Hot summer, hot reading from VERTICAL!

It’s June and now the summer is really getting started! Time for the beach, the pool, some quiet reading in the shade – and some of the best that Vertical has to offer. The month is bookended by the release of the seventh Devils’ Line installment and NISEMONOGATARI Part 01, NISIOISIN’S eagerly- anticipated sequel to BAKEMONOGATARI. With Mysterious Girlfriend X 6, BLAME! 4 and Flying Witch 2 in between, every week of the month brings an exciting new Vertical adventure.

New Releases

Vampires and vampire hunters are also at the center of Devils’ Line, the modern dark fantasy series that’s romantic,thought-provoking, and action-packed. Book Seven finds Ishimaru, still shrouded in suspicion, leading Squad F on a raid of the CCC’s hideout. But the CCC is ahead of them in this cat-and-mouse game, and things do not go according to plan. When Anzai is caught in the crossfire, Tsukasa has to make a life-or-death decision.

Romance is on the agenda as well in Mysterious Girlfriend X 6, but here the couple in question share powers – and a special bond – quite different from the vampiric variety. As the school year wraps up, so does this 6-volume series, which was the basis for the hit anime available in English from Sentai Films and Crunchyroll. In this latest installment, Tsubaki invites Urabe to join him in a special place to watch the fireworks. Urabe also comes clean to Tsubaki’s sister about their relationship. And when Urabe “sees” an important event from Tsubaki’s past, she makes him an offer that will bring them even closer.

The fourth Master Edition of the groundbreaking BLAME! series returns you to the dystopian future world so skillfully created by comics artist Tsutomu Nihei. In this world-to-come, machines have pushed humanity to the brink. Robots known as the “Builders” have constructed a meaningless civilization with no one to reside in it. Soon these ghost cities begin reaching out to the outer planets, and another breed of life form emerges.

Makoto’s magical education continues in Flying Witch 2, the second of newcomer Chihiro Ishizuka’s funny, surreal slice-of-life series. This second episode finds Makoto attending a local cherry blossom festival, where she runs into someone who has a bone to pick with her sister, Akane. Akane makes an appearance, and teaches Makoto a few new tricks for flying as well as  some easy spellcraft. Their kid cousin Chinatsu is so charmed by the witches’ talents that she makes an unexpected request. Laughs, enchantment, and a taste of traditional Japanese culture combine to make this a perfect summer read!

Prolific phenom NISIOISIN’s legendary MONOGATARI saga continues in NISEMONOGATARI, Part 01, the follow-up to BAKEMONOGATARI. Hapless teenage vampire Koyomi Araragi is back, but this time, the action focuses on Araragi’s home life and his two younger sisters. Junior high schoolers Karen and Tsukihi are known by their schoolmates as the Fire Sisters. And they’re definitely balls of fire. Dedicated to defending justice, their brand of vigilantism is causing a lot of trouble – not just for the perps they’re pursuing, but for themselves. . . and their brother!

Please drop by the Kodansha Comics Booth #1006 at AX. We’ll be pre-selling She and Her Cat, Mobile Suit Gundam WING 1, and Nichijou 9!!


Future Releases:

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

  • Katsuyuki Sumizawa and Tomofumi Ogasawara, Mobile Suit Gundam WING: Glory of the Losers (July 2017)
  • Yui Tokiumi and Naoshi Arakawa, Your Lie in April (Light Novel) (July 2017)
  • Makoto Shinkai and Tsubasa Yamaguchi, She and Her Cat (August 2017)
  • NISIOISIN’s NISEMONOGATARI, Part 02 (August 2017)
  • Mizuki Tsujimura’s Anime Supremacy! (September 2017)

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved

DEVILS’ LINE 7 © 2017 Ryo Hanada.  All rights reserved.; My Neighbor Seki 9 © 2016 Takuma Morishige; MYSTERIOUS GIRLFRIEND X 6 © 2017 Riichi Ueshiba.  All rights reserved.; BLAME! 4 © 2017 Tsutomu Nihei. All rights reserved.; NISEMONOGATARI PART 01 © 2008 NISIOISIN.  All rights reserved.; FLYING WITCH 2 © 2014 Chihiro Ishizuka.  All rights reserved.

