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News > Licensing

NYAF 2011: Vertical Inc

Vertical Inc and a logo edit of mine that completely defeats the point of the original!

The second big manga panel of NYCC/NYAF was Vertical Inc‘s which happened Friday night. It was one of the most anticipated manga related events as the company’s marketing director, Ed Chavez, paved the way to it with teasing hints about new titles they’d be revealing. The panel was run by Ed and the company’s editorial director, Yani Mentzas. Their signature Chi plushie was also present, always offering the audience a well worn smile.

A powerpoint presentation was used for the panel to showcase Vertical’s current and upcoming volumes. Ed noted he’d made the same presentation multiple times this convention season so he’d be going through them pretty quick. While that may have been the case, he still had something interesting to add about almost every one. There’s a lot of info here so I’m going to stick with a more list-style format for this panel write-up.

Oct 15 Note: A few cover images will be added to this post after the con ends so check back if curious!

Book of Human Insects – Osamu Tezuka
Release Date: October 2011

– was a New York Times’ bestseller, despite some distribution issues. Ed noted he considers it “Tezuka at his best.”

Black Jack (Vol. 16) – Osamu Tezuka
Release Date: October 2011

– the penultimate book in the series, only one left! The last chapter in this volume is around 70 pages long, over triple the usual chapter page count.

Drops of God (Vol. 01)
Release Date: October 2011

– this first volume has been a big hit at the NY show so far and Ed Chavez gave a shout out to Deb Aoki for her strong promotion of the title. Currently the series is only licensed for a certain number of volumes but that could change depending on sales. The series will also be getting its own website in the near future.

Chi’s Sweet Home (Vol. 07)
Release Date: October 2011

– the series is “still going strong” and sold around 8000 copies this week alone! Ed reminded the audience about the Chi’s Sweet Home website which has volume info, anime clips and extras for fans.

No Longer Human (Vol. 01)
Release Date: October 2011

– noted as Vertical’s most important title this season – “these are not topics that you usually see in manga.”

Princess Knight (Vol. 01) – Osamu Tezuka
Release Date: November 2011

– Ed says he believes Princess Knight‘s Sapphire is one of Tezuka’s strongest female characters and the series has been very successful selling at NYCC. The series has the same translator as Buddha and 7 Billion Needles and utilizes the Nakayoshi editions. Some page previews will be made available online to coincide with the release date.

Black Jack (Vol. 17) – Osamu Tezuka
Release Date: November 2011

– The last volume of the series (nooooo!). The cover is a vibrant rainbow and will have a die-cut center where you can see Black Jack’s face through a hole. Inside the book will be a chronological list of all the Black Jack stories published in Vertical’s editions so readers can re-read the chapters in order of creation, should they wish.

Princess Knight (Vol. 02) – Osamu Tezuka
Release Date: December 2011

– part two of the series, ending it at two volumes. Each book is only $14.99 meaning you can get the entire series for only $30 (perfect Christmas present!)

No Longer Human (Vol. 03)
Release Date: December 2011

– Ed notes that the series was specifically drawn to be released in the left-to-right format so it was not flipped by Vertical. This was originally done for its publication in French.

Twin Spica (Vol. 11)
Release Date: December 2011

– this volume will be larger than the previous, now up to 400+ pages a volume to end the series sooner. The book’s price will raise because of this to $12.95/US

GTO: 14 Days in Shonan (Vol. 01)
Release Date: January 2012

– this first volume of the series will be released at $10.95 with 200 pages including some in full colour. There will be a new book every other month totalling nine altogether.

Drops of God (Vol. 02)
Release Date: January 2012

No Longer Human (Vol. 03)
Release Date: February 2012

– this is the last volume of the series. Ed says that the final chapter is “amazing” and will really blow people away.

GTO: The Early Years (Vol. 11)
Release Date: February 2012

– continuing where the Tokyopop edition left off, hence the first volume being eleven. These volumes will be $12.95 and 360 pages. Ed assures it’s “levels better than Tokyopop’s version” and will have consistency with names and translation choices with GTO: 14 Days in Shonan.

Chi’s Sweet Home (Vol. 08)
Release Date: February 2012

– at this point Vertical’s release will have matched up with Japan’s so future volumes will have longer waits between them.

Twin Spica (Vol. 12)
Release Date: March 2012

– the last volume in the series (so sad to see yet another amazing Vertical title come to an end!)

Dororo – Osamu Tezuka
Release Date: March 2012

– an omnibus all-in-one re-release of Tezuka’s three volume series. 900 pages for only $24.95!

GTO: 14 Days in Shonan (Vol. 02)
Release Date: March 2012

Drops of God (Vol. 03)
Release Date: April 2012

GTO: The Early Years (Vol. 12)
Release Date: April 2012

Flowers of Evil (Vol. 01)
Release Date: May 2012

– this first volume will be 200 pages for $10.95. It’s rated 13+. Ed says they licensed it because everyone in the Vertical Inc. office “immediately fell in love with the cast.”

GTO: 14 Days in Shonan (Vol. 03)
Release Date: May 2012

GTO: The Early Years (Vol. 13)
Release Date: June 2012

Flowers of Evil (Vol. 02)
Release Date: July 2012

Drops of God (Vol. 04)
Release Date: July 2012

– could potentially be the end of the series in English, depending on sales up to this point

GTO: 14 Days of Shonan (Vol. 04)
Release Date: August 2012

GTO: The Early Years (Vol. 14)
Release Date: August 2012

Chi’s Sweet Home (Vol. 09)
Release Date: August 2012

– this volume has not yet been released in Japan. Depending on how timing works out, Vertical would like to get it out as early as June 2012, if possible. The series has now moved to being published single chapters bi-weekly in Japan instead of weekly.

