Dig in to Vertical This Month

New Releases

It’s fall, and for many of us it is time to fill up with good reads. Whether digging into heaping piles of prose or hot servings of manga, these days readers can feast on great content and never feel ashamed to pack on the pounds of knowledge and entertainment.

To help with your literary spread Vertical is serving up some tasty reads full of humor, action, and suspense. And we’ve got more than enough to available for seconds or thirds…

Fumi Yoshinaga’s What Did You Eat Yesterday? is all about the eats and with this latest volume (11) Shiro is invited by his old friend Kayako to attend a family gathering and picnic.

It has been a while since Shiro has seen Kayako and her family, and this is an opportunity to reunite over a big bento meal. But Shiro already made plans for a picnic dinner for that evening also! Will he be able to pull of this double-duty with his wallet and stomach, or will he have to play favorites.

Reunions are in store also in To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts 3. In this fantasy tale by author-writer duo MAYBE, young main character Schaal returns home to pay respects to her fallen father. Her father was also an Incarnate, so she struggles with her memories of her family with the fear felt by her town upon hosting an Incarnate.

It has been a year and Schaal has returned to her home. The village is depressed as it is being haunted possibly by an Incarnate. And where there is a beast there will eventually be Beast Hunters. But this time Hank is not amongst them. And this time, it might be Schaal who will ultimately pull the trigger, even if it’s before a familiar face.

In Nichijou 5 the girls are proceeding with an interesting project; one that the readers of this series might be familiar with. Yukko, Mio, and Mai are working on a manga they plan to submit to a contest. Mio is basically expanding on a comic she has been doodling for a while now.

You would think that these three friends would come together to create something with a shared vision. That they would want to work with each other to make this project a success. But no. They’ll conspire to destroy the project. One of them might have done that accidentally and the other may have had more sinister intentions, yet the results are still the same… Mio will have to harden herself and work on the comic by herself while overcoming the challenges her own assistants have placed before her.

Meanwhile in Tokyo ESP 7 chaos reins supreme in this penultimate omnibus. Rinka’s mission in Hong Kong is complete. Now there is a bigger threat setting its eye on Tokyo with ambitions to take over the world! A new world order is afoot and the keys to this movement are a pair of espers the series has followed for some time now.

When Rinka and Ren thought they were going to have a happy reunion, suddenly new forces appear threatening the country and their allies directly. An international group with tentacles deep within the economic and political institutes of the world’s most powerful countries has set their eyes on espers and their abilities. Rinka, with her partners in Tokyo Metropolitan Police and the American CIA, will soon make plans to take down this new enemy…from within.

New Releases

Attack on Titan has been one of the biggest franchises to come out of Japan in years. And this month it returns to the West with a new light novel: Attack on Titan: End of the World.

Ever since the horde of seemingly immortal and mindless giants emerged a century ago, humanity has been eking out a secluded existence behind a series of concentric walls. The precarious peace does not last, and childhood friends Eren, Armin, and Mikasa, who witness the end of the world as they know it, embark on an infernal journey with no paradise in sight.

In this novelization of both parts of the mega-hit comic’s theatrical adaptation, the series’ familiar setting, plot, and themes are reconfigured into a compact whole that is fully accessible to the uninitiated and strangely clarifying for fans of the original.

After a short break, Takaya Kagami’s Seraph of the End 3 hits shelves with a gloomy holiday theme at its core. In this case, Christmas is finally here; an apocalyptic time of year for all good boys and girls.

Not only Guren but his closest allies among the Imperial Demons have accepted forbidden power, and the merciless Hiragi Clan orders them to go after its once-favorite but treacherous daughter Mahiru. The vampires, however, are ready to show that no human faction stands a chance against them.

So this month feast on these great works, but make sure to leave some room for seconds, because our December list will be just as filling.


Let’s Talk about J-Mysteries

Since Vertical’s inception in 2003 the publishing house has been at the forefront of translated Japanese mysteries. The genre has been at the core of the Japanese literary scene for decades and it has inspired numerous forms of media including movies, games, and manga throughout the years.

Supporting these works and their authors in Japan is the Mystery Writers of Japan.
Here is what they say about their position within that community:

The Mystery Writers of Japan (MWJ) brings together authors, critics, translators, illustrators, and other creators working in the mystery genre, and is the oldest organization in the field in Japan. It was born in Tokyo in 1947, as Japan was rebuilding from the destruction of World War II. The man who made it possible was Edogawa Rampo, one of the pioneers in the Japanese mystery literature genre, who became the first head of the MWJ.

Since its establishment, the MWJ has worked to promote mysteries in Japan, nurturing appreciation for works in the field. Its efforts over the years have been successful, and today mysteries are enormously popular in Japan.

With Japanese prose slowly gaining more acceptance in the West, Vertical and the MWJ feel it is important for readers to take a look at other genres to get a better appreciation for the culture and nuances of Japan. While there is a lot to learn from light novels and more youthful narratives, reading works such as Pro Bono, Shinjuku Shark, and The Cage may open up doors to a contemporary Japan that is more in tune with what is read by the masses there and a world outside of the subcultures of anime and manga.