April Showers mean more Vertical Reading Hours

New Releases

April is a month of transition. With it comes spring showers, warmer longer days, and the hope of memorable sunny holidays in the not to distant future. But while it rains and storms, Vertical readers are best served staying inside amongst the comfort of their books. Whether thrilled and chilled by action and sci-fi works or inspired by the passion and abilities of the supernatural, Vertical readers have plenty of reason to read often this month!

AJIN volume 9 might be our most intense release yet. Now that may sound hyperbolic, but when you as a reader can experience the chaos and mayhem that went down in the Forge Security Building, you will marvel at the action, the creativity and the sheer madness that is the world of AJIN.

Sato’s bitter. That as much is obvious. But he is also diabolical. The Battle of Forge Safety, which began when demi-humans who aim to upend Japanese society waltzed into an ambush set by those who would deny them the pleasure, reaches its crescendo and conclusion in this volume. It is Kei Nagai and Mr. Hat in a prolonged battle within a tower in lock-down. What could go wrong?!!

Meanwhile Devils’ Line 6 turns up the drama. What is already one of the more compelling police stories in manga today, adds some new layers to the world of devils.

Ishimaru tries to bring in Zero Seven and Nine to get inside info on the CCC. In exchange for her cooperation, Zero Seven asks for information on the devil that murdered her mother, and the fateful meeting between Seven and Kikuhara is revealed. The house of an activist for devil rights is set on fire, and at the scene, Kikuhara pushes Anzai to remember his past…

After 7 volumes and countless esper battles, Tokyo ESP comes to an exciting conclusion. This final omnibus edition brings together the vast majority of the cast together one last time to fight over much more than the Greater Tokyo Metropolitan Area. These espers are waging a final battle and the whole world is at stake!

Once the board members of Ares have gathered, Claudia uses Touko to awaken the Messiah and receive its benediction—a massive magnification of her ESP—just as Rinka, Kobushi, Minami and Nadja storm in, setting off the biggest ESP battle in Tokyo’s history. Then an old enemy shows up, and alliances are strained as allegiances are tested. Can Rinka and her friends take down the power-drunk Claudia before Tokyo is wiped off the map…?

In Immortal Hounds 4, the Escape Artists are in trouble! The police’s vice is closing in on them and their secrets are about to be partially revealed.

Karigane adpots Rin’s risky strategy to rescue Snow White from the UN’s Vector containment facility, but not everything goes according to plan. A colleague starts to worry about Rin and discovers her diary, which includes secrets from her past as well as her current mission. And Shige considers early retirement when tragedy strikes home…

In the conclusion of NISIOISIN’s BAKEMONOGATARI, part 3 focuses on a class president among class presidents. A bespectacled model student who soars to the top of honors lists without fail, Tsubasa Hanekawa also happens to be a decent human being. While she does have a habit of making single-minded assumptions, they come from a good place and turn out to be fortuitous as often as not.

Loser extraordinaire Koyomi Araragi owes her his post of class vice president and a more significant debt of gratitude for her unstinting support during the darkest spring break of his life. All of it has blinded him to the possibility that his saintly classmate’s family situation might be no less adverse than that of his other lady friends.

Thus, at last, we face Hanekawa’s unlikely aberration in “Tsubasa Cat”—the concluding part of the legendary novel that captured the sensibilities of a new generation in the aught years and spawned an animated series that has won international popularity and acclaim—before the story continues with a Fake Tale…


2f80d7ce64309b4e761b1ba8_392x560BLAME! Returns

Last year, cyberpunk fans across the globe rejoiced when we announced the return of BLAME! via our new Master Edition collection. The new oversized editions have the gravity and heft of something bigger than life, which is an appropriate way to describe Nihei’s massive futuristic universe.

Next month that universe will be moving from the page to the screen, as NETFLIX will be releasing a new feature length film adaptation of Tsutomu Nihei’s masterwork. Produced by Polygon Pictures, BLAME! will feature updated art that is more in line with Mr. Nihei’s current aesthetics.

