Akira Animated Series Announced, Original Film Being Remastered In 4K

That's Mr. Kaneda to you, punk!


A new anime series based on Akira is in the works, creator Katsuhiro Otomo has announced. Speaking at a panel held during Anime Expo, which is currently taking place in Los Angeles, Otomo confirmed that the series is based on his manga.

Although 1988's Akira is considered a seminal piece of cinematic work, it is an adaptation of Otomo's manga series and, as such, truncates the series to fit it into a shorter runtime. The Akira manga offers a much deeper dive into the various characters involved in the story and more thoroughly explores the powerful political, social, and personal themes that manifest during the struggle for the future of post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo. The new anime will adapt the manga more faithfully.

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Now Playing: Sneak Peek of OTOMO: A Global Tribute to the Mind Behind Akira Book

The original 1988 film is also being treated to a 4K remaster. It was briefly shown during the panel and is being worked on by Sunrise, the Japanese animation and production studio owned by Bandai Namco. The 4K remaster is expected to launch in Japan sometime in Spring.

Otomo's next major project, however, is Orbital Era, a feature film that is also being created in collaboration with Sunrise. "The plot takes place in the near future on a space colony under construction, and it's an action-adventure story of some boys in this peculiar environment and society who keep living their lives while they're being tossed about by fate," reads the official description. "'The real in the mankind's future' will be depicted through a perspective of those boys." You can watch the Orbital Era trailer to get a feel for the vibe of the flick.

A live-action version of Akira is also in development with Thor: Ragnarok, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and What We Do in the Shadows director Taika Waititi at the helm. Like the new anime, Waititi is looking to the manga when making the movie. He discussed how he's approaching the live-action Akira adaptation in September 2017. "I haven't really started to get my head around it yet," he said. "What I want to do is an adaptation of the books, 'cause a lot of people are like, 'Don't touch that film!' and I'm like, 'I'm not remaking the film, I want to go back to the book.'

"A lot of the people freaking out haven't even read the books, and there are six gigantic books to go through. It's so rich. But Akira is one of my favourite films. My mum took me to see it when I was 13 and it changed my life."

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