Tag Archives: Vertical Comics

Super Powered License Joins Vertical Comics

Tokyo ESPVertical Comics, the comics imprint of Vertical, Inc., announced through their Tumblr that they had acquired a new manga license, Tokyo ESP.  Vertical had the title confirmed since just after New York Comic Con, but retailers were starting to put solicitations out for the first volume, so there was little reason to sit on it any longer.

The story follows Rinka Urushiba, a high school student who works a part-time job to help her father make ends meet. One day she sees a penguin chasing some glowing fish flying through the sky. She is touched by one of the fish and loses conscious. When she wakes up, she has a supernatural power; she can walk through inanimate objects. She is not the only one to gain powers, and she joins up with another high school student, Kyotaro Azuma who can teleport. They take on other powered people who have decided to use their powers for evil. The series is published by Kadokawa Shoten in their magazine Shonen Ace and is currently 11 volumes.

There is an anime adaptation that ran last summer that Crunchyroll streamed and Funimation licensed. This title was also one of the debut titles in Kadokawa Shoten’s Comic Walker app with an English translation. I read the first chapter and thought it had potential, so I’m thrilled Vertical has licensed it. They will be releasing the title as two-volume omnibuses and first volume will be available in the Fall.

What Did You Eat Yesterday? Volume 4-5

Shiro turns down an offer to become a celebrity and Kenji’s culinary adventures are reprised. Accomplished home chef though he may be, Shiro proceeds on the assumption that no two of his curries will ever taste the same in a manga about a gay couple for mature–in the true sense–readers.

What Did You Eat Yesterday? Volume 4-5
What did you eat yesterday 4By Fumi Yoshinaga
Publisher: Vertical Comics
Age Rating: Older Teen
Genre: Cooking/Slice of Life
Price: $12.95
Rating: ★★★★½

What Did You Eat Yesterday? continues to follow the lives and menus of two gay men, Shiro and Kenji. These volumes expand more on their personal lives served up with a staggering menu of dishes such as bean rice, horse mackerel tataki, hamburgers in mushroom sauce and caramel-simmered apples on toast.

Shiro, the cook and penny-pincher of the pair gets pulled into personal problems with his co-workers and friends with the temptation of free food. It seems like a good deal at the start, but there is always a catch, and seeing Shiro’s reaction, usually internal is always funny. But even though he has to listen to his boss complain about her daughter-in-law, or his female friend Kayoko’s husband butt into their daughter’s life. Shiro also gets a nemesis; a checker at his favorite grocery store who always finds a way to own him, but helps him at the same time. I loved that he got one that was so dead-panned and oblivious to Shiro’s dismay.

What Did You Eat Yesterday v5These volumes also brought in more gay couples for Shiro and Kenji to interact with. Tetsu and Yoshi are a couple who don’t live together but have been together for a long time. Yoshi is the owner of several restaurants, so Shiro is put on the spot when he has to cook for them. Through Kayoko, they also meet Daisaku and Wataru, a couple more like them. It was really interesting watching the interactions between the couples. Shiro, who one would think would be more comfortable with other homosexual couples, was just as uptight, and afraid of being out. Going to a jewelry store to get matching rings for them nearly kills Shiro from the stress. But knowing when someone is gay can be useful as it helps Shiro get out of a difficult situation where he was being pressured to appear on TV.

Dealing with family doesn’t improve much though. A glimpse of Kenji’s home life growing up is given as the tells Shiro about his mostly absent father. But Shiro going home for New Years was the best. It was like a ticking time bomb as Shiro and his mother got on too well before it exploded into usual shouting match about Shiro not being proud of his gayness. It was great, with every page turn, just wondering when Shiro’s mother would finally say something. It was so funny when it finally came out.

The food making was in full swing through these volumes, sometimes even playing a part in the story. Shiro really stressed out over what to make for the dinner party with Yoshi and Tetsu. When Shiro and Kenji have a fight, it’s Kenji who gets Shiro to relax again by asking for a specific meal for dinner. And when he has a particularly difficult day at work, he takes it out on dinner, with lots of chopping and a few servings too many being made. While I can still do without the long-winded food commentary, I did enjoy it being pulled into the story more and not feeling so tacked on.

What Did You Eat Yesterday? remains a fun slice of life. Shiro and Kenji continue to deal with problems anyone of any orientation can relate to, while also sharing more insights into gay relationships. This series is relaxing and a real pleasure to read.

Vertical Brings Back Tezuka Titles as e-Books

Black Jack 1Before Digital Manga Publishing scooped up the whole Tezuka catalog, Vertical, Inc. had been cherry picking from the library and pulled out several gems such as Black Jack, Princess Knight, and Dororo. Sadly, Vertical’s licenses for print rights of these books expired, and the books have since gone out of print. But, just this last Friday, the Vertical tumblr announced that the Comics imprint had gotten the e-Book rights to their entire catalog. This is really good news, as so many of these titles are not just classics, but great books that have something meaningful to say. I haven’t had the pleasure of reading all of them, but the majority that I have read have been exciting, disturbing and fun. And with the future of the Digital Manga Publishing Tezuka World kickstarter in doubt, it’s good news to hear we will not lose the Tezuka titles already printed for good.

