbreakable bond! But this world is not one without its problems. It was one distilled from witchcraft and infused with some wickedness from an unknown source.

So when Kasumi’s world starts falling apart it is up to Honoka, and eventually Kagari, to find the person behind the trouble-making. Will they find this rogue before the world collapses, and do they really want to know who was capable of betraying their city like this?

With Wolfsram now gone the only threat to the Three Cantons is…the Habsburgs! The lords that control these lands are not pleased with what has transpired recently in Wolfsmund 7 and now they have gathered their forces to destroy any rebel insurgence from creating a foothold in the Alps.

In the second volume of To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts, Schaal and Hank head off in search of Cain. Hank and Cain were once on the same side of the war, now they stand on opposite sides of the Beast problem with Hank possibly on the hunt of his old comrade these days.

But along their journey Schaal meets another pair of Beasts. These new encounters continue to create doubt and uncertainty  between her and her new colleague on the road. Their histories have failed them, because what they see before them are no longer heroes, these people are now truly beasts.

While August featured some long-running Vertical properties, September is loaded with recently launched Vertical hits.

Debuting this month is a re-release of a sci-fi manga classic – Tsutomu Nihei’s BLAME! After a successful week at San Diego Comic Con where Tsutomu Nihei discussed the property and announced the up-coming anime for, BLAME! 1 hits shelves to great fanfare. The book has immediately shot up the Amazon rankings as we bring Kylii to a whole generation new manga readers looking forward to.

Keiichi Arawi’s nichijou returns with a handful of random slice of life moments. Volume 4 starts with a strange game of “shiritori” word-chains done via bad classroom sketches and then a strange game of hide-and-go-seek provides a playful aura to this already punny comic.

Then Ms. Nakamura conceives a plan to uncover Shinonome’s secrets. Could she really be a robot? How does she work? Maybe short circuiting her would give the educator some time to do some research? Or maybe she’ll take a nap when her plan fails…

Volume 3 of Ryo Hanada’s Devils’ Line reveals more details about the world of Devil’s. Anzai struggles to come to terms with the transformative powers of human blood.

Knowing that Tsukasa has offered her blood to him makes him even more weary, as he is not sure what he would do if forced to consume blood to save his life again.
So when shots are heard in connection to another devil hunt, Anzai must come face to face with blood being used against him to lure the darkness inside him. Can he get out of this trap?

If you thought one Urabe was intense, imagine dealing with two! In the third volume of Mysterious Girlfriend X, Tsubaki runs into a pair of young women with ambitions to become his “temporary girlfriend.”

First, Tsubaki is reunited with an old crush who is looking for affection, and maybe love in all the wrong places. The wrong place in this case is with Urabe’s boyfriend!  introduced to a carbon copy of his girlfriend! Then Urabe runs into her doppelganger and her “twin” is looking to change careers/lives if only for a brief period of time.

From new hits to beloved long-running titles, Vertical has everything for the well-read manga fan.


A Novel to Remember

Move over, garden-variety anti-heroes, and make way for a villain-hero, darker than the darkest knight: a lawyer with a faulty conscience graces us with his unsolicited presence.

Not only does this barrister have no qualms about taking on guilty-as-hell clients provided they can pay his exorbitant fees, but his own past seems mired in inexpiable sin. Yet the cynical attorney, whose legal acumen, at least, is impeccable, mysteriously seeks to defend a thirty-something woman with limited means and below-average looks who has murdered her deadbeat husband. A sordid case if there ever was one, it makes a veteran prosecutor wonder what the bastard is really after. What unfolds is one of the best courtroom dramas ever to come out of Japan.
The inspiration for a recent Japanese procedural drama of the same name, Nocturne of Remembrance is at the vanguard for what is a relatively new genre in Japanese media is now in print and digital formats.


New Acquisitions!

It has a been a little while since we have made a dedicated entry for new acquisitions. And after a busy two months of events, we have a few new titles to share with you all.

