Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo has been a busy man and that’s because he’s in development on multiple new projects, one of them being a new anime adaptation of his seminal work.
The news was first announced Thursday night during a Sunrise Inc. panel at the Anime Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Details are scarce, but this new Akira won’t be a reboot of his manga or anime film. It will be a continuation of the world that began in the 1980s.
Written and illustrated by Otomo, the story involving dystopian biker gangs and super-psychic street kids in a futuristic Neo-Tokyo was originally published in Kodansha Ltd.’s manga magazine Weekly Young Magazine from 1982 to 1990. Otomo directed a film for release in 1988, which also marked the drop of a videogame adaptation. Akira was formative for many creators in the sci-fi and animation genres around the world.
As it happens, Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi is also in development on a live-action Akira film for Warner Bros. that’s been long in the works and is currently set for release on May 21, 2021.
While fans await for more details on the next life for Akira as an anime, Otomo also revealed a 4k ultra-HD Blu-ray release of his Akira film, as well as the announcement of Orbital Era, the next animated feature film from the highly selective director of Steamboy and Short Peace.
Orbital Era, produced by Sunrise Inc., will be written, designed, and directed by Otomon. The story “takes place in the near-future on a space colony under construction,” according to an official description. “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.”
Lastly, Kodansha will publish Otomo: The Complete Works, a retrospective personally edited and organized by Otomo. The collection, to be published worldwide, will include every one of his works and statements in chronological order since his debut as a manga artist in 1971.
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