The Thinking Fans Manga Publisher of Choice: Vertical Inc.

Posted by Linda Yau on Mar 14, 2011 in Comic Books |

Vertical Inc. logo

Given the stress on the market, it’s been hard times for the manga publishing industry here in the States. Firstly you now have am established discerning generation of fans who want the latest; secondly you have more competition than ever to grab the best licenses from Japan; and lastly many chain stores which use to be booming are now closing their doors. Yet one publisher has met all of these challenges the old fashioned way — by focusing on quality, quality and oh yes quality. It’s for the reason that Vertical, Inc. while many other publishers have faded from the scene. If you’re new to manga (or want to introduce a friend) here is a selection of our favorites from Vertical:

Black Jack: As an unlicensed yet brilliant doctor, Black Jack treats patients indiscriminately but charges extortionate medical fees. Vertical translation deals with a non-linear format of stories after stories of Black Jack’s saving the dying, and the important lessons can be learned. Black Jack is a symbol of Osamu Tezuka’s lasting legacy, he is quite popular and made cameo appearance in other Tezuka stories.


Buddha: I mentioned that there was to be a three-part animated movie coming in the spring, this is the original manga version by Osamu Tezuka. This manga adapts the complete origins of Buddha, and how he reached enlightenment The image above, is the hardcover edition, that shows the path of Buddha’s maturing.


Chi’s Sweet Home: The adventures of a cute kitten with her human family and animal friends, became a New York Times best selling hit for Vertical. How many adventures can Chi get into? What challenges or amusements does Chi face in growing up? This is an all age friendly story, with just scenes of kitty behavior that melts me. has been streaming a portion of the animated series, not the first season, but the second one. Take a look at the image abouve, and know that this is a great pet friendly and feline lover series.

ode to kirihito

Ode to Kirihito: This is the third Tezuka title I have mentioned on this list. Osamu Tezuka is referred as the Godfather of Manga. He has written many unforgettable stories, and it has been Vertical’s strong dedication, that many of Tezuka’s works have been translated into English. Ode to Kirihito is a short two volume story filled with the horrors of how humans would treat other humans, on the sake of their selfishness and ignorance. Now most Tezuka products published by Vertical has been in two format, a hardcover edition or a paperback version. The size and weight of Vertical Tezuka books is daunting, but there is a gem in the stories that is told. In the image above, this is Vertical’s covers of how Ode to Kirihito is split into two editions. In the Japanese edition, the entire manga was complied into a single edition, with a cover to show off both sides of the face.

Peepo Choo: An outspoken title released by Vertical, on the generalizations, and stereotypes between different cultures. In this case it was a black American visiting Japan for the first time. This was created by Felipe Smith, an American tapped specifically to work in Japan. So what can maybe seen as an Original English language graphic novel makes the hurdle in being introduced to Japanese readers first.

Twin Spica: A story of discovery and realization of dreams and hopes. Asumi looks to the stars with an ambition to be on the first Japanese manned space mission. Of the unexplored frontiers that is still left for humans to discover, the outer space is out there waiting, other than the ocean it among the outer space. Mankind is still seeking, and reading Twin Spica offers a different yet similar perspective in other Vertical Inc. publications.

Linda Yau is a fan of Japanese culture, and various anime/manga titles. She is a freelance writer and editor under her own name or animemiz. Her main blog is here and she can be contacted by Twitter.

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