Katsuhiro Otomo is returning to his seminal work for a brand new animated project—one that will go beyond what the iconic 1988 film already accomplished.
Announced yesterday evening at Otomo’s panel at Anime Expo, Akira will be reborn across two different initiatives: first, an ultra-HD remastering of the original movie, which is set to release on blu-ray in Japan on April 24, 2020, with a western release coming at a later date (interestingly timed, given that Warner Bros. recently dated its own long-in-the-works adaptation of the film, helmed by Taika Waititi, for 2021). It marks the first time Akira will be available in 4K, and you can check out a teeny glimpse below:
That’s not all, however. Otomo also announced that work has begun on a new anime “project” at Sunrise based on the original manga. According to Anime News Network, it’ll be a TV series rather than a new movie, and the project is deliberately not a sequel to Akira, but instead a continued re-adaptation of the manga it was based on. The adaptation hopes to encompass the entirety of Otomo’s original manga—something the movie couldn’t do, as it went about condensing the manga’s beats and themes into its 124 minute runtime.
As if Otomo wasn’t busy enough with all that Akira, he also announced a brand-new original movie he is currently working on with Sunrise at the panel: Orbital Era, a sci-fi film set in the near future, following a group of young space colonists as they live in one of humanity’s earliest attempts to live among the stars.
It’s a good time to be an Otomo fan, it seems. We’ll bring you more on the new Akira and Orbital Era as we learn it.
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