This week, Ed Chavez, community liaison and marketing guru for Vertical Inc. announced that he was taking suggestions for licenses. This isn’t a joke. Vertical really wants to know what you want to read. Unlike other companies, like Viz Media or Yen Press, Vertical is very open to suggestion for licenses. Generally, folks start pouring on the love for very specific titles; public outcry has led to the licensure of Princess Knight, a Tezuka title that the manga blogging community has been asking for as long as I can remember.
Ed has asked for hits this year. With Chi’s Sweet Home and 7 Billion Needles wrapping up soon, Vertical wants more titles that hit it out of the park. I am happy to at least offer up some suggestions. My requests this year are a few fun and quirky titles that I think will do well in the current publishing arena. They also happen to be series I would love to read:
Kuragohime (Jellyfish Princess) is a josei title published in Kodansha‘s Kiss anthology, which is also home to Nodame Cantible. The manga is about a girl who is obsessed with jellyfish, who lives with other otaku in an all-women’s house. She avoids men and stylish people. When a stylish woman saves a precious jellyfish from death, she invites her back home, only to find out the “Stylish” is actually a man in drag. Hijinks ensue. While I wouldn’t normally expect a title like this to do very well, I adore the premise, and an 11-episode anime was just released in the USA (Released as Princess Jellyfish, which you can watch streaming here). Riding the coat-tails of the anime release could generate some sales for Vertical, so I think it’s a pretty smart choice right now.
My second request is a series that’s been running in Kodansha’s Weekly Morning, Uchū Kyōdai, written by Chūya Koyama. The series is about a two siblings who dream about becoming astronauts. One follows his dream, while the other goes on to be a businessman. After having a falling out with his boss at work and getting fired, the first brother now has an opportunity to chase his dream. This series has garnered two Manga Taisho awards, the first in 2009, and the second in 2010, and won the 56th Shogakukan Manga Awards in the category of best general manga.
What are your requests for Vertical?