Over the summer at events such as AnimeCentral, AnimeNext, Anime Expo, and Otakon we had a number of opportunities to reveal new licenses with our growing core of readers. But for those of you who have not yet heard, we’ll be sharing a bit of info about those new acquisitions here.

Expect the usual mix of manga and prose that we are best-known for; all available in the first half of 2017.

Manga:

  • Flying Witch by Chihiro Ishizuka

Prose:

  • The Name of the Game is a Kidnapping by Keigo Higashino
  • NISEMONOGATARI by NISIOISIN
  • Seven Deadly Sins – Gaiden by Shuka Matta and Nakaba Suzuki

Fans over the summer have been clammoring over the recent announcements of Flying Witch and NISEMONOGATARI. Ishizuka’s heartwarming witch comedy Flying Witch was the surprise hit of the Spring 2016 anime season. And NISIOISIN’s NISE dives deep into the Araragi household by introducing his memorable siblings to a fanbase hungry for more of NISIOISIN’s “Tales.”

Expect to see these two titles and more over the next year. And stay tuned to this newsletter for more licensing news!


Vertical Fall 2016 Tour

28377576fb19a6dbe366f274_698x288The summer con season is over. But over the next few weeks fans  and readers alike will have the opportunity to meet Vertical staff and purchase our wears at our final events of the year.

First comes a rare trip to the South, as we make our seventh trip to Anime Weekend Atlanta. As usual, expect unique panels and a few licenses from Vertical including big news from a beloved Vertical author.

Then in October we return to New York ComicCon! Vertical has been to every one of these so far, and we’ll be excited to see our hometown fans as we promote BLAME!, MONOGATARI, and a few other Vertical hits. We’ll be at Booth #441 all weekend long!


Chi’s Sweet News!

Vertical top seller Chi’s Sweet Home is returning to the small screen next month with the debut of a new 3DCG animation! The new anime is called “A Kitty Named Chi” and it will debut on TV Tokyo in Japan starting October 2nd. International pop sensation Perfume will be providing the opening theme song for this weekly series produced by Marza Animation Planet (whose previous works include Hatsune Miku: Project Diva; Resident Evil: Vendetta; Splatoon; Space Captain Harlock).

Team Chi is already working on potential global partners for the anime, so fans should be able to see her new adventures in English and other languages in the not too distant future. Stay tuned!

In the meantime we have a promotional video to for you all to enjoy.

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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:

If you happen to pass by AWA, you’ll be able to pick up some advance releases for October and maybe November.

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

  • Hisashi Nozawa’s Deep Red (debuts July 2016)
  • Keigo Higashino’s The Name of the Game is A Kidnapping (debuts 2017)
  • NISIOISIN’s BAKEMONOGATARI (debuts December 2016)
  • Junji Ito’s Dissolving Classroom (debuts January 2017)
  • NEW LICENSE (January 2017!)

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved

Mysterious Girlfriend X © 2016 Riichi Ueshiba; Tokyo ESP © Hajime SEGAWA 2014; Witchcraft Works © 2016 Ryu Mizunagi; Wolfsmund © 2015 Mitsuhisa Kuji; BLAME! © 2016 Tsutomu Nihei; nichijou © Keiichi ARAWI 2009; Tsuioku no Nocturn © 2013 Shichiri Nakayama; To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts © 2016 MAYBE; Flying Witch © 2013 Chihiro Ishizuka; Devils’ Line © 2016 Ryo Hanada

Summer Blockbusters

Summer is full of big big franchises! Full of action, excitement and tension these works tend to be memorable and often big budgeted.

Vertical may not have the biggest budgets to blow, but it does have some big names. And this month we have some big hitters along with a new action title debuting; a little bit of everything for everyone.


New Releases

Debuting this month, Ryo Yasohachi’s Immortal Hounds combines high intensity bullet ballet action with a high concept science-fiction narrative that digs deep into Japan’s dwindling population problems.

