Kodansha and Dai Nippon Printing to buy Vertical

Japanese publishing major Kodansha announced Wednesday that it will team with Dai Nippon Printing to buy a 93 percent stake in the New York City-based American publishing startup Vertical, best known for publishing Japanese fiction and manga in English.

Founded by former Nikkei editor and reporter Hiroki Sakai in 2001, Vertical has made ample additions to the English canon of Japan’s “God of Comics” Osamu Tezuka, including acclaimed works like Black Jack and Buddha, which will be released as an animated film in Japan this May.

As one of Japan’s biggest publishers, Kodansha is following the lead of Shueisha and Shogakukan, which co-own the North American manga and anime distributor Viz Media. Kodansha once licensed its manga to a series of North American publishers, including Viz, Dark Horse Comics, Tokyopop, and Random House’s Del Rey imprint. After those license agreements expired, Kodansha moved on to the Vertical deal.

Read the rest of the story: Kodansha, ‘Kokoro’ lead Japanese literary news.

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