To follow the Mystery Writers of Japan and the many Japanese novels that are translated into English please follow the MWJ at their website:
http://www.mystery.or.jp/en/index.html.


New Acquisition!

Late fall is generally a quiet season for licensing at the Vertical offices, but this year that has changed a bit. We’ve been busy picking up titles for Fall 2017. We’ll discuss those titles in future newsletter, but in the meantime we have some early information on a new release we have scheduled for Spring 2017!

Prose:

  • Ghost in the Shell: Collection (official title to be determined)

This brand new Ghost in the Shell release is a new collection of short stories by some of the biggest names in Japanese prose today. Featuring works by Tow Ubukata (Mardock Scramble), Toh EnJoe (Self-Reference ENGINE), Kafka Asagiri (Bungo Stray Dogs), Gakuto Mikumo (Strike the Blood), and Yoshinobu Akita (Sorcerous Stabber ORPHEN). Each of these talents provide their perspectives to build upon and re-interpret the world of the Major and Public Security Section 9.

Vertical is proud to be releasing this as part of a global GitS project set around the motion picture scheduled for Spring 2017. News about this new book is still developing, so stay tuned to this newsletter and our social media platforms for more information and artwork.


Vote for Your Favorite Novels!

Every year we host a few licensing surveys hoping to find titles that our readership are most hungry for. This month we are asking fans out there to give us some feedback about a range of topics and a novel/light novel suggestion.

If you ever wanted to share your novels wishlist with the US’s premiere publisher of Japanese prose, here is your chance!

Click here to take our Annual Prose Survey


Future Releases:

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

  • NISIOISIN’s BAKEMONOGATARI (debuts December 2016)
  • Junji Ito’s Dissolving Classroom (debuts January 2017)
  • NISIOISIN’s Decapitation – Kubikiri Cycle – (debuts January 2017)
  • Keigo Higashino’s The Name of the Game is A Kidnapping (debuts 2017)
  • Chihiro Ishizuka’s Flying Witch (debuts March 2017)
  • Various Authors, Ghost in the Shell (debuts March 2017)

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved

To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts 3 © 2016 MAYBE; nichijou 6 © Keiichi ARAWI 2009; Attack on Titan: End of the World © 2016 Hajime Isayama, Touji Asakura; Tokyo ESP 7 © Hajime SEGAWA 2015; Seraph of the End 3 © 2016 Takaya Kagami

Maybe Manga, Maybe Sushi

M is for Monsters

Some months are full of humor and some may overflow with action, but this month a curious coincidence occurred where we are scheduled to launch two new titles with supernatural themes.  One comes in the form of a sci-fi drama, the other in a shonen action-fantasy, but both are new in Japan and causing a stir within that industry.

Along with those two debuts are a couple of beloved on-going works, and a great selection of Japanese prose to make this month on of the more memorable ones we have had in ages.

So May is panning out of be a monster! A month full of releases; literally our biggest month ever!


New Releases

-Vampires are commonplace in media these days. TV, movies, comics and even prose are full of supernatural tales of the immortal bloodsuckers. Ryo Hanada’s Devils’ Line plays with these tropes but takes it to a new level.

Tsukasa like many young people these days has heard rumors of a series of vampire murders that have occurred around Japan. But most people are skeptical, believing the murders have been sensationalized by the media for ratings.

One day, on her way home, she finds herself in the midst of a vampire and a dhampir vampire hunter. Soon she will find herself under said dhampir’s protection and eventually his embrace, as he promises to cross an invisible line to watch over her in a world that is much more dangerous than previously imagined. Anzai, the dhampir, is part of a vampire related crime unit that monitors and hunts rogue vamps. And as they both will discover there are humans which hunt the hunters, as they want a world completely rid of vampires, instead!

-The Civil War is the backdrop to MAYBE’s To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts but it is a new take on what a pivotal time in history. In this world, the North was vastly outnumbered, so they turned to the dark arts to create monstrous super-soldiers to give them an edge. As the war has ended, the monsters remain, and many of them have turned against humanity and it is up to Beast Hunters to eliminate this new threat.

Schaal is searching for a specific beast hunter. The hunter who took down her father. And when she finds him, she soon comes to realize that there is much more to the Sacred Beasts than what she believed. There is some humanity to them, but many of them are looking for ways to end their suffering.

Nichijou is now a New York Times Best Seller and why wouldn’t it be with mad hijinks like those seen in volume two.

Poor Yuuko! On a routine morning walk to school she greets her classmates with a pun. Unfortunately it falls flat. So in typical Yuuko form she tries another. And another! And even another! None of them work! No one laughs! Her gags are dead. She has zero chemistry… Some days nothing is punny or funny. And poor Nano finds out what her big toe does. It’s a USB rocket toe… Some days it doesn’t pay to be a robot.

