The ultimate writer-artist manga team-up is finally here—with Vertical’s highly anticipated release of the BAKEMONOGATARI manga by Japan’s #1 literary phenom NISIOISIN and manga giant Oh!great!
Volume 1 goes on sale October 1 and represents a unique collaboration by the legendary novelist of the MONOGATARIseries and the lauded artist of Air Gear and Tenjo Tenge.
One of the most exciting young novelists in Japan today, NISIOISIN is best known in the West for his literary adaptation of the Death Note manga and his bestselling MONOGATARI novels, the latter all published by Vertical. MONOGATARI is a uniquely imagined serial blend of noir and fantasy that has gone on to pop-culture prominence in the form of hit anime series, video games, merchandise, and now … manga. Oh!great, of course, is a longtime manga legend, famed for his incredibly polished style.
The BAKEMONOGATARI manga represents a unique collaboration between these giants in their fields. It opens with the story of high school student Koyomi Araragi, who catches a girl named Hitagi Senjougahara as she falls, but—much to his surprise—she doesn’t weigh anything … at all. Koyomi is about to learn the truth that monsters have been here since the beginning. Always. Everywhere.
Read the entire 75+ page Chapter 1 right here!
About NISIOISIN Born in 1981, NISIOISIN dropped out of Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, to pursue a career in storytelling. Initially he had ambitions to be a comic artist, but he began to focus on his writing, eventually winning the 23rd Mephisto Prize for Kubikiri Cycle (Del Rey), recognizing his talents as a mystery writer, at the age of 20. Since his debut in 2002, NISIOISIN has penned more than fifty novels and a number of comics. And he has quickly become one of Japan’s top selling authors in recent memory with more than 5 million units sold since 2009. Many of his works have been adapted into animated television series and films. His best known works are the MONOGATARI series and KATANAGATARI
About Oh!great Oh!great is most notable for his manga series Tenjo Tenge and Air Gear. He has worked on other projects such as Biorg Trinity and character designs in video games such as Tekken 5, Tekken 6, and Soul Calibur IV.
As summer goes … so goes the Summer 2019 anime season… but don’t be sad! Even though the anime season might have ended … remember the story starts—and continues—in the manga!
That’s why this week—no matter which anime based on a Kodansha Comics series you were watching this summer—we’re putting the digital editions of all those manga that became anime up to 50% off (helps you to binge read) during this week’s Summer 2019 Anime Season Sale! The digital volumes of the following series are discounted at our digital retail partners: BookWalker, comiXology, Google Play, Kindle, MyAnimeList, and nook! (Sale ends September 30.)
2019 Anime Season Finale Sale — Click on the covers to read free full Chapter 1s —
Fire Force A new action fantasy set in a steampunk Tokyo from the creator of the smash-hit Soul Eater! The city of Tokyo is plagued by a deadly phenomenon: spontaneous human combustion! Luckily, a special team is there to quench the inferno: The Fire Force! The fire soldiers at Special Fire Cathedral 8 are about to get a unique addition. Enter Shinra, a boy who possesses the power to run at the speed of a rocket, leaving behind the famous “devil’s footprints” (and destroying his shoes in the process). Can Shinra and his colleagues discover the source of this strange epidemic before the city burns to ashes?
O Maidens in Your Savage Season This debut manga from anime legend Mari Okada (Maquia) follows five girls and their five moving, funny, and mortifying answers about … sex! Join their bittersweet (and a little spicy) journey from girlhood to … whatever comes next … Amid an explosion of graphic novels about girls’ teenage years, O Maidens brings a diverse, fresh, and hilarious perspective on how it feels to leave childhood behind.
Vinland Saga As a child, Thorfinn sat at the feet of the great Leif Ericson and thrilled to wild tales of a land far to the west. But his youthful fantasies were shattered by a mercenary raid. Raised by the Vikings who murdered his family, Thorfinn became a terrifying warrior, forever seeking to kill the band’s leader, Askeladd, and avenge his father. Sustaining Throfinn through his ordeal are his pride in his family and his dreams of a fertile westward land, a land without war or slavery … the land Leif called Vinland.
