Tis the Season for Vertical

As we move into the final month of the year, Vertical continues to progress as if there will be no tomorrow. By bringing the best in contemporary Japanese prose and comics we’ll also be filling stockings and hearts up with glee and wonder.

Every December is generally been an exceptional month for Vertical. This year, however, Vertical and Vertical Comics plan to trump previous efforts by bringing forth some of the biggest names in the industry within a few weeks’ span.

Fiction, nonfiction, manga…all from some of the biggest names in Japan are in store and we are more than certain they’ll be part of our readers’ holiday season this year.


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6 Books for Reading…

New Releases

MONOGATARI, Mobile Suit Gundam, and Ninja Slayer roll out to the North American J-Pop market with massive releases following success in Japan and across Asia.

This is it, Char and Amuro for one final showdown amongst the stars. The final volume of The ORIGIN wraps up this critically acclaimed series and then provides a glimpse into the universe after what transpires in the One-Year War.

In volume 2 of Ninja Slayer readers are treated to two more ninja tales. In “Killzone Sumo Wrestler” high-powered salaryman kill time and get their rage on by hunting down genetically engineered freaks in an abandoned mega-mall. Unfortunately for them as their kills pile up they would cross into ninja occupied territory. And in “Last Girl Standing” a She-Ninja is finally revealed. Yamoto’s abilities were latent until the day she was pushed to the brink of death…by another soon to be high school ninja.

In the second omnibus collection of Tokyo ESP a psychic hippo is on the loose! Thankfully, Rinka and her team have been training lately. And that includes Peggy, their trusty flying fish eating penguin. So if psychics and mutants running amok in Tokyo wasn’t enough, now it is like a super-powered zoo is on the loose as well!

The eighth volume of Witchcraft Works begins to reveal the origins of Ayaka and Honoka’s long lasting relationship. A few flashbacks reveal secrets that were deeply suppressed inside the magical pair. And once again, there is more little sister trouble. So moe…

After a short delay, NISIOISIN’s KIZUMONOGATARI is finally shipping. The beloved franchise is finally making its print debut in English with a brand new cover treatment by MONOGATARI illustrator VOFAN. Already shaping up to be a J-prose sleeper hit, KIZU will likely be the most demanded stocking stuffer for J-Pop fans this winter.

Finally, on a slightly more somber note, we will also be releasing a new paperback edition of A Slow Death. This non-fiction recollection of the horrors of radiation poisoning has become increasingly poignant in the aftermath of the Tohoku Tsunami and Fukushima Daiichi Incident.


 

One Last Look at THE ORIGIN

A few years ago everyone, and we do mean everyone, thought Mobile Suit Gundam in English would be a pipe-dream. No one thought it was a good idea.

Now three years later, here we are about to release the twelfth and final volume of this best selling series. Penned by the legendary Yas, The ORIGIN is not only a retelling of the original First Gundam story from 1979, but as readers would come to find out the series ends up building on that series by digging deep and expanding the role of Zeon in this story.

Presented in hardcovers, similar to the Japanese Collectors’ Edition released by Kadokawa, The ORIGIN almost instantly became must buys in the West. Readers praised the deluxe presentation and showcased their collections in numerous reviews and photographs since the first volume dropped in the Spring of 2013.

In the final volume of The ORIGIN we send off this modern classic with a number of extras including an interview between Makoto Shinkai and Yas, and a final afterword from the author himself. Easily a worthy farewell for a title that completely changed the landscape for manga in North America.

And what about the Gundam property after this… Stay tuned to this newsletter for details. In the meantime…

Thank you, Yas for all your hard work! It was an honor to join you in this endeavor.


Digital Stocking Stuffers

Earlier this month Vertical Comics + Kodansha Advanced Media announced new digital editions of a number of Vertical Comics titles, constituting 24 previously digitally uncollected volumes, to be distributed through comiXology, iBooks,Kindle, Kobo, and nook.

Vertical Comics, working in conjunction with Kodansha Advanced Media (KAM), will see more digital releases this holiday season. Previously digitally uncollected series Ajin: Demi-Human, The Flowers of Evil, and Witchcraft Works made their digital book debuts on December 8.

