Famed Japanese animator, Shinichiro Watanabe has joined forces with Adult Swim and studio MAPPA for a new original anime series titled Lazarus. The project was announced during the Adult Swim Festival as part of the Comic-Con event Toonami on the Green.
Produced by Sola Entertainment and animated by Studio MAPPA, Lazarus will feature high-octane action with sequences designed by Chad Stahelski, renowned stuntman and director of the John Wick film franchise, and brought to the screen by Watanabe. The music will be provided by jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington; producer, DJ, and musician Floating Points; and producer, DJ, and musician Bonobo.
Adult Swim describes the Lazarus story as:
The year is 2052 – an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity prevails across the globe. The reason for this: mankind has been freed from sickness and pain. Nobel Prize winning neuroscientist Dr. Skinner has developed a miracle cure-all drug with no apparent drawbacks called Hapuna. Hapuna soon becomes ubiquitous… and essential. However, soon after Hapuna is officially introduced, Dr. Skinner vanishes.
Three years later, the world has moved on. But Dr. Skinner has returned – this time, as a harbinger of doom. Skinner announces that Hapuna has a short half-life. Everyone who has taken it will die approximately three years later. Death is coming for this sinful world – and coming soon.
As a response to this threat, a special task force of 5 agents is gathered from across the world to save humanity from Skinner’s plan. This group is called “Lazarus.” Can they find Skinner and develop a vaccine before time runs out?
As I embark on this creative journey, I can’t help but feel that this project will serve as a culmination of my career so far. I hope you enjoy it.Statement by Shinichiro Watanabe
Shinichiro Watanabe is simply one of the greatest living artists, and it’s a dream come true to be able to collaborate with him on a new original series. Like all of his work, ‘Lazarus’ is packed with big ideas, incredible characters and a ton of heart. We can’t wait for anime fans to see this world.Statement byJason DeMarco, SVP and head of anime and action series at Adult Swim
This marks Shinichiro Watanabe’s major return to the world of anime. He is best known for his work in Cowboy Bebop (1998), Macross Plus (1994), and Samurai Champloo (2004). It is also worth noting that this is not the first time Watanabe has worked closely with MAPPA. Some of the titles they have worked together include Terror in Resonance (2014), Kids on the Slope (2012), and the short anime film A Girl Meets a Boy and a Robot (2022).
Shinichiro Watanabe has also served as the creative director for the 2021 CGI anime Blade Runner: Black Lotus, music advisor to the 2021 Madhouse anime Sonny Boy, as well as a storyboard artist for titles such as The Vision of Escaflowne (1996), Tetsuwan Birdy DECODE (2008), and Ergo Proxy (2006). He was also credited as an associate producer for the live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop.
Source: Warner Bros. Discovery Press Release
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