To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts During a protacted civil war that pitted the North against the South, the outnumbered Northerners used dark magic to create monstrous super-soldiers called Incarnates. Now that the war has ended, those Sacred Beasts must learn to make their way in a peaceful society, or face death at the hands of a Beast Hunter. Nancy Schaal Bancroft, the daughter of an Incarnate, turns to hunting the hunter herself. But once she catches up with her quarry, she discovers hard truths about the lives of these Sacred Beasts.
Yeah, maybe it wasn’t your strongest subject in school, but history in manga form is way more fun than in a textbook! Now that the summer is in the past (hah) grab some hot cider, curl up in your favorite reading nook, and enjoy this curated selection of historical manga titles, each up to 50% off!
This week 10+ of our historical manga series are now up to 50% off on digital at our digital retail partners: BookWalker, comiXology, Google Play, Kindle, MyAnimeList, and nook. Sale ends September 23!
Speaking of history … We’ve all got our romantic histories. Highs and lows, crushes, unrequited love … So what’s highschooler Uta to do when her first crush and childhood friend becomes her sister-in-law? Get the debut volume of the heart-wrenching yuri manga If I Could Reach You out September 17—TODAY!
Click on the cover and read Chapter 1 FREE!
~ Historical Manga Sale ~
September 17-24 Click on the cover or links to read Chapter 1s for FREE!
… and for those of you who prefer your manga in print: From now until September 22, our friends at Indigo are hosting a historically great sale at their online store … all physical Kodansha Comics titles 40% off!
Sad summer’s over? Ready for school … ? You’re in good company! This week’s BIG digital sale features all kinds of your fellow students in every imaginable school setting! We’re not even sure how some of these characters have time to study! So tell your sensei and grab your senpai, cuz this massive list of academia-related titles is up to 50% off!
Whew, have we got a lot of manga set in school … That’s right, this week90+ of our school-themed series are now up to 50% off at our digital retail partners:BookWalker, comiXology, Google Play, Kindle, MyAnimeList, and nook. Sale ends on September 16.
And to help celebrate our school-manga theme, here’s our digital-first debut of the week! What more embarrassment can you face after you accidentally confess your love to your crush? Learn more in our new digital-first title Queen Bee, which debuts September 10—TODAY!
Click on the cover and read Chapter 1 FREE!
And here’s the complete lineup!
~ The BIG Back-To-School Manga Sale ~ September 10-16 Click on the link to read Chapter 1 for FREE!
What’s goin’ on here?! Happy starring in his own series at last? Lucy now a … policewoman?! Those industrious erythroblasts in your body … slacking off? And the Squad Leader of the Killer T Cells looking for a personality makeover?!
Not a dream! Not an alternate reality (well, maybe)! With the recent debuts of Fairy Tail: 100 Years Questand Cells at Work! Code Black, just last week, it does seem like there’s no better time to dive yet even deeper into some of your favorite fantasy-manga series! That’s right, for our digital-first debuts in September/October we’ve got a new Fairy Tailor Cells at Workspinoff series debuting EVERY WEEK starting September 17! Here’s the lineup!
Fairy Tail: Happy’s Heroic Adventure By Hiro Mashima and Kenshiro Sakamoto Happy of Fairy Tail was summoned to another world and became a hero! And its inhabitants aren’t human … They’re animals, with ears and tails to match! Guided by a mysterious talking heart, Happy soars through the skies of this new world, helping the friends he’s making along the way, like a cute bunny, an alluring fox, and even a dog that scares him! What is this place? And will Happy ever make it back home to Natsu and the rest of Fairy Tail?! A new adventure begins through uncharted territory, with Happy as the star and artwork by Kenshiro Sakamoto, creator of Pitch-Black Ten! On sale September 17! Click on the cover to read Chapter 1 free!
