Katsuhiro Otomo announced on Thursday at Anime Expo that he’s taking on several new projects, per a Variety exclusive. Fans can expect a new feature film, reiterations of his classics and follow up to his most well known film and sci-fi legend, Akira. Helping him deliver the news were Makoto Asanuma and Yasumasa Tsuchiya, president and producer of Sunrise Inc., respectively. With titles like Cowboy Bebop, Code Geas: Lelouch of the Rebellion, several Gundam series and Tiger & Bunny, it’s set to be a landmark collaboration.
Orbital Era is Otomo’s next sci-fi epic, following after Akira and the more recent Steamboy. We don’t know much other than its future setting making use of fantasy elements. Here’s the official description from Sunrise: “The plot takes place in the near-future on a space colony under construction. 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. The reality found in mankind’s future will be depicted through their perspective.”
Oh, and feel free to check out the movie’s poster and first teaser, too.
When he’s not working on Orbital Era, Otomo will be jumping back to the world of Akira, the 1988 anime about youth, friendship and hubris. Sunrise and Otomo are keeping info on this project close to the chest, but fans can expect a new TV series that won’t be a sequel or a remaster. It’ll be some sort of continuation or reexamination of the director’s seminal work – but it seems the how of it will remain a surprise.
To celebrate these new developments as well as his past contributions, many of his already established works will be revisited. While Otomo is working on Orbital Era and his mysterious follow up to Akira, his debut feature film will also be getting a 4k remaster.
Alongside that, Otomo will be reexamining his journey as a creator through the Kodansha published Otomo: The Complete Works. It’s a project just as ambitious as any of the others he announced at Anime expo. Otomo wants to collect every piece of art from his past to “trace the trajectory of his ideas and creations as far back as the birth of his creative career. It will include every one of his works and statements in chronological order since his debut as a manga artist in 1971,” per Polygon. And he’s planning to edit the book himself.
Phew. With this bold slate of projects, Otomo is out to prove he’s far from done telling his stories. There’s no set schedule for any of these at this point, probably due to the sheer amount of work he’s put ahead of himself, but fans of the legend should be more than happy with this news.