In a world where everyone is immortal some people have contracted a disease called Resurrection Deficiency Syndrome that prevents them from coming back to life after experiencing physical trauma or life-threatening illness. A police task force has been assigned to uncover the origins of this disease, as well as find a rogue group of vigilantes protecting those with RDS.

In Devils’ Line 2, Anzai is wounded badly and he begins to doubt whether he has the mental strength to continue with his duties. The taste of blood changed something within this half-devil and now he fears that he might not see Tsukasa ever again! But as he struggles with his psychological darkness another devil makes an appearance with some well timed optimism.

Not-so-ordinary hijinks continue in Nichijou 3. Yukko forgets her homework, again, and just when she thinks she has escaped without punishment Mr. Takasaki decides to unless a barrage unseen before in manga history. Later, Mio and Sasahara share a moment by a vending machine. Their struggle, so real and painful, brings them closer together as they stand together under overcast skies…

Konami Kanata’s Chi’s Sweet Home will soon wrap up. In this third collection Chi and her new furry friend, Cocchi, share a number of adventures in Green Park. And after we are treated to a FukuFuku bonus chapter, readers can check out a brand new Chi comic made for the announcement of the Chi’s Sweet Home anime, scheduled for broadcast Fall 2016!

So as you can see, this month we have some heavy hitters! Cat comics, not so sparkly vampires, very mortal immortals, and anemic educators… This is a line-up that deserves to be an almost every all-star team!


Comic Con or Bust!

After a tremendously successful Anime Expo, Vertical now goes down the coast south to San Diego for Comic Con International. The world’s premiere comic convention will host Vertical and their special guest Tsutomu Nihei this July and fans are in for a big treat!

As usual Vertical will be setting up shop in the Exhibition Hall (booth #1631). This year we’ll be having a few exclusive goodies to give away along with a handful of advance releases.

Goodies:

  • BLAME! Shikishi (with purchase of BLAME! or Knights of Sidonia or by attending his autograph session)
  • BLAME! T-Shirt (free on Preview Night only!)
  • Chi’s Sweet Home Mini-Poster (Free)
  • KIZUMONOGATARI Mini-Poster (Free)

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:

A rare appearance by Vertical mangaka Tsutomu Nihei highlights our programming for the weekend.

First on Saturday (3:00pm), we will be joining Mr. Nihei and staff from the Knights of Sidonia anime in a spotlight of Nihei’s career. His panel will cover his work on Sidonia, the process of adapting his work into anime, and then into the release of BLAME! in the new MASTERS’ EDITION omnibus. A Q&A with the public will follow. And who knows maybe Mr. Nihei and crew will announce something new also!

At 5:30pm also on Saturday, Mr. Nihei will then have his official autograph session at SDCC. Commemorative shikishi signing boards will be provided to the first 150 people in line for this once in a lifetime special event.


2016 Convention Schedule

California, here we come! And once we are done with our West Coast leg of our tour, we head out to the Atlantic for two mega-shows!

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


If you happen to pass by SDCC, you’ll be able to pick up some advance releases, including BLAME!

Future Releases:

Stay Vertical!


 

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved

BLAME! © 2016 Tsutomu Nihei; Immortal Hounds © 2014 Ryo Yasohachi; The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home © 2016 Konami Kanata; nichijou © Keiichi ARAWI 2008; Devils’ Line © 2016 Ryo Hanada

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

The science is back in science fiction

BiogenesisSpecimens submitted for examination:

  • Winged mouse: appears to weep blood-tears; tiny “wings” vibrate and glow faintly in the dark.
  • Female: pure white hair, no memory, abnormally-low body temperature.
  • Plant: diminutive foliage, hanging bell-shaped flowers, almost completely devoid of color; needs human blood for nourishment.
  • Marine creature: bumpy tumorous exterior; seems to have mysterious cancer-healing powers when ingested by humans.

Findings:

  • Species in danger of extinction
  • Species in danger of extinction
  • Species in danger of extinction
  • Species in danger of extinction

These “specimens” inhabit the pages of Tatsuaki Ishiguro’s four imaginative, haunting, and genre-bending tales, now in English for the first time in Biogenesis.