Fairy Tail: City Heroby Hiro Mashima and Ushio Ando A spinoff from the Fairy Tail universe—with Lucy now on assignment as a police officer—and lots of your old friends appearing in an unexpected new setting! Starts September 24!
Cells NOT at Work! By Moe Sugimoto Here comes a new Cells at Work! spinoff series—with laughs galore! Erythroblasts are cells raised by a Macrophage in order to become promising Red Blood Cells, but that doesn’t seem to be really the case here with these erythroblasts, who are on an indefinite moratorium—with no reason to work! Starts October 1!
Cells at Work and Friends!By Kanna Kurono and Mio Izumi The smash-hit anthropomorphic cell fantasy’s latest spinoff features a fearsome Killer T Cell as its protagonist! Killer T Cells are the assassins who destroy virus-infected cells and other foreign contaminants to keep things peaceful inside the body. The Squad Leader of the Killer T Cells is feared by all … but he wants to change his public persona! He wants friends! But he can’t just say so! Solo karaoke, hot pot parties, and smartphones … Cells using modern gadgets in their daily lives unexpectedly result in one hilarious situation after another! Starts October 8!
We got more digital-first debut announcements comin’—stay tuned!
The year 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of the first Kodansha Comics manga published in English. Please join us in celebration as we select one classic Kodansha Comics series each month for exclusive content, promotions, and other surprises!
Our September Spotlight is on celebrated all-around manga genius Akiko Higashimura and her iconic shojo series Princess Jellyfish and Tokyo Tarareba Girls, just in time to celebrate the release of Princess Jellyfish‘s beautiful complete manga box set and Tokyo Tarareba Girls winning the prestigious Eisner Award at this year’s San Diego Comic Con! So what kind of “special surprises” do we have for you to pillage this month? Check ’em out!
Surprise 1: Exclusive Tara and Reba Pins!
As a part of the 10 Years of Kodansha Comics project, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Rightstuf to bring you these awesome Tara and Reba pins!
Visit Rightstuf and order any volume of Akiko Higashimura’s manga and you’ll receive an exclusive pin for FREE! Your order will also come with our new Kodansha Comics mascot Kacey pins! Available this month (September 2019) only or while supplies last.
Surprise 2: Princess Jellyfish and Tokyo Tarareba Girls digital sale!
Are you more of an otaku like the Amars or a hustler like the Tarareba Girls? Find out who your true friends are by reading both series! From now until September 9th, get up to50% offon Princess Jellyfish and Tokyo Tarareba Girls at our digital retail partners:BookWalker, comiXology, Google Play, Kindle, MyAnimeList, and nook!
Surprise 3: Princess Jellyfish and Tokyo Tarareba Survey Sweepstakes!
Wanting to check out Princess Jellyfish and Tokyo Tarareba Girls after hearing all the hype? Already a diehard member of Amars? Trying to score a date while working overtime at your job? For the month of September only, ONE lucky winner will win a Princess Jellyfish Complete Manga Box Setand Tokyo Tarareba Girls Volumes 1-9. All you have to do istake this survey by September 30 to enter for a chance to win!
After Tokyo Tarareba Girls‘s big Eisner win, we got the chance to sit down with Akiko Higashimura to talk about her reaction, her ideal “Girl’s Night Out,” and, that’s right, dating advice!
Kodansha Comics (KC):Congratulations on winning an Eisner Award. Do you have any comments about the win and being the first woman creator winning in the U.S. Best Edition of International Material—Asia category?
Akiko Higashimura (AH): Honestly, I’m shocked. I thought shojo manga as an art form was so far removed from American comics that I’d never come close to winning this award. It makes me incredibly happy!
KC: You were partly inspired by Sex and the City when drawing Tokyo Tarareba Girls. What differences did you have to consider in order to create a story set in Tokyo with Japanese characters, rather than in New York?