Full of action and stunning visuals this new retelling of this legendary work is bound to create a whole new generation of Toha Industry supporters!


Future Releases:

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

  • Shuka Matsuda and Nakaba Suzuki, Seven Deadly Sins (Light Novel) (May 2017)
  • NISIOISIN’s NISEMONOGATARI (June 2017)
  • Katsuyuki Sumizawa and Tomofumi Ogasawara, Mobile Suit Gundam WING: Glory of the Losers (July 2017)
  • Yui Tokiumi and Naoshi Arakawa, Your Lie in April (Light Novel) (July 2017)
  • Makoto Shinkai and Tsubasa Yamaguchi, She and Her Cat (August 2017)

 


Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved

BLAME! 3 © 2017 Tsutomu Nihei; BAKEMONOGATARI, Part 3 © 2006 NISIOISIN; AJIN: Demi-Human 9 © 2017 Gamon Sakurai; Devils’ Line 6 © 2017 Ryo Hanada; Immortal Hounds 4 © Ryo Yasohachi 2016; Tokyo ESP 8 © Hajime SEGAWA 2016. All Rights Reserved

Spring into a New Season with Vertical

New Releases

There is an idiom that states, “march comes in like a lion…” For Vertical this year, that is definitely apt! This month we have some heavy hitters including the debut of one of our most anticipated series yet! So prepare to hear some noise this month cause we do not expect to go out like a lamb!

Debuting this month is Chihiro Ishizuka’s Flying Witch volume 1. The inspiration for 2016’s sleeper hit by JC Staff is a heart-warming thoughtful comedy set in an unusual location, which only adds to its charm.

Witch-in-training, Makoto Kowata, has relocated to Japan’s far north – Aomori! It’s a different world up there when compared to Yokohama and Tokyo, but that does not mean it does not have its own magic. Actually with Makoto there life is about to get a lot more fantastic for her relatives whom she is staying with. Days up there were rather sleepy and traditional before Makoto arrived, but now they are filled with mysterious people, flying broomsticks, and screaming mandrakes. Still, even with new spell casters around, life is only as magical as you make it and every chapter of Flying Witch makes every day feel enchanted.

In volume 3 of Tsutomu Nihei’s BLAME!, Kyrii and Cibo have reached the mega-structure! After searching through Nihei’s massive world, Kyrii is now close to revealing some of its secrets.

Once inside Toha Heavy the two become witness to a world that is quite different from what was outside. The landscape is less chaotic. The rules are more rigid and restricted. And the threats are significantly greater. Kyrii will have to deal with forces that control time, space, and other elements of physics while still on the search for human life and the Net Terminal Gene! But can he do so without his trusted gravitation beam emitter?

In Mysterious Girlfriend X 5, we are treated to one of the longest story lines in this series so far. Set in the backdrop of the annual Kazamidai High cultural fair, Tsubaki and Urabe are pulled into playing some of the most intimate scenes of their short relationship.
Tsubaki’s film club has decided to make a movie for their festival entry. But the theme and plot of this film is cutting very close to the bone for Tsubaki, as it reminds him of the relationship he has with Urabe. And what’s more, eventually Urabe is asked to participate as one of the supporting actors!

And finally, in Nichijou 7, we are treated a number of sudden surprises! Imagine the scene when friends discuss copying homework when one of them confesses her feelings towards a classmate! The Go/Soccer Club is about to describe its moves to the new members! Yuuko and Mai have repeated battles of strength with consistent results! And a vice principal grows a new head of hair overnight!

Nothing is unusual in the world of Nichijou. And expect the unexpected from Vertical this March!


Vertical Film Club

It is not uncommon to see Vertical properties on the television screens. But over the next two months two of Vertical’s premier brands will be gracing the big screen.

