Acclaimed 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 Toonami on the Green event.
Produced by Sola Entertainment and animated by Studio MAPPA, Lazarus will feature high-octane action with sets designed by Chad Stahelski, renowned stuntman and director of John Wick film franchise and portrayed on screen by Watanabe. Music will be provided by jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington; producer, DJ and musician Floating Points; and producer, DJ and musician Bonobo.
Adult Swim describes Lazarus story like:
The year is 2052 – an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity prevails throughout the world. The reason for this: humanity is freed from disease and pain. Nobel Prize-winning neurologist Dr. Skinner has developed a miracle cure for everything with no visible flaws called Hapuna. Hapuna soon becomes ubiquitous… and essential. However, soon after Hapuna’s official introduction, Dr. Skinner disappears.
Three years later, the world moved on. But Dr. Skinner is back – this time as a harbinger of doom. Skinner states that Hapuna has a short half-life. Anyone who took it would die approximately three years later. Death is coming to this sinful world—and soon.
In response to this threat, a special task force of 5 agents is assembled from around 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 the culmination of my career thus far. I hope you like it.
Statement by Shinichiro Watanabe
Shinichiro Watanabe is simply one of the greatest artists alive and it’s a dream come true to be able to collaborate with him on a new original series. Like all of his works, Lazarus is full of big ideas, amazing characters and a lot of heart. We can’t wait for anime fans to see this world.
Statement from Jason DeMarco, Senior Vice President and Head of Anime and Action Series at Adult Swim
This marks Shinichiro Watanabe’s grand 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’s also worth noting that this isn’t the first time Watanabe has worked closely with MAPPA. Some of the titles they have worked on together include Terror in Resonance (2014), Children on the slope (2012) and the short anime film Girl Meets Boy and Robot (2022).
Shinichiro Watanabe also served as the creative director of the 2021 CGI anime Blade Runner: Black Lotus, 2021 Madhouse Anime Music Advisor Sonny Boyas well as storyboard artist for titles such as Escaflowne’s vision (1996), Tetsuwan Birdy DECODE (2008) and Ergo proxy (2006). He is also credited as an associate producer on the live-action adaptation of Cowboy bebop.
source: Warner Bros. Press Release Discovery
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