In both content and form, the short works in the collection at first seem to be scientific notes or reports. Yet, within the matter-of-fact, expository prose are startlingly beautiful descriptions and observations. The basic question is why some species survive, while others become extinct.

And the answer that Ishiguro reveals – that the existence of all species is precarious – will both challenge you and move you deeply.

Praise for Ishiguro’s “It is with the Deepest Sincerity that I Offer Prayers. . .”

“A metaphor of perdition, on the level of all of humanity, is concretized as a small, imaginary animal via the mediating factor of incurable diseases that bring death to two doctors of medicine. In our nation, such excellent conceptions used to belong to Kobo Abe.” – Kenzaburo Oe, Nobel Laureate in Literature

“The work’s novel form and style will be remembered as a turning point in Japanese literature. Moreover, the exploration of the enigma of the ‘winged mouse’s extinction’ can also be easily enjoyed as the finest of mysteries.” – Koji Suzuki, author of Ring and Dark Water

“Why does such dry writing in the format of a report touch me so? Why is it so beautiful? No matter how many times I read it, the tears keep flowing. This is no ‘fusion of science and literature.’ It is the overwhelmingly reality of animate ‘life’ itself.” – Hideaki Sena, author of Parasite Eve

Summer Reading

It’s June and summer is practically here. And with warmer days come longer days and more time for leisure reading. So why not partake in a Vertical Comics release or two this month while on the beach, on the patio while sipping iced tea, or as you jet to some holiday destination.

This month VC and Vertical have a wealth of cool titles for readers to dive into…

New from Vertical Comics:

  • Witchcraft WorksWitchcraft Works, volume 5: A wicked witch named Weekend has assaulted the entire city of Tougetsu. By planting explosives across the municipality this witch was able to use up and neutralize Tougetsu Workshop Witches’ magic while endangering the lives of the public. Will Honoka and Ayaka be able to find the strength to take on this cunning witch before more of Weekend’s explosives harm their hometown?

 

  • A Sky Longing for Memories – The Art of Makoto Shinkai: This unique artbook looks back at some of the most beloved works from award-winning anime director Makoto Shinkai. Featuring hundreds of background art pieces from such works as, 5 Centimeters per Second, Voices of a Distant Star, and A Place Promised in Our Early Days, this collection reveals rarely translated details of the Japanese animation process. The book also contains interviews with Makoto Shinkai and his staff about their experiences within the Japanese anime industry. A must read for anime fanatics and Shinkai admirers.

New from Vertical:

  • Ajin: Demi-HumanAJIN: Demi-Human, volume 5: In this latest volume, Sato and his crew of rogue Demi-Humans have taken to the offensive by launching an attack on Japan’s limited defense systems. And tension at his new home forces Kei Nagai to make his own move. But will it be in favor of humanity, or will he side with Sato?
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The ORIGIN, Part X: Solomon is now in the cross-hairs. With Federation forces moving in it appears as if Zeon’s leadership is falling apart from the top down. The tide may be turning but some members of Zeon are willing fight to their end for their family!

eBook Releases:

  • Black Jack, volume 15 and 16

From beloved classics to new hits, and everything in between, Vertical Comics has the right read for every manga and anime fan this summer!

Enter a New Generation…

Knights of Sidonia vol.8There is no denying that Tsutomu Nihei’s Knights of Sidonia is a departure from what this veteran comicker has previously worked on. But when comparing it to most of the science-fiction that is available in the market today, it is clear that this series is something unique on many levels. From its setting to its growing cast of characters, and even its impressively rendered world and mechanical designs set it apart from anything out there.

In the eighth volume of Knights of Sidonia a new generation of mechs are almost ready for combat and this new advancement in technology is just in time as a Gauna clustership has recently been spotted devouring a moon of a potential colony planet. With a new more aggressive stance to take the battle to the space monsters, and a new hybrid ally among them, the crew of the Sidonia may soon find themselves taking Planet 7 from the Gauna’s collective grasp.