The titles in the Vertical Comics catalog that are going to e-Book are:

The titles will be appearing on the usual platforms Kindle, iBooks, and Nook, and should start showing up in December. They will be starting with the OOP books Apollo’s Song and Black Jack, and books will be going up at a rate of 2-3 volumes every 2-3 weeks.

Tonari no Seki-kun 1Tacked onto this announcement was also the word that their new series, My Neighbor Seki would be a simultaneous print and digital release. I keep hearing good things about Seki, so I’m really looking forward to its release in January 2015.

 

This Week’s Manga: Arpeggio of Witchcraft

This Week's MangaIt’s another slow manga release this week. While Kodansha and Viz Media do have titles coming out, only Veritical and Seven Seas Entertainment has anything I’m actually interested in.

Arpeggio 2 Seven Seas continues to be a hit or miss publisher with me. Their licenses lately have tended to rely too much on the male gaze fan service, but it’s hard to fault them that since those are the titles that make it onto the New York Times Bestseller List. Hopefully, the more skeevy titles will continue to fund manga like Arpeggio of Blue Steel. Volume 2 comes out this week, and I’m still looking forward to it even through volume 1 is still sitting in my Amazon shopping cart.

Witchcraft Works 1Witchcraft Works is the first manga to come out under the Vertical Comics imprint, which was just announced at New York Comic Con earlier this month. It’s a romantic comedy, but I still am interested in checking out volume 1. Vertical has steered me wrong yet, so I’ll trust if they say it’s good and funny. An anime of the manga has already been streamed by Crunchyroll earlier this year, so it’s got a built-in audience, and it seems to be selling since it’s already a bestseller on Amazon on the Romance Manga top ten. No easy feat I’m sure.

The the full list per Diamond Distribution:

KODANSHA COMICS
Animal Land Volume 10 GN, $10.99
No. 6 Volume 9 GN, $10.99
Sankarea Volume 9 GN, $10.99

SEVEN SEAS ENTERTAINMENT
Alice In The Country Of Diamonds Bet On My Heart Volume 1 GN, $13.99
Arpeggio Of Blue Steel Volume 2 GN, $12.99
Dance In The Vampire Bund Secret Chronicles Volume 1 GN, $14.99
Haganai I Don’t Have Many Friends Volume 9 GN, $12.99
No Game No Life Volume 1 GN, $12.99

VERTICAL
Witch Craft Works Volume 1 GN, $12.95

VIZ MEDIA
Black Bird Complete Box Set, $149.99
Monster The Perfect Edition Volume 2 GN, $19.99
Princess Mononoke The First Story HC, $34.99
Sunny Volume 4 HC, $22.99
Vagabond Volume 36 GN, $9.95

Vertical At NYCC

At New York Comic Con which occurred recently, Vertical, Inc. announced some new licenses, as well as a new imprint. Continuing with the roots of the company they announced two light novels, based on the wildly popular Attack on Titan property; Attack on Titan Before the Fall: Kyklo Arc and Attack on Titan: Harsh Mistress of the City.

AoT Before the Fall LN 2Attack on Titan Before the Fall: Kyklo Arc makes up the last two light novels of the Before the Fall series. Vertical has already published the first novel, which follows talented smith Angel Aaltonen as he develops the maneuvering gear for the Survey Corps. The new license is for story that follows Kyklo, the “son of a Titan.” This second part takes place at around the same time as the first volume and follows Kyklo, a boy who was in the womb when his mother eaten by a Titan and survived, and became dubbed “Son of a Titan.” Kodansha Comics is releasing the manga based on the novel. Vertical will release the Kyklo Arc as one 2-in-1 omnibus. It will be available next summer. I’m currently reading the first volume and have liked it so far. Even with Kodansha releasing the manga, I may still read the light novels of Kyklo.

AOT Harsh MistressAttack on Titan: Harsh Mistress of the City takes place just after the beginning of the Attack on Titan manga. After Wall Maria was breached, Titans began streaming in, reaching even far off Quinta District. The story follows Mathias and his allies and Rita, a soldier in the brigade of occupying troops. Rita wants to protect the town which has fallen into chaos with the appearance of the Titans, but due to forceful tactics used by the brigade, the town becomes afraid. Mathias must use whatever he can to meet up with Rita, including the “helping hands” of a band of thieves. This single volume will be available in the Fall of next year. This time period in Attack on Titan has not been explored much, so it will be interesting to see what happened to some of the areas affected by the fall of Wall Maria.

Vertical Comics logoWhile not announced at NYCC, Publisher’s Weekly made the exclusive announcement during the con that Vertical was creating a new imprint for the company. Vertical Comics will be the place for all Vertical manga and anime-related titles. With this new imprint, Vertical will be expanding its manga offerings to 20 volumes this year, including 7 new properties. Eventually, the line will expand to 30-40 titles a year. Vertical decided to start this imprint to keep the manga separate from their core business of publishing Japanese prose novels. I think this is a great move by  Vertical, especially the expansion. They always pick up unusual and gripping titles that many other publishers won’t touch. While I’m not always comfortable reading some of their titles, I’ve never regretted reading one.