After a Long Wait by Fans, Katsuhiro Otomo Launches a New Series of Projects


LOS ANGELES @ Anime Expo July 4, 2019 --
SUNRISE INC., a BANDAI NAMCO Group, has announced plans to produce a new animated sci-fi feature film entitled “ORBITAL ERA.” The film will be directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, one of the most celebrated and influential Japanese creators in the world.

The joint announcement by Director Katsuhiro Otomo, Makoto Asanuma (president of SUNRISE INC.) and Yasumasa Tsuchiya (producer at SUNRISE INC.) was made on stage at the SUNRISE panel held during Anime Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center at 5 p.m. on July 4, PST (8 a.m. on July 5, JST).

There, they also announced a new anime adaption of “AKIRA.”

In addition to revealing another new Otomo project: OTOMO: THE COMPLETE WORKS, a retrospective of his works spanning the entirety of his career, to be published by Kodansha Ltd.

'AKIRA,” a gold standard of sci-fi anime that influenced so many later films and TV shows, was set in the year 2019, making this an auspicious year to enjoy new projects featuring the richly-woven sci-fi worlds Otomo is famous for.

More Details on the 3 new projects announced at Anime Expo --

1) “ORBITAL ERA,” the New Animated Sci-Fi Feature Film
Katsuhiro Otomo has created many influential works, such as “AKIRA,” “STEAMBOY,” and “SHORT PEACE,” which continue to have a huge impact on fans not only in Japan but around the globe, even reaching the art and fashion worlds. The new movie “ORBITAL ERA” will be his 3rd animated feature film after “AKIRA” (1988) and “STEAMBOY” (2004). Otomo himself will write the original concept and screenplay, as well as design and direct the film. 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. The first key-visual, which Otomo created especially for this announcement, is already inciting excitement not only amongst his devotees but anime fans all over the world.

Production details:

*Movie Title: “ORBITAL ERA”
*Original concept, screenplay, design works and direction: Katsuhiro Otomo
*Animation Production: SUNRISE INC.

2) New Anime Adaptation Project of “AKIRA”
“AKIRA” was serialized in Kodansha's manga magazine Weekly Young Magazine from 1982-1990. The title became extremely popular after being made into an animated film in 1988 as well as into a game. In 2002, the manga won the Eisner Award, one of the most prominent prizes in the American comic industry. It has inspired many creators not only in Japan and the United States but across the world and is considered a genuine masterpiece of the sci-fi action genre. Fans will be kept up to date about this new anime adaptation project as details become available.

Another big piece of news is that Kodansha will publish the collection OTOMO: THE COMPLETE WORKS. Katsuhiro Otomo will personally edit and organize the retrospective with the goal of publishing a fresh collection of work through which fans can 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 magna artist in 1971. The publication will go beyond a simple “complete collection,” and can be regarded as “everything Otomo.” Since one of its objectives is to inspire ALL creators and readers of the younger generation, the collection will be published not only in Japan but across the globe. More detailed contents and the release schedule are soon to be announced.

SUNRISE INC., headquartered in Suginami, Tokyo, led by President Makoto Asanuma, is a group company of Bandai Namco Holdings Inc. headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, led by President Mitsuaki Taguchi. SUNRISE INC. is a film and TV production company focused predominately on animation and known for such popular series as “Mobile Suit Gundam,” “Code Geass,” “Love Live!” and “Cowboy Bebop.” Mid to long-term plans of the BANDAI NAMCO Group as of April 2018 position SUNRISE INC. as a leading company of the IP (intellectual property) creation unit, broadening its focus from solely animation, to innovation of existing IP's and creation of new properties. Website: http//

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