Vertical licensing news
At this weekend’s MangaNEXT convention, Vertical, Inc. announced that it would be adding two new manga to its 2012 line-up. The first is The Limit, a shojo drama about a group of girls whose lives are turned upside down by a terrifying event on a school trip. Creator Keiko Suenobu is no stranger to dark material; her previous series, Life (published in English by TOKYOPOP), dealt with such difficult issues as cutting and depression. According to Marketing Director Ed Chavez, Vertical is hoping to reach a wider audience with The Limit. “I want to see not just your traditional shoujo reader pick this up,” he noted. “I would like to see the guys pick it up.”
Vertical’s other new acquisition is Heroman, a manga developed by Stan Lee and published by Square Enix. The plot is an agreeable mixture of superhero and shonen manga tropes. From the Wikipedia:
Orphaned American boy Joey lives with his grandmother, working at a restaurant in the West Coast city of Center City while going to school. Upon hearing of a new toy robot called the Heybo, Joey believes that getting one will make his life better, turning him into a hero to protect his friends and family. However, he cannot afford to buy it on his meager salary. His luck changes when he picks up a broken down Heybo abandoned by a school bully. He tries to fix it, naming it Heroman, but does not have any luck in getting it to work. However, when it gets struck by a bolt of strange lightning, it transforms into a giant robot, just in time to save his friend Lina from impending danger. Now, Joey and Heroman are Earth’s only defense against the evil insectoid Skrugg aliens, unknowingly summoned to Earth by Joey’s science teacher.
Square Enix has released four volumes so far; the story is currently being serialized in Monthly Shonen Gangan, and has been popular enough to inspire a twenty-six episode anime.
No word on when either title will be released; stay tuned for more information!
About Katherine Dacey
Katherine Dacey has been reviewing comics since 2006. From 2007 to 2008, she was the Senior Manga Editor at PopCultureShock, a site covering all aspects of the entertainment industry from comics to video games. In 2009, she launched The Manga Critic, where she focuses primarily on Japanese comics and novels in translation. Katherine lives and works in the Greater Boston area, and is a musicologist by training.
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