A Vertical Feast

Last month we alerted you all of Vertical’s plans for this fall. Big launches for Ninja Slayer and Tokyo ESP followed. A successful New York ComicCon also came out of what was a monstrously big October. But that was just the start of what is going to be a hearty and tasty fourth quarter.

This month is when things really begin to heat up. Two of Vertical’s biggest hit-makers return after extended breaks. The English edition of one of Japan’s top selling novels eve will finally hit stores. To top that all off, we bring you more comedic gold from a rising star of Japanese humor.

There is plenty to be thankful this month, and we would be very grateful if you choose to have Vertical be a part of your fall this year.

A November to be Thankful For

New Releases

Back in 2009, Vertical began an initiative to expand its manga catalog. Prior to then we had only worked with three mangaka, releasing around a pair of titles a year since 2004. Now we have more than 50 manga titles under our belt. The first title from that new wave, though, was Konami Kanata’s Chi’s Sweet Home. By far the best selling manga title in our list and one of the longer running ones, at that, Chi is finally coming to a close this month with what might be the most heart-wrenching releases we have ever put to print. It will be sad to see this series wrap up, but thankfully we’ll be working more with Konami Kanata in the future. So that relationship will continue as we expand the North American cat comics market.

While Chi is big, our best selling authors are actually Aranzi Aronzo. The DIY duo from Osaka broke through globally not long after we introduced the Western world to The Cute Book and Cute Stuff. These collections of creepy-cute so-simple-it’s-fun doll and accessory making books have become a cult hit over the years. Now, five years removed from their last hit The Cuter Book and a number of storefronts later, Aranzi returns to English world with another 40 or so patterns in their Cuter Stuff collection. Crafters of all experience levels will rejoice when they see all the new ideas Aranzi have come up with lately.

In My Neighbor Seki volume 5, Rumi Yokoi might have thought she could escape Seki’s games while her class was on an extended field-trip. She possibly was being a little naive as Seki would not only continue his games on the road, he would even have his beloved Robot Family on the trip with him providing an addition bit of tension into Rumi’s already stressful life. Now with essentially two field trips occurring at once, Rumi must find a way to split her time between watching over her favorite action figures and enjoying her edu-tainment with her classmates. This may be Seki’s most diabolical project yet!

After a brief delay, Naoki Hyakuta’s The Eternal Zero is now scheduled to land in stores this month. Already legendary for breaking sales records in Japan, it has been the subject of a lot of debate and media attention in and out of Asia since it launched in 2006. It is not often the West gets to see books of this magnitude translated so quickly, so we are certain it will cause a stir once it hits North American literature’s radar.

Listen to This!

At New York ComicCon last month Vertical made news when they announced their new line of audio light novels!

Coming Spring 2016 prose releases like KIZUMONOGATARI and Attack on Titan: Harsh Mistress of the City will make their way to MP3 players and eBook readers in the near future. Voiced by trained voice actors and enhanced by music and audio effects, these audio books should give fans new ways to experience their favorite series.

Details, such as when and where these books will debut, are still being worked out. But stay tuned to this newsletter for more information on this new and unique way to enjoy Japanese prose in English!

Future Releases:

So whether in audio or in print (or even digital) as you come together with family and friends this fall, we would be very thankful if you all would gather with a Vertical book (or two). We’re certain they’ll warm you up and satisfy any hunger for entertainment you’d have.

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
My Neighbor Seki © Takuma Morishige 2014; Cuter Stuff © ARANZI ARONZO 2013; The Eternal Zero © Naoki Hyakuta 2006; Chi’s Sweet Home © 2015 Konami Kanata; KIZUMONOGATARI © NISIOISIN 2015

A Spook-tacular Month for Vertical

October is a special month for Vertical, especially its imprint Vertical Comics. Apart from it being the 1st Anniversary for the manga imprint, October also tends to be the beginning of the calendar year for the publishing house as a hole. This is the month when we start rolling our biggest titles of the year. Whether prose or manga, craft book or art book…if a property launches in October (and November) it is a title we are really looking forward to sharing with our readers.

This October we have some heavy hitters. A pair of hits from the manga world are joined by one of the most talked about novels in Japanese history. And then there’s the Kizumonogatari news from Japan and some little event called New York Comic Con we attend.