Later this month, a Hollywood remake of Masamune Shirow’s The Ghost in the Shell will be screening across the globe to much fanfare. Starring Beat Takeshi, Chin Han and Scarlett Johansson, this live action adaptation of Shirow’s legendary manga (by Kodansha Comics) is one of the most talked about movies in recent memory. Vertical will follow up the film release with a collection of short stories based on the world of The Ghost in the Shell in April. Featuring stories from some of the biggest names in Japanese sci-fi and fantasy – Toh EnJoe (Self-Reference ENGINE – Viz Media), Tow Ubukata (Mardock Scramble – Kodansha Comics), and Gakuto Mikumo (Strike the Blood – Yen Press) – this is a most read for Ghost in the Shell fans old and new.

A week later, NISIOISIN’s KIZUMONOGATARI will return to theaters as the third entry in this trilogy will have a limited engagement across the US. Subtitled, Reiketsu, KIZU 3 will focus on Araragi and Kisshot after his encounters with the vampire hunters that were searching for her. Distributed by Aniplex fans who head out to view this final chapter will be eligible to receive a limited edition KIZUMONOGATARI/BAKEMONOGATARI from Vertical. Aniplex will also be distributing Memorial Portrait Boards at showings. Stocks are limited so please show up early and enjoy NISIOISIN’s tale.

The Ghost in the Shell will be screening nationwide.

For more information on KIZUMONOGATARI, Part 3: REIKETSU click here.


Future Releases:

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

  • Toh Enjoe, Gakuto Mikumo, Kafka Asagiri, Yoshinobu Akita and Tow Ubukata; based on the comic by Masamune Shirow, The Ghost in the Shell: Five Short Stories (April 2017)
  • Shuka Matsuda and Nakaba Suzuki, Seven Deadly Sins (Light Novel) (May 2017)
  • NISIOISIN’s NISEMONOGATARI (June 2017)
  • Katsuyuki Sumizawa and Tomofumi Ogasawara, Mobile Suit Gundam WING: Glory of the Losers (July 2017)
  • Yui Tokiumi and Naoshi Arakawa, Your Lie in April (Light Novel) (July 2017)

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved

BLAME! 3 © 2017 Tsutomu Nihei; Mysterious Girlfriend X 5 © 2017 Riichi Ueshiba; Flying Witch 1 © 2013 Chihiro Ishizuka; nichijou 7 © Keiichi ARAWI 2011; Koukaku Kidoutai Shousetsu Ansoroji © 2017 SHIROW MASAMUNE / TOH ENJOE, GAKUTO MIKUMO, KAFKA ASAGIRI, YOSHINOBU AKITA, TOW UBUKATA / KODANSHA, LTD. All Rights Reserved

VERTICAL’S NEW STORY COLLECTION BREAKS OUT OF THE SHELL

The Ghost in the Shell: Five New Short StoriesThe release of the Hollywood blockbuster “Ghost in the Shell” has shined the spotlight on this iconic sci-fi franchise, and has reignited interest in the many different representations of its universe—from the original manga and its anime adaptations, to the recent official movie tie-in novelization and a coffee table book featuring art from the film.

Vertical has taken a different approach by publishing THE GHOST IN THE SHELL: FIVE NEW SHORT STORIES. These works of fiction are the result of a challenge to some of Japan’s foremost sci-fi novelists to create their own visions of the near-future universe of Ghost in the Shell.

The five writers—Toh EnJoe, Gakuto Mikumo, Kafka Asagiri, Yoshinobu Akita, and Tow Ubukata—have more than met the challenge. Their contributions are all imaginative, page-turning interpretations that add new depth and dimension to the canon, while staying true to the essence of the source material.

It’s still a world of conflict between nations, where corporations dominate and technology rules. But rather than making humans obsolete, these technological advances have been harnessed to enhance the bodies and brains of mere mortals—if they can pay the steep price.

The stories in the collection are for anyone who enjoys exciting, well-executed science fiction. If you’re new to the franchise, they’re a fitting introduction to the premise, setting, and characters. If you’re already a fan, they’re indispensable reading, as the authors offer provocative, engaging, and thoughtful explorations of the main themes: What is the self? Is there such a thing as a soul?

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.


88b588978279bb65594f2ce7_408x5607d938899b190ba001ab9967d_398x5609a0d7358be90476e179cb11b_560x390

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!