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!

Space Operatic

There has been something in the air recently. For some reason, there has been a resurgence in space appreciation. Could it be caused by a return to Mars exploration? Or maybe inspired by nostalgia created by a Space Shuttle tour? Whatever the reason, space is on our minds and here at Vertical we have had our heads above the clouds for years now…

On the heels of a hugely-successful Gundam the ORIGIN launch comes volume two of Tsutomu Nihei’s Knights Of Sidonia. This latest volume starts off with a stunningly illustrated (complete with color pages) battle between the Guana and the Garde that leaves our protagonist, Tanikaze, and one of his fellow fighters, the beautiful yet quiet Shizuka Hoshijiro, stranded together in the depths of the abyss. How will things develop between them when it’s unclear if they will ever be rescued? Plus, readers are treated to a look into the past of Kunato, the resident son of nobility, as he makes his first decisive, though utterly repulsive, move.

The newest work by sci-fi manga godsend Tsutomu Nihei continues on as a beautifully illustrated portrayal of the last of humanity floating away in space fighting on for their survival. This second volume proves to be an ever more intimate and harrowing experience as the story begins to really move off the ground. So brace yourself for yet another atypical Vertical space adventure!

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.