So there you have the titles out from Vertical Inc. up until August of next year. When seeing them in a list like this, it becomes clear just how many manga books Vertical puts out – more than I would’ve thought, even though I buy them all! That wasn’t all though and next Ed moved onto the new licenses:

5 Centimetres Per Second
Release Date: June 2012

– this new series will be released in one volume. The 460 page book will cost $18.95/US and include colour pages (13+). The anime film was released in English by Bandai Entertainment and the movie’s director, Makoto Shinkai, was a guest at this year’s NYCC.

” Witness the story of Takaki, a young man on a journey from Tokyo to reunite with his childhood best friend, Akari. Feel his emotions… …as he travels by train to see her. Join Takaki on a voyage into three interconnected tales of love and lost innocence that span the minutes and months of their lives. 5 Centimeters Per Second, the speed at which cherry blossoms fall from the trees, reminiscent of the pace of life as our lives intermingle.” – Bandai Entertainment

Sakuran – Moyocco Anno
Release Date: July 2012

– this josei title will be released in one volume with 306 pages. It’s rated 16+. Currently the book is priced at $14.95 but this may change with the possibility of a hardcopy release and because the book itself contains so many colour pages. It was asked if the book would have the foil cover that the original had and both Ed and Yani said no, citing that it’d be a choice financially between a foil cover and colour pages – of which colour pages inside easily win! Fun fact: Ed Chavez scheduled this book specifically to come out on his birthday.

“A young kamuro (maid in a brothel) is sold into the red-light district Yoshiwara, and is put under the care of the current oiran, who names her Tomeki. The girl is very rebellious and does not cry when punished, is bad-mouthed and bad-mannered, and talks back and even hits the other kamuros. It is because of this that the more experienced people in the household begin to think that she will be one day a great oiran, since to be an oiran one needs not only beauty and talent, but she should also have the tenacity to maintain the position.” – AnimeNewsNetwork

A Message to Adolf (Vol. 01) – Osamu Tezuka
Release Date: August 2012

– a re-release of the series originally published by Viz Media. This edition will be released as two books with an entirely new translation. Each volume will be approximately 600 pages and cost $26.95. They’ll also be hardcover books. It apparently took a lot of negotiations with Tezuka Productions to get permissions for the new English release.

“This is a story about three Adolfs. Sohei Toge, a Japanese reporter for 1936 Berlin Olympics was surprised that his younger brother, an international student in Germany, was mysteriously murdered right after informing him about an important document. To add more confusion to his sadness, all information regarding his younger brother as a student in Germany have been erased systematically, as if he never existed. Meanwhile in Japan, a half-German, half-Japanese boy named Adolf Kauffmann and his best friend, a Jewish-German boy named Adolf Kamil, were accidentally involved in this incident. Their lives and fates are now inevitably interwoven around the biggest secret of the third Adolf — Adolf Hitler.” – AnimeNewsNetwork

A Message to Adolf (Vol. 02) – Osamu Tezuka
Release Date: November 2012

Some great new titles here! New (old?) Tezuka, some josei which sounds really neat and the manga version of a popular (and I hear very beautiful) anime feature film. From here the panel moved into Q&A territory.

When asked about the extra long chapter in the new volume of Black Jack, Ed confirmed that the story was written originally after the series was completed. He notes that Vertical’s edition is one of the most complete ever published of the stories. Five stories are ‘missing’ from their publication run but because they’re not allowed to be printed. They also have hopes to release a special edition Black Jack book to celebrate it’s completion. This book could have some other missing Black Jack chapters along with title page illustrations that weren’t in the volume versions. There could be some room for articles pertaining to Black Jack. Ed suggested those interested contact him about it (whether entirely serious or not I’m not sure, but if you can write a book-perfect essay on the doctor, then doesn’t hurt to drop Ed a line!).

Chi’s Sweet Home seems like it’s getting ready to come to an end in Japan. It was said though that the popularity of it here could potentially keep it going a bit longer. When asked if they had financial concerns after Chi ends, Ed says Vertical has high hopes for GTO and thinks Adolf will be a big seller. 5 Centimetres A Second also has a pre-existing fanbase he believes will support the title.

As it fairly customary at convention panels, an audience member asked if Vertical was looking into any Tokyopop license rescues. Ed Chavz said yes, and that every publisher has. He admits he was surprised at the speed in which Yen Press was able to get Alice in the Country of Hearts. He added that they are looking at titles by previously Tokyopop published creators.

Is Vertical planning to go digital? Ed Chavez says very likely but it’s in its ‘infancy phase’. “If we’re still here next year, we’ll have an answer for you!”.

With the panel coming to an end, Ed also stated that Vertical’s future manga licenses will be very different than what’s likely expected from them but that some will really change perspectives on the manga market. Makes me curious!

And that was the Vertical panel this year – lots of great titles all around!

About the Author:

Lissa Pattillo is the owner and editor of Kuriousity.ca. Residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia she takes great joy in collecting all manners of manga genres, regretting that there's never enough time in the day to review or share them all. Along with reviews, Lissa is responsible for all the news postings to the website and works full time as a web and graphic designer.



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4 Responses

  1. […] Vertical Adds A Message To Adolf, Sakuran, Shinkai’s 5CM Per Second Manga (Source: Kuriosity) […]

  2. […] Vertical Adds A Message To Adolf, Sakuran, Shinkai’s 5CM Per Second Manga (Source: Kuriosity) […]

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