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Vertical Licenses Arakawa Under the Bridge, Imperfect Shojo, Voices of a Distant Star Manga

posted on by Karen Ressler
Company also licenses Anime Supremacy novel

North American publisher Vertical announced at Katsucon on Saturday that it has licensed Hikaru Nakamura's Arakawa Under the Bridge, NisiOisin and Mitsuru Hattori's Imperfect Shojo, and Makoto Shinkai and Mizu Sahara's The Voices of a Distant Star manga. In addition, it has licensed Mizuki Tsujimura's Anime Supremacy novel.

Vertical will release Arakawa Under the Bridge in omnibus volumes beginning in November. Nakamura (Saint Young Men) launched the manga in Square Enix's Young Gangan magazine in 2004, and ended it in July 2015. Crunchyroll has all 15 compiled volumes available digitally on its online reading platform.

The manga's story centers around an upper-class young man named Ko "Riku" Ichinomiya. He meets a beautiful homeless girl named Nino from the banks of Arakawa River, where many of Tokyo's most unusual residents live.

The manga was adapted into a 13-episode TV anime series in April 2010, with a second 13-episode season airing in October of the same year. NIS America acquired the first and second seasons of the anime and released both on DVD and Blu-ray in 2011 and in 2012, respectively. The manga was also adapted into a live-action television drama in 2011, and a live-action film in 2012.

Vertical will publish Imperfect Shojo beginning in October. Hattori (Sankarea: Undying Love) launched the manga adaptation of NisiOisin's 2011 novel Shōjo Fujūbun (Imperfect Girl) in Kodansha's Young Magazine in November 2015. Kodansha published the third and final compiled volume in October.

The story's protagonist, a college student who aspires to be a writer, sees a traffic accident where an elementary school girl is hit by a truck. Strangely, the girl's friend saves her game and puts it away before running over to her friend's dead body. Then, the protagonist is captured and confined by this girl. The story is narrated by the protagonist ten years later, now an adult author.

Vertical has not yet announced a release date for Voices of a Distant Star. Sahara launched the manga adaptation of Shinkai's 2002 film in Kodansha's Monthly Afternoon in 2004, and Kodansha published the single compiled volume in 2005. Tokyopop previously published the manga in English and described the story:

To what distance would you go for your one true love? In the midst of an alien invasion, Mikako joins the resistance, leaving behind the one young man she loves. As she goes deeper into space, Mikako's only connection with her boyfriend is through cell-phone text messages. The war rages on and years pass, but Mikako barely ages in the timelessness of space while Noboru grows old. How can the love of two people, torn apart by war, survive?

Magazine House published Tsujimura's Anime Supremacy (Haken Anime!) with illustrations by CLAMP in August 2014. Vertical will release the novel in September.

The novel follows people in the anime industry who are working on two series that will air in the same cour (quarter of the year): one is a legendary director's anime that is nine years in the making, and the other is an anime from a promising new director. An animator who is the topic of conversation online and a government worker on a sightseeing trip get involved with these projects.

Vertical's marketing director Ed Chavez also announced plans to host a podcast, though the podcast is not affiliated with Vertical.

Thanks to Helen for the news tip.

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