Vertical NYCC News: New Tezuka and Anno Manga, Makoto Shinkai Adaptation

Moyoco Anno's Sakuran will be released by Vertical

Vertical, Inc., announced three new additions to its growing list of interesting, often literary, manga at New York Comic Con this past weekend: Osamu Tezuka's Message to Adolf, Moyoco Anno's Sakuran, and a manga adaptation of Makoto Shinkai's anime 5 Centimeters Per Second.

Message to Adolf (Adolf ni Tsugu) was previously published by Viz under the title Adolf: A Tale of the Twentieth Century. The story is a murder mystery set in 1936, the year of the Berlin Olympics, that involves three young men named Adolf, one of whom is the infamous Adolf Hitler.

Moyoco Anno is the creator of Sugar Sugar Rune, Happy Mania, and Flowers and Bees. Sakuran, which will be released as a single, 306-page volume, is the story of a beautiful oiran (a type of courtesan that predated the geisha) during the Edo period. Vertical marketing director Ed Chavez said that many people call Sakuran, which was made into a movie in 2007, Anno's strongest work; an Anno fan from way back, he is so fond of this book that he has scheduled it to be released on his birthday.

A wistful story about lost love and missed connections, 5 Centimeters per Second is illustrated by Yukiko Seike and ran in Kodansha's Afternoon magazine. "This might not seem like the traditional Vertical title, but as soon as we passed this around the office something stirred within us," Chavez said. The manga will be released in June as a single 460-page volume with all color pages intact.

Chavez also discussed Vertical's upcoming releases, including the wine manga Drops of God, which premiered at the con, and GTO: 14 Days in Shonan, the sequel to GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka, which was published by Tokyopop. "We will keep the color plates in there and stay very close to the Japanese," Chavez said. "We are keeping a lot of little nuances, retouching the signage so you can get yourself immersed in this world of bikers and crazy high school teens." Also on the schedule is the prequel to GTO, titled GTO: The Early Years; Tokyopop published the first 10 volumes, and Vertical will publish the last five.

Volume 16 of Tezuka's Black Jack, which was just released, includes a 70-page bonus chapter, Chavez said. Volume 17 will be the last in the series, and it will include a full chronological index of all the Black Jack stories.

Chi's Sweet Home is one of Vertical's hit titles

Chavez appeared at the podium with a plush of Chi, the feline star of Kanata Konami's Chi's Sweet Home, one of Vertical's best-selling manga. "This series created such a stir for us and it gave us a lot of confidence coming into this expansion period for us," he said. "This past week we sold around 8,000 copies, so it's not slowing down anytime soon."

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