For decades, Toonami and Adult Swim have helped boost anime’s profile here in the west through popular shonen like Dragon Ball Z and My Hero Academia. 2021's Blade Runner: Black Lotus was a joint collaboration between it and Crunchyroll, and now two of the late night block’s upcoming programs see it further team up with a pair of big name Japanese creatives.
Lazarus from Shinichiro Watanabe (famously the director of Cowboy Bebop) was announced earlier in the week, but received its first look at San Diego Comic-Con. The series, being worked on by Vinland Saga’s Studio MAPPA (and fight scenes designed by John Wick director Chad Stahelski), is set in the year 2052 as a miracle drug called Hapuna has wiped out all diseases and sickness in the world. Shortly after the drug’s reveal, its creator Dr. Skinner up and vanished, and the show picks up year’s later following his sudden return.
Turns out, Hapuna’s got a short life period, and anyone’s who taken it will die three years later. In response to Skinner’s declaration, the titular Lazarus task force—made up of five elite agents from around the world—has been formed to bring Skinner in and find a way to develop a vaccine. A cool premise with an even cooler trailer, as seen above. Expect Lazarus to premiere on Adult Swim sometime in the near future.
Uzumaki, meanwhile, is an adaptation of Junji Ito’s 1998 horror manga. This show was announced back in 2019, and word on it has been pretty quiet since its delay in 2021. Adult Swim released a new look at the upcoming series, which is being developed by Production I.G. (Kaiju No. 8, FLCL Shoegaze). While a release date for Uzumaki still hasn’t been set, the trailer here should tide Ito fans over until its arrival.
Like the manga, the show focuses on the fictional town of Kurouzu-cho, which has been plagued for years by a spiral-themed supernatural curse. High schooler Kirie Goshima and her boyfriend Shuichi Saito become more and more aware of the curse and how it affects the rest of the town, leading them both to try and find a way to either escape or break the curse. The manga received strong praise upon release, with some critics at the time calling it one of the scariest manga around, and it could be considered one of Ito’s definitive works.
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