Yeah, big big month! A scary big month! But more about that below…
So we hope you all continue to stand up against basic Japanese content as we launch our fall and winter catalog. Prepare to be surprised!

A Monstrous October
If you are in the States in October then there is no escaping Halloween fever. Ghouls, monsters and jack-o-lanterns dominate the landscape, and genres like the supernatural and horror begin to dominate the media scene.

Vertical is not oblivious to such trends. And as trend-setters we have a couple of works that should thrill readers for months if not years to come

Debuting this month is Hajime Segawa’s long awaited release of Tokyo ESP. A Japanese take on the mutant superhero genre, Tokyo ESP combines slap-stick comedy with action and supernatural in what has become a beloved franchise. Having already inspired an animated TV series and a pair of manga spin-offs, we are certain readers will not wait to sink their teeth into these pretty omnibus releases when they hit shelves this month!

Ninja may not be monsters, but they sure seem to do most of their deeds from the shadows. And in the world of Ninja Slayer nothing is scarier or more powerful than those cursed with the power of ninja karate! Richly rendered by Yoshiaki Tabata and Yuki Yugo, this manga adaptation of the cult hit novel series compliments both the prose and the animated series by Studio Trigger by bringing the whole world of Ninja Slayer to life through detailed action and biting satire in this hilarious ninja exploitation manga.

Not exactly a Halloween title, Naoki Hyakuta’s The Eternal Zero has been something like a monster within the publishing world. This tale of WWII flyboys and the killer fighter they pilot has sold more than 3 million copies in Japan making it one of the best selling prose releases in Japan’s recent history.

And finally, October also will bring the release of the seventh volume of one of Vertical’s most spooky titles: Ryu Mizunagi’s Witchcraft Works. In this volume, Ayaka is on the search for her past demons. To uncover the secrets from her youth, she takes Honoka to her ancestral home… Which just happens to be guarded by magicians and giant wolves!! CREEPY!!

KIZUMONOGATARI

This Tale is Going to be a Trilogy

On October 3rd, it was revealed that NISIOISIN’s long-awaited KIZUMONOGATARI would finally be released in theaters with a January 8, 2016 premiere date. But that was just the beginning of what would be a string of news around the property. The January release is scheduled to be the first of three movies produced by studio SHAFT based on the novel.

Our edition of the novel has been pushed back to December, but fear not the book is now deep in production and we will soon be revealing the new original art for the cover provided by MONOGATARI’s illustrator VOFAN.

Stay tuned to the Vertical twitter for more information on the novel release and for news on the anime please follow the official site (link here).

Future Releases:

Vertical Convention Tour 2015

In a matter of days the Vertical tour bus will be retired for the year. But before it goes into hibernation, we will be making one last stop in our hometown and this show will be a doozy!

As usual we’ll be in the exhibitor hall, booth #2020, selling wares including advance releases of Witchcraft Works 7 and Ninja Slayer 1. On Friday at 5:00p, we ask that NYCC patrons please join us at our industry panel where our staff will go over our up-coming titles. Over the hour we’ll also be revealing some interesting plans for 2016, so be sure to be present to witness the future of Vertical and J-Pop content! And stick around for some exclusive con goodies from Japan too!

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
Tokyo ESP © Hajime Segawa 2015; Ninja Slayer © 2012 Ninja Entertainment; Yuki Yogo 2015 & Yoshiaki Tabata 2015; The Eternal Zero © Naoki Hyakuta 2006; Witchcraft Works © 2015 Ryu Mizunagi; KIZUMONOGATARI © NISIOISIN 2015

COWARD OR HERO?

The Eternal ZeroAll Kentaro and Keiko know about their grandfather is that he died as a kamikaze pilot toward the end of the war. Intrigued, the siblings set off on a mission to learn the truth about Kyuzo Miyabe’s life and death. As they begin interviewing his few surviving comrades, they hear conflicting reports. Some of the old soldiers describe him as a despicable coward. Others say this ace fighter pilot was an inspiring hero. But everyone seems to agree that Miyabe’s goal was to get through the war alive and return home to his wife and child. Why, then, would he volunteer for a kamikaze flight?

With the mythical Mitsubishi A6N Zero fighter at its center, the novel recreates, in great detail, breathtaking battles in the air and at sea. But it also offers a portrait of a flawed, enigmatic, and very complicated man whose love for his family was the driving force behind his actions – whichever way they were perceived.

