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Pluto Anime, New Patlabor EZY Anime Series Projects Revealed

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
GENCO also reveals Taimashin, Mechronicle, more projects

GENCO's booth at the MIFA film market at Annecy International Animation Film Festival revealed on Tuesday that Naoki Urasawa's Pluto manga is receiving an anime adaptation. The booth also revealed the Patlabor EZY anime project.

According to GENCO, Studio M2 (Onihei) is producing the Pluto anime. Masao Maruyama, who is the representative director at M2, served as producer for anime adaptations of Urasawa's Monster, Master Keaton, and Yawara! manga when he worked at Madhouse Studios.

The Pluto manga is Urasawa and producer Takashi Nagasaki's seinen drama re-imagining of the world depicted in Osamu Tezuka's manga Astro Boy. The series ran in Shogakukan's Big Comic Original magazine from 2003 to 2009, and its eight compiled book volumes have sold more than 8.5 million copies. The manga has been translated and published in 20 countries including France and the United States. Viz Media, which released the manga in North America, describes the story:

In a distant future where sentient humanoid robots pass for human, someone or something is out to destroy the seven great robots of the world. Europol's top detective Gesicht is assigned to investigate these mysterious robot serial murders - the only catch is that he himself is one of the seven targets.

Actor Mirai Moriyama starred in a stage play adaptation of the manga in 2015. Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment acquired the film rights from Tezuka Productions for a planned live-action/computer-graphics (CG) hybrid film of Pluto in 2010.

GENCO representative director Taro Maki (Patlabor the Mobile Police, Nodame Cantabile, Millennium Actress) confirmed that he is producing the Patlabor EZY anime series. Both Maki and Maruyama were producers for MAPPA's In This Corner of the World anime film, which is screening in competition at Annecy.

The English text on the Patlabor EZY poster at GENCO's booth reads:

With the rapidly accelerating development of hyper-technology, a humanoid-type machine called "Labor" is being used in every field of industry. However, it has created the new social menace of "Labor" crime. In order to curb such crimes from happening one after another, the Metropolitan Police Department has established a special department. the "Special Vehicle Section No.2". It consists of company of patrol "Labor" known as Patlabor.

Maki announced in November that "a new Patlabor the Mobile Police project is starting." He joked that he wondered how many years it will take.

The "Mobile Police Patlabor Reboot" anime short debuted in Japan in October and began streaming on the Japan Anima(tor)'s Exhibition's (Japan Animator Expo) official website in November.

The Patlabor franchise's original concept of police officers piloting robotic mecha (patrol labors or "Patlabors") was developed by HEADGEAR, a group consisting of director Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell, Sky Crawlers), script writer Kazunori Itō (.hack, Dirty Pair), mecha designer Yutaka Izubuchi (Eureka Seven, Mobile Suit Gundam franchise), character designer Akemi Takada (Kimagure Orange Road, Urusei Yatsura, Fancy Lala), and manga creator Masami Yuuki (Birdy the Mighty). The franchise spawned two original video anime, a television anime series, and three anime films. The last anime film, Patlabor WXIII, was released in theaters in Japan in 2002.

The live-action The Next Generation -Patlabor- project, which debuted in 2014, consisted of a seven-part series and a feature length film.

Maiden Japan has licensed the Patlabor OVA series, Patlabor the Mobile Police: The New Files OVA, Patlabor: The Movie, Patlabor 2: The Movie, and Patlabor WXIII.

In addition, GENCO's booth revealed that the company is producing anime projects for Hideyuki Kikuchi and Misaki Saitoh's Taimashin manga and director Shinji Kimura's Mechronicle. The booth also has posters for Windy Kliro, Sushi Ninja, and Girls Jockey.

Established in 1960, Annecy is the world's oldest and largest animation film festival. This year, it runs from June 12-17 at the French community of the same name.

Sources: Crunchyroll France, Animation Business Journal via Animeland, Yaraon!

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