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.

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

Two For the Foodies

Effortless BentoA good month for foodies! What Did You Eat is obviously a must for manga readers who also appreciate a well drawn meal. But for those who wish to taste modern Japanese meals, Effortless Bento is the bento box bible! Compiling 300 recipes to fill your bento boxes this book from the editors of Shufunotomo Publishing has every must have bento dish and side imaginable!

Want a soup bento? It’s got it.

Want a veggie focused bento? There are dozens of vegetarian recipes in here.

Looking for something sweet to pack in your box? Yup. Effortless Bento has it.

Our biggest cookbook yet is gonna be that next must buy for everyone who has ever wondered…What should I eat tomorrow?

What Did You Eat Yesterday? Volume 2And for foodies who enjoy a bit of drama with their meals, the award-winning Fumi Yoshinaga returns this month with a fresh release of What Did You Eat Yesterday? In this latest volume, readers are treated to a sampling of Shiro and Kenji’s first meeting. The second course also focuses on Shiro’s past, before Kenji moved in with him. And for a main Ms. Yoshinaga has prepared a dramatic and unexpected Kakei family reunion full the usual juicy tension one would expect from a Yoshinaga work.

This month indulge yourself in Vertical and savour some of the best print media Japan has to offer.

Mangia! Manga!

What Did You Eat YesterdayOver the last decade few new manga artists worldwide have received as much critical acclaim as Fumi Yoshinaga. After making a splash with her josei (women’s comics) baking-themed mystery Antique Bakery, she repeated surprised and thrilled the world with her subtle romances, innovative views on history, and honest take on gender issues. And in a very unique way, she has branched far outside the limited reach of the international manga community as she has received honors from the American comics industry and LGBT circles, as well.

Her latest work may be her most intriguing work yet. Combining her passion of food and her insights towards Tokyo’s gay community, What Did You Eat Yesterday? is a somber, subtly comical, but honest slice-of-life look at what it is like to be a gay couple in modern day Tokyo. Yoshinaga presents a couple with contrasting views on their privacy: one openly out but rejected by his family; while his partner is partly in the closet as his parents awkwardly try to be supportive. Presented without the titillation or graphic sex typically found in comparative works from the boys love genre, Eat at its core is a look at the couple’s struggles and their catharsis expressed over the finely prepared meals they share each and every night.

Packed with thoughtful writing, insightful and timely commentary and a recipe or two with every chapter, Eat is like a wonderfully prepared full-course meal by one of manga’s finest. And this volume will not only whet the appetite for more, but should satisfy the hunger of most manga gourmands desperately looking for some more substantial manga to consume.