Like the character of Miyabe, the fundamental message conveyed in THE ETERNAL ZERO has been given completely opposite interpretations. As the story explores the meaning of loyalty and sacrifice, is it a scathing condemnation of the Imperial Navy and Army? Or is it actually a glorification of Japanese nationalism – especially as it describes the young men who flew off to certain death as kamikaze?

THE ETERNAL ZERO is a provocative look at the War in the Pacific. But, more importantly, it’s a thoroughly entertaining, emotional powerhouse of a novel that readers won’t soon forget – no matter which side you take.

 

Fall into Vertical

Summer is almost over and fall is just around the corner. But even with longer nights and cooler days in the horizon, Vertical continues to heat up the publishing world by releasing some of the hottest titles from Japan today. And this month we honestly do have some huge works in store for you all.

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A Spectacular September
This September is huge! Some of the biggest names in anime and manga are coming your way courtesy of Vertical launching what should be a memorable fall for all our readers.

In My Neighbor Seki 4, Seki continues to haunt his fellow classmate Rumi Yokoi. This time, however, Yokoi is no longer going to take things quietly. As Seki continues to good around over P.E. and art class, Yokoi makes her mark on his little projects by changing the rules and even challenging Seki at his own games.

In Mobile Suit Gundam: The ORIGIN Part XI most of the war has been fought. Zeon is crumbling. But there is still some business left between two of this generation’s top mecha pilots – Char Aznable and Amuro Ray. Their rivalry now goes beyond just robot piloting.  After what occurred with Lalah, there is bad blood between these two and nothing is going to stop them. Not the destruction of their mecha. Not the death of most of the Zabi clan. Nothing!

Tragedy strikes in volume 14 of Knights of Sidonia. Nagate has done a good job defending the Sidonia from Gauna but it has long come at a cost. He has lost many comrades in battle, but few have meant as much to this as Tsumugi. While there is still hope for her survival, what will happen to the Guardian fighters without her support. She is an irreplaceable member of their squad.

And with the second part of Harsh Mistress of the City we are treated to the exciting conclusion of this Attack on Titan side story.

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(Image not final)

More Acquisitions
We might not have had any panels since Otakon, but that does not mean we weren’t working hard to acquire new content to translate for you readers.

Over the last month we were fortunate to acquire the rights to the following new property –

To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts by MAYBE

Combining fantasy and action this new series, from the makers of CrunchyRoll’s Tales of Wedding Rings, is setting up to be the next hit work for this beloved manga duo.

Expect to see monsters galore rendered gloriously by MAYBE and adapted into English by our Vertical Comics line starting next spring!

The Eternal Zero

A Story for the Ages
Once in every decade or so the publishing world is struck by a work that captivates a generation. Works like these are often timely and relevant, often possessing a voice that may have been awaited by the populous. Naoki Hyakuta’s The Eternal Zero is a title that fits that bill.

Having sold more than 7 million units in that small country, it has been considered a phenomenon and when considering the genre and themes of this work doubly so. This work of historical fiction takes readers back to World War II as it focuses one of that war’s deadliest weapons – the Zero Fighter.

Provocative, potentially controversial, and already being covered by journals such as The Economist, The Hollywood Reporter, and Variety, The Eternal Zero is poised to make its mark on the English book market when it hits shelves next month.

Vertical Convention Tour 2015
Summer is coming to a close, but the Vertical tour bus is still making stops across the country. We still have two more destinations before parking the bus for the winter. And we hope to see you at some of these events.

And if you happen to pass by one of our panels, stick around for special giveaways featuring goodies from some of our hit titles.

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City © 2015 Hajime Iseyama and Ryo Kawakami; Knights of Sidonia © 2015 Tsutomu Nihei; My Neighbor Seki © Takuma Morishige; Aizouban Mobile Suit Gundam: The ORIGIN © Yoshikazu Yasuhiko / SOTSU – SUNRISE; To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts © MAYBEi; The Eternal Zero © 2006 Naoki Hyakuta

Summer of Vertical

It’s summer time and as is often the case this season already has a been an ambitious one for Vertical, Inc. With a number of new releases, a range of new license announcements, and a now completed summer con tour over, there were plenty of topics to highlight for readers throughout the course of the summer.

