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Vertical Licenses Ajin, Witchcraft Works, Garden of Words Manga

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Action title, fantasy, & manga of Makoto Shinkai anime to debut this fall

North American publisher Vertical announced at its Katsucon panel on Saturday that it has licensed Gamon Sakurai's Ajin manga, Ryū Mizunagi's Witch Craft Works manga, and the manga adaptation of Makoto Shinkai's The Garden of Words anime. All three series are slated to debut this fall.

Sakurai launched Ajin in Kodansha's Good! Afternoon magazine in 2012, and Kodansha has published three compiled volumes in Japan so far. The tentative English title for Vertical's edition is Demi-Human.

17 years ago, immortals first appeared on the battlefields of Africa. Later, rare, unknown new immortal lifeforms began appearing among humans, and they became known as "Ajin" (demi-humans). Just before summer vacation, a Japanese high school student is instantly killed in a traffic accident on his way home from school. However, he is revived, and a price is placed on his head. Thus begins a boy's life on the run from all of humankind.

Ajin was ranked as a top manga series on the Nationwide Bookstore Employees' Recommended Comics of 2014 list and in the 2014 edition of the Kono Manga ga Sugoi! guidebook.

Mizunagi launched Witch Craft Works in Kodansha's Good! Afternoon magazine in 2010 and six compiled volumes have been released in Japan so far.

The story centers around Honoka Takamiya, a boy whose classmate Ayaka Kagari is talented in sports, excels in classes, and is attractive on top of everything. The "Princess" also happens to be a powerful witch. As Honoka discovers during the "Tower Witches" incident, Ayaka's purpose in life is to protect Takamiya at all costs.

Random House listed last month that Vertical will release the first volume of Ryū Mizunagi's Witch Craft Works manga on September 30. The manga inspired a television anime series that premiered in Japan on January 5 from J.C. Staff. Crunchyroll is streaming the series as it airs.

Midori Motohashi's manga adaptation of Shinkai's Kotonoha no Niwa (Garden of Words) anime film ran in Kodansha's Monthly Afternoon magazine from April to September last year.

The Garden of Words follows the story of shoemaker-in-training Takao, who begins sketching shoes in a Japanese-style garden. He meets a mysterious older woman, and the two start meeting and deepening their relationship.

The original film opened in Japan last May, and then the DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases shipped in Japan on June 21. Sentai Filmworks released the film on Blu-ray Disc and DVD in North America on August 6.

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