Yesterday’s Katsuhiro Otomo panel at Anime Expo 2019 promised new project announcements, and it definitely delivered. In addition to a new animated sci-fi feature called Orbital Era, which will have Otomo directing, there’s a new Akira anime adaptation in the works along with a special release of Otomo’s material.
Sunrise is working on animation production for Orbital Era. Here’s the description and teaser:
Katsuhiro Otomo has created many influential works, such as “AKIRA,” “STEAMBOY,” and “SHORT PEACE,” which continue to have a huge impact on fans not only in Japan but around the globe, even reaching the art and fashion worlds. The new movie “ORBITAL ERA” will be his 3rd animated feature film after “AKIRA” (1988) and “STEAMBOY” (2004). Otomo himself will write the original concept and screenplay, as well as design and direct the film. The plot takes place in the near-future on a space colony under construction. It is an action-adventure story following the lives of some young boys surviving in this peculiar environment and society as they are tossed around by fate. “The reality found in mankind’s future” will be depicted through their perspective. The first key-visual, which Otomo created especially for this announcement, is already inciting excitement not only amongst his devotees but anime fans all over the world.
There aren’t too many details about Akira at the moment, so we’ll have to wait and see which direction they take with the new adaptation.
From the press release:
“AKIRA” was serialized in Kodansha’s manga magazine Weekly Young Magazine from 1982-1990. The title became extremely popular after being made into an animated film in 1988 as well as into a game. In 2002, the manga won the Eisner Award, one of the most prominent prizes in the American comic industry. It has inspired many creators not only in Japan and the United States but across the world and is considered a genuine masterpiece of the sci-fi action genre. Fans will be kept up to date about this new anime adaptation project as details become available.
As for Otomo’s manga, Kodansha plans to publish OTOMO: THE COMPLETE WORKS, a retrospective edited by Otomo himself that includes all of his works and statements in chronological order since his debut as a manga artist in 1971.