Katanagatari, Mystery Novels Licensed by Vertical

Pictured: Katanagatari

At the Anime Boston convention, Vertical announced licenses for some more novels:

  • Katanagatari series by Nisio Isin
  • The Dark Maidens novel by Rikako Akiyoshi
  • Serial Killer Detective novel by Eiji Mikage

Katanagatari is a twelve-volume series by Nisio Isin, who also wrote the Monogatari series, Juni Taisen: Zodiac War, and Zaregoto. The artwork for Katanagatari is by take, who also illustrated Zaregoto. Vertical plans to release Katanagatari in four omnibuses, meaning three volumes per book. The first omnibus will release in November 2018. There was a 12-episode anime adaptation for Katanagatari by White Fox in 2010, but at the moment it doesn’t look like it’s streaming anywhere officially.

Kodansha published 12 volumes in Katanagatari -- one for every month of 2007. The historical epic centers on Shichika Yasuri, the seventh generational head of the Kyotō-ryÅ« school of martial arts in medieval Japan. He and his older sister Nanami live on an isolated island, until a military advisor named Togame tells him of the final 12 swords forged by a legendary swordsmith. At Togame’s bidding, Shichika embarks on a journey to find all 12 of the swords.

The Dark Maidens

The Dark Maidens (or Ankoku Joushi) is a mystery novel written by Rikako Akiyoshi, published in Japan in June 2013. It’s not a light novel, but it may be of interest to some of you looking for a horror story to read. There was a manga adaptation released in 2014-2015, and a live-action film for it in 2017. Rikako Akiyoshi also won the Yahoo! Japanese Literature Award in 2008 for her debut work, Snow Flower. Vertical will release The Dark Maidens in English on May 29th. It looks like the book is already available to preorder, both as a paperback and as an ebook.

The novel is set at a school named the Virgin Mary Girls Academy, where Itsumi Shiraishi, the beautiful daughter of the school’s director, recently died. Whether the death was an accident, a suicide, or a murder remains a mystery, known only to the lily that Itsumi clutched in her hand as she died. Rumors begin to circulate that the members of the literature club that Itsumi supervised were responsible for her death. With leadership of the club transferring to Sayuri Sumikawa, the club members continue their practice of reading short stories they wrote to each other. One week, they meet to read stories with theme of “Itsumi Shiraishi’s death,” with each of the five members intent on using their own story to discover who among them murdered Itsumi.

Serial Killer Detective

Serial Killer Detective (or Satsujinki Tantei no Netsuzou Bigaku) is a mystery novel written by Eiji Mikage, published in Japan in November 2017. This is not a light novel, but it should be of interest to anyone who is a fan of The Empty Box and the Zeroth Maria, because that was also written by Eiji Mikage. Vertical plans to release Serial Killer Detective in English some time during Fall 2018.

The story follows a man who is a detective by day and a serial killer by night. The presenters compared the premise to the television show Dexter.

Volume 4 (Japan Cover: Vol 7)

Vertical also announced that another volume of the Seraph of the End – Guren Ichinose: Catastrophe at Sixteen novels will release in English on September 25th. I believe this is the seventh volume released in Japan, but will be volume 4 for English readers, as volumes 1 through 6 were released as two-book omnibuses. It sounds like this will be the final volume for the series, or at least this story arc.

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