As the manga moves towards a more action intense arc of this series, and with a new anime changing the scope of Japanese sci-fi animation, now is the time to dive into Tsutomu Nihei’s new flagship work. The culmination of more than a decade of comic work is now redefining many genres for this generation of seinen readers.

Reconfiguring the Space Opera

Knights of Sidonia vol. 6Now in its sixth volume Tsutomu Nihei’s science-fiction showpiece Knights of Sidonia continues to shock and inspire, through its thoughtful artistry and well-plotted story-building. And as the series begins to place on many Best of 2013 lists while videos of its animated TV series are repeatedly distributed on the internet, readers of the source material can experience a turning point in this epic’s narrative.

Nagate Tanikaze and his fellow Garde pilots know they are the vanguard in the fight for survival against the Gauna. Every time they sortie, the likelihood they will return to their homes becomes less and less likely. And when dealing with whole clusters of Gauna the odds become even more minute. So when Nagate and crew face off against the most recent evolution of the Gauna defense mechanism, it does not come as a shock to see mass destructions on both sides of the conflict. How the survivors deal with the tragedy and the aftermath will be critical as repairing a mobile suit, which adds plenty to this already engrossing drama.

Whether being read for the space opera or the unique twist on a gender-bending harem comedy, Nihei’s Knights of Sidonia satisfies in ways photosynthetic organisms can never fully realize.

CLONE WARS

Summer is here and with it come the big blockbusters: Superman, Ironman, Gundam and Pacific Rim! Wait Pacific Rim and Gundam…

Anywho, while it may be early to call Tsutomu Nihei’s latest a blockbuster, with an animated TV series recently announced for 2014, the folks at Vertical feel we may have next year’s summer hit in our grasp right now.

This month we released the third volume of Nihei’s attempt at a space opera. Tensions are high as the Sidonia have encountered a new form of alien foe. The shape-shifting Gauna have launched an attack with a new look and feel that may be eerily familiar to the Sidonia’s young heroes. This new approach is meant to cast doubt in the hearts of the many fighter pilots that engage with the Gauna, so will Tanikaze and his colleagues be able to vanquish this new threat and will they be able to capture a specimen to figure out how far these aliens have come over the last few hundreds of years?

And then, talking bear and den-mother, Lalah Hiyama recalls memories of early encounters with the Gauna. These memories all triggered by her new found moments with Nagate Tanikaze.

Before Nihei’s new hit takes to the small screen next year, why not dive into the depths of science-fiction story-telling and comedy that is Knights of Sidonia!

Zero G-Love

Happy Valentine’s Day readers!

As a gift to the best manga fans in the English reading world we have two titles to share with you today. First is the debut of Vertical’s newest manga series, Knights Of Sidonia. The most recent work by renowned comicker and world-builder, Tsutomu Nihei, of Blame and Biomega fame. Fans of Nihei’s previous works won’t be let down by Knights Of Sidonia.

As an homage to the space operas of the past, Sidonia is a tale of the last of humanity struggling to survive while on the run. Trekking through space fighting off aliens who have destroyed most of their kind is rendered with love in Nihei’s unique and haunting visual style. Yet, unlike some of his earlier works, this manga is noticeably more cohesive and concentrated, paying plenty of attention to its characters and story. Here, Nagate Tanikaze, a young man who has lived his entire life up until the start of this story in isolation, is the newest soldier in the battle against a race of space giants called the Gauna. He is alone in this new world where humans now photosynthesize and new biological genders have come into play. Will lonely, passionate and hungry Nagate, be able to function within this futuristic society?

The idleness and desperation of space is portrayed to a subtle degree in Knights Of Sidonia, and it becomes increasingly haunting as it progresses. You’ll feel for the characters trying to get by day to day in this cold reality. Between the crippling loneliness of space and the nauseating alien life forms trying to kill everyone, Knights Of Sidonia makes for the perfect Valentines Day present. …Really.