We’ll get to some of that news a little later. But, before we do, we wanted to remind you of our August 2015 releases:

August 2015 ReleaseA Fantastic August
This August, Vertical is feeling fantastic! Sure, with titles like those found in our catalog we, and our readers, should always be feeling great, but this month we have three high quality fantasy and sci-fi tales that are particularly excellent!

Leading off the month is the sixth volume of Ryu Mizunagi’s hit rom-com Witchcraft Works. Ayaka’s battle with Weekend continues and it is quickly moving to its climax. But without a source of power for her magic will she be able to finally defeat this rogue bomb-wielding witch?

Meanwhile Kei Nagai and a handful of domestic demi-human are preparing to take on some truly rogue forces in volume 6 of Gamon Sakurai’s AJIN. But before they embark on their mission, readers are treated to a brief flashback involving the lone woman amongst the demi-human corps. Sakurai takes readers back to Izumi’s days as a high school teen when she first came to terms with her demi-human side. Her past is marked with tragedy. So it comes as no surprise to see her want to change others lives for the better. Especially those she feels she can trust.

When it came to trust, those within the fortress known as Wall Maria believed they were somewhat safe from Titan attacks. However in Ryo Kawakami’s Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City the walls have been breached and now titans roam what remains of the interior. A young trooper named Rita was on the frontlines, and after closing off gates in the interior, she will have to find a way to get inside Wall Rose to safety.

Vertical Inc. NewsletterSummer Acquisitions
This summer was one of our biggest and busiest yet! With a number of new series and one-shots covering the wide-range of content that Vertical is known for, we are sure there will be something for almost every reader to dive into next year.
Here’s what we have announced over the summer:

  • Nichijou, by Keiichi Arawi (March 2016)
  • Mysterious Girlfriend X by Riichi Ueshiba (March 2016)
  • Sukibayashi Jiro by Shinzo Satomi (March 2016)
  • FukuFuku: Kitten Tales by Konami Kanata (April 2016)
  • A Cop’s Eyes by Gaku Yakumaru (April 2016)
  • The Gods Lie by Kaori Ozaki (April 2016)
  • Devilsline by Ryo Hanada (May 2016)
KizuMonogatari

KizuMonogatari (cover not final)

A Fall to Get Up For
Fall is around the corner and with it some big new debuts. With titles like Ninja Slayer, Tokyo ESP, Seraph of the End on the horizon, an already stacked line-up should be greatly enhanced. And we’ll look at the other books a little closer in the coming months. Because this month we’ll focus our spotlight on a work that deserves plenty of attention from readers: NISIOISIN’s KizuMonogatari.

Within the Monogatari series, Kizu (as it is known in some circles) is considered to be the series prequel, as it details the life of Monogatari’s lead Koyomi Araragi before what occurs in the two BakeMonogatari books. Something of an occult-mystery series, NISIOISIN weaves modern themes found in popular anime and manga, while including the supernatural elements, moments of horror, and high-stakes action. NISIOISIN’s legendary wordplay is also in full-effect in this series, which only adds character to what may already be the most ambitious Japanese prose release of the year.

With an established anime adaption for most of the Monogatari series already available from ANIPLEX the brand was already at the top of most young readers’ wish lists. And now with KizuMonogatari‘s debut just around the corner, we feel this release should fulfill a wish long held by western fans by finally completing and properly realizing NISIOISIN’s “tale” in English.

Vertical Convention Tour 2015
It’s summer so the Vertical tour bus is still making stops across the country. We’ve got three more destinations before retiring the bus for the year. And we hope to see you at some of these events.

And if you happen to pass by one of our panels, stick around for special giveaways featuring goodies from some of our hit titles.

Once again, whether in person at an event, or by following us here and on our various social media platforms, this summer Vertical has the content to keep you cool and up to date with what is the best in Japanese content today.

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
Witchcraft Works © 2015 Ryu Mizunagi; Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City © 2015 Hajime Iseyama and Ryo Kawakami; AJIN: Demi-human © 2015 Gamon Sakurai; Devilsline © Ryo Hanada; Mysterious Girlfriend X © Riichi Ueshiba; The Gods Lie © Kaori Ozaki; KizuMonogatari © NISIOISIN / Kodansha