AH: I love SATC. I was playing with the idea of drawing a manga with a “girl movie” vibe that featured single Japanese women in Tokyo, and that was how it all started. I really respect the directors and writers of SATC. It was a TV show that changed how women lived their lives, and it has a lot of fans in Japan, too. Many Japanese women are like Carrie. They enjoy fashion and throw themselves into their work. Women’s lifestyles in Tokyo and NY aren’t that different, which I think is a part of living in the modern age of the Internet. As for any differences between the manga and SATC, I guess I changed the place where they drink from a bar to a Japanese-style pub.
KC: If you were one of the characters in Tarareba Girls, what would your character be like? What would your profession and your ambitions be? And what would be your favorite drink? What’s your ideal “Girls’ Night Out”?
AH: The characters I relate to would have to be 50% the main character Rinko and 50% Key. I let the angel and devil inside me run free when I made those two characters.
I like drinking shochu. Where I was born (this place called Miyazaki in Japan), they drink it a lot.
For me, a girls’ night out would be sitting in a tatami room in a Japanese pub with cod milt and liver for snacks, drinking Hoppy. Men would be allowed to come, but in that setting they’d have to let the women call the shots.
KC: You’ve mentioned in the afterword and bonus comics that you’ve gotten a lot of reactions from readers, especially ones who consider TTG “Horror.” How have reactions changed as we get closer to 2020? Any reactions that have particularly stuck with you? What do the fears and anxieties of female otaku and those of tarareba girls share in common, or how do they differ?
AH: I still hear from single women that it’s a horror story. The reactions haven’t changed, but the number of young women who have no interest in romance has been growing, I think.
KC: Do you see the challenges of 20-, 30-, and even 40-somethings today as being different from when they were when you first started Tokyo Tarareba Girls and Princess Jellyfish? Is there any resemblance or unified message you wanted to send across the two titles?
AH: Time marches on, and time is limited. If you want to get married and have a family, you have to put in the work early. You can’t sit around just saying, “What if?” Those words have goaded a lot of my readers into finding a partner, and tons have gotten married!! Although personally, I’ve failed twice at marriage, so I’m single!!
KC: How did you learn to draw such funny facial expressions? I always look forward to how your characters are going to react to the latest impossible situation!
That’s all I drew, ever since I was in elementary school. I believe that everyone is born with a talent for manga. Look at me—I still do the stuff I did as a kid!
KC: Do you have any advice to the tarareba girls of the world in 2019? How about in the U.S.? Are tarareba girls different in different parts of the world?
Instead of whining about how there are no good men out there, groom a male friend in your life into a “good man.”
Just go on dates, it doesn’t matter who! Limit girls’ night to once a month!
Hey, American tarareba girls, you aren’t the type who break up and then check your ex’s Instagram every single day, are you?!
Tarareba ladies are the same in any country!! A global sisterhood!! And that’s wonderful!! Women have all this in common.
Shochu: A type of Japanese liquor that is usually between 25% and 45% alcohol by volume. It is earthier than sake, and is typically distilled from rice, barley, or buckwheat.
HoppyThe brand name of a beer-like beverage that has an extremely low alcohol content (0.8%).
One of Japan’s most popular authors of manga for women, Akiko Higashimura is the author of more than a dozen series including the hits Kakukaku shikajika (Blank Canvas: My So-Called Artist’s Journey) and Mama wa Temparist. After its adaptation into a popular anime and live-action film, Princess Jellyfish was her first work to be released in English. Her recent work Tokyo Tarareba Girls won the 2019 Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia.
Surprise 5: Akiko Higashimura’s original sketches from Tokyo Tarareba Girls Chapter 1!
Before it became an Eisner Award-winning series, Tokyo Tarareba Girls started as most manga does … as concept art. So behold: the original sketches by Akiko Higashimura, side-by-side with the final pages of Tokyo Tarareba Girls Chapter 1! What if!? What if!?