The talents behind Attack on Titan, Cowboy Bebop, and John Wick surprise us with this new anime for Adult Swim.
When discussing the best of anime, no conversation is complete without mentioning Shinichirō Watanabe, known for the strong fandoms his popular shows generate, such as Samurai Champloo, Space Dandy, and Cowboy Bebop. As he has accustomed us, his works stand out for their original music and natural style, which, once we delve into each plot, show us diverse perspectives on mature themes, reflected in a medium often mistakenly considered “just for kids”.
His work, Cowboy Bebop, is considered by fans as “the best anime series of all time”, which has undeniably influenced not only Japanese pop culture but also international.
Lazarus is a new anime series from the master Shinichirō Watanabe, a collaboration between Adult Swim, MAPPA, and Sola Entertainment, which includes Chad Stahelski, director of John Wick, who will assist with the design and choreography of the action sequences. Given the talent of the team behind it, Lazarus is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated animes to date.
Shinichirō Watanabe himself will direct all episodes of Lazarus, (for the first time directing since 2012’s Kids on a Slope). The master had already worked with Warner Bros on a segment of the famous Animatrix, and on the shorts of Blade Runner: Blackout 2022, and did not hesitate to express his enthusiasm in a press release:
“As I embark on this creative journey, I can’t help but feel that this project will serve as a culmination of my career so far. I hope you enjoy it.”
Chad Stahelski will be in charge of designing the action sequences for the series, with his specialist company “87Eleven”. The combat choreographies of the John Wick director are already very famous, as is his involvement in many of the stunts for the Wachowski movies, which have many similarities to the anime style. Meanwhile, MAPPA, the studio behind hits like Jujutsu Kaisen and Attack on Titan, will handle the series’ animation. And, keeping the bar high, the production will be by Sola Entertainment, who are also working on Rick and Morty: The Anime, and The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, also in collaboration with Adult Swim.
Want to know more about Shinichirō Watanabe’s Lazarus?
The following trailer was released by Adult Swim at the “Toonami on the Green” event, at the Adult Swim Festival at Comic-Con International on July 23, 2023.
The trailer brims with smooth and elegant animation, framed under a distinctive electronic jazz tone that crowns the sci-fi setting and the action. The trailer tells what seems to be a prison break, with the escape of a young man, looking cunning and somewhat tough, with piercing eyes and black hair, wearing a jacket typical of Shinichirō Watanabe’s characters.
The synopsis published by Adult Swim reads:
“The year is 2052 – an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity prevails across the globe. The reason for this: mankind has been freed from sickness and pain. Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Dr. Skinner has developed a miracle cure-all drug with no apparent drawbacks called Hapuna.
Three years later, the world has moved on. But Dr. Skinner has returned – this time, as a harbinger of doom. Skinner announces that Hapuna has a short half-life. Everyone who has taken it will die approximately three years later. Death is coming for this sinful world – and coming soon.
As a response to this threat, a special task force of 5 agents is gathered from across 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?”
Lazarus does not yet have a confirmed release date, which is common in the anime world, at least until we are close to its launch window. However, the project is in an advanced state of development, which encourages us to think that we might hear about its launch sooner rather than later. Perhaps 2024?
Lazarus will premiere on Adult Swim’s Toonami block in the United States and will broadcast all its episodes there. The broadcasting plan isn’t defined yet, but Adult Swim shows are usually available to stream on Max, as both are under Warner Brothers Discovery, so we can assume Lazarus won’t be an exception. That said, we might also expect it on Hulu after its Toonami release.
Are you a fan of Shinichirō Watanabe and his work? Were you as captivated as we were by Cowboy Bebop? Let’s build the hype; tell us in the comments what you like most about Master Watanabe, or if, like us, you’re eagerly awaiting the release of Lazarus!