In addition, Chi’s Sweet Home, Knights of Sidonia, and The Drops of God, currently already available at major digital bookstores, will also see release for the first time on the comiXology platform. All 6 series, up to the current print volume, constituting over 50 volumes of material, are on sale on comiXology, iBooks, Kindle, Kobo, and nook. So rejoice this winter as readers now have even more choices for their eBook needs, while Vertical and KAM further expand their digital catalogs.


Future Releases:

As you can see there is a number of new properties from an equally diverse range of genres and styles. From josei romance to light novels and thrilling Japanese prose to surreal Japanese gag manga, Vertical has treasures for almost every reader’s tree.

So as we close out the year, why not consider a Vertical book (or two) to gift a loved one, or yourself, this holiday season. We’re certain they’ll leave you jolly, healthy and wise.

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
Witchcraft Works © 2015 Ryu Mizunagi; A SLOW DEATH © 2015 NHK; Ninja Slayer © 2012 Ninj@ Entertainment; Mobile Suit Gundam: The ORIGIN © Yoshikazu Yasuhiko 2012, Sotsu – Sunrise; KIZUMONOGATARI © 2008 NISIOISIN; Tokyo ESP © Hajime SEGAWA 2011

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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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 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!

California Calling

Mobile Suit Gundam the Origin vol. 2While most of the pop culture world heads towards Southern California for either Anime Expo or San Diego Comic Con this month, the crew of the White Base, as seen in Yoshikazu Yasuhiko’s Mobile Suit Gundam: The ORIGIN are heading towards Los Angeles for far more serious reasons.

Now there is no doubt that popular culture is serious business. This is especially true when The New York Times has ranked The ORIGIN part 2 as the best selling manga in America (week of July 5th). However, in the world of the Universal Century, there are hundreds if not thousands of lives at stake if Amuro, Sayla and Bright cannot make their debut in LA. The rush is on! The White Base is on tour to Jaburo but standing in there way is Garma and his Zeon troops. Like how anime cosplayers clash with Bronies, the results will be pure chaos…entertaining, if not shocking.

So if you haven’t experienced The ORIGIN yet, now is the time before this series like con season heads into the sunset.

It’s a… Best Seller!!

In case you are a rare Vertical fan who does not read manga, you might not be aware that our latest release, Yoshikazu Yasuhiko’s Gundam the ORIGIN, has hit the New York Times Manga Best Seller list for the second week in a row. This re-telling of the very first Mobile Suit Gundam animated series by the story’s original art director has captured the attention of fans across the globe nearly 35 years after the cartoon debuted in Japan. While not a frame by frame adaptation, YAS (as the author is known affectionately by fans) has retooled this sci-fi classic to craft what may be the definitive first Gundam tale.

To match the quality of the content, Vertical has gone beyond the call of duty to make this release a unique reader experience. Each 400-plus page sturdy hardcover release is packed with dozens of color pages on rich thick glossy paper. Every book also features extra materials, such as essays, comics and portraits, from famous Gundam fans. The materials from luminaries such as Hideaki Anno (Evengelion), CLAMP (Cardcaptor Sakura), and Shimoku Kio (Genshiken) detail each of these artists relationship with the Gundam franchise allowing readers to share the experience with their idols in a way rarely seen in manga.

But if you are on the fence or new to the world of Gundam, we ask you go check out a short preview at BN.com and consider these reviews:

“[Gundam] contains such a rich vein of character, drama and imaginative concepts that its influence is still felt over thirty years later. For this reason alone, it deserves both your time and your respect. Oh, and it looks awesome on your shelf.” —Anime U.K.

“This is without a doubt one of the nicest manga volumes I’ve owned, since Vertical chose to print this in an oversized hardcover format with glossy paper. A must buy for any past and present Gundam fans, and if you haven’t encountered the franchise before, I’m betting this manga will win you over.” —Manga Report

“The main reason to get the Gundam manga is probably the same reason the original anime became so legendary; you can’t stop wondering what happens next. These people and their struggle to survive are amazingly compelling, and everything about this manga adaptation—the plot, the artwork, the characterization—makes it justify its existence. I am very happy to see it coming out here, and can’t wait for more.” —A Case Suitable for Treatment