In What Did You Eat Yesterday 10, it is summer time and that means light easy to eat and prepare dishes for Shiro to make. His office has an excess of somen noodles, so the frugal gourmand has an opportunity to make cold noodles for himself and his friends! But it has been a while since he has gone out to cook for others and he is about to experience many life changes. Families grow around Shiro, while his remains the same. But as he will soon find out, over some watermelon, family is not only about blood relations. So his family is also about to grow!

Determination in the vein of Detective Columbo is at the core of Gaku Yakumaru’s A Cop’s Eyes. A former juvenile reformatory center staffer changes careers in his middle age to become a police detective. This gentle man has now have to dive head first in the cold violent underbelly of Japan’s criminal world. But through the seven shorts of this collection, Detective Natsume’s ability to understand the human condition will lead him to uncover a number of riddles and save the lives of many people, including one young man he met in juvie many years ago.

Shinzo Satomi’s Sushi Chef: Sukiyabashi Jiro is one of the most unique reads we have published in ages. On the surface it is a looks like a cookbook. But upon closer inspection it is a fascinating deconstruction of a restaurant that has inspired a food revolution and is at the core of the movie Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Satomi goes into great detail about the ingredients used by Jiro. How the are sources and how they are eventually prepared are looked at with great scrutiny to reveal the attention and precision that Jiro has put into his seasonal menus.

This is a book for the true foodies in your life, and also their chefs. So if you cannot go to Jiro, why not read about what has made his sushi must eats for Barack Obama and gourmands from across the globe.

In the second Seraph of the End, Guren finds himself in a much better social position amongst his peers. He’s now playing shogi and interacting with those who were once against him. But they have a common interest and that is what is also causing them a lot of trouble these days. Guren is going to have to confront the Thousand Nights, but something or someone is getting in his way.


Audiobook Options

This month Vertical will debut their new line of audiobooks. Focusing initially on popular cross media brands such as MONOGATARI and Attack on Titan, Vertical Audio is a revolutionary way to experience Japanese prose in English.

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.

Vertical Audio releases will be available for download from a wide range of sources including Audible, iTunes, Nook, Audiobooks.com, Overdrive, and others.

  • KIZUMONOGATARI: Wound Tale (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.
  • Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City Parts 1 & 2 (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.

Note prices may vary from vendor to vendor.


New Acquisition

Last weekend at Chicago’s Anime Central, Vertical announced the acquisition of their newest manga license – Flying Witch.

Chihiro Ishizuka’s slice of life comedy set in Akita, Japan, covers the day to day life of a young aspiring witch and her young relatives.

Kodansha Ltd. in Japan has currently released four volumes of this series in their monthly Bessatsu Shonen Magazine anthology. Meanwhile Crunchyroll has been streaming the Flying Witch anime produced by J.C. Staff.

Vertical will launch this thoughtful and charming comedy in 2017. Stay tuned to the Vertical newsletter for more information and preorder links.


2016 Convention Schedule

Convention season is here! And the Vertical tour is already in full swing! We’ll be criss-crossing the country throughout the summer selling our wares and promoting our brand of Japanese print media.

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:

  • Attack on Titan: Lost Girls (debuts June 2016)
  • Nocturne of Remembrance (debuts July 2016)
  • Immortal Hounds (debuts July 2016)

Titan conflicts and immortal consequences are at the forefront of our mid-year releases. So preorder a copy or two and prepare yourself for more high quality Vertical reads to keep you entertained over your long, warm summer days.

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
Devils’ Line © 2016 Ryo Hanada; To the Abandonded Sacred Beasts © 2016 MAYBE; nichijou © Keiichi Arawi 2007; What Did You Eat Yesterday? © 2016 Fumi Yoshinaga; A Cop’s Eyes © 2012 Gaku Yakumaru; Sushi Chef © 1997 NAITO Shizue; Seraph of the End © 2016 Takaya Kagami; Flying Witch © Chihiro Ishizuka 2012; KIZUMONOGATARI © 2008 NISIOISIN

Harried Husband

What Did You Eat Yesterday?Shiro Kakei is a lawyer by day and thrifty househusband by night. His passion is to cook, and furthermore, to do so with a cost conscious attitude that suits his lifestyle. But Shiro has faces numerous pressures that exhaust him outside of the law firm. His constant concern over his sexuality and how it may be perceived in society weighs on him much more than any case or consultation.

In this fifth volume of What Did You Eat, Shiro’s cover is repeatedly blown. While his decision to stay partially in the closet is something that weighs heavy on him, those pressures are not mutually shared by his friends and acquaintances. First it is the weekend cooking party with his friends that turns into an afternoon with the local tennis club. Then comes the trip to the jewelers with Kenji to get their rings. And then there was that awkward time with his parents. If only work at the law firm wasn’t equally stressful, but ultimately all of this frustration ends up leading him to the kitchen where he can relax.

Nothing can be more relaxing than a good meal and some conversation. And with every new chapter, Fumi Yoshinaga slowly peels back the layers of this unique manga couple. Revealing some insights about Japan’s Gay culture and sharing some hearty Japanese cooking recipes in the process.

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.