Anime & Manga News

Katsuhiro Otomo Unveils 'Orbital Era' Anime Film, New 'Akira' Anime Adaptation

by Vindstot
Jul 4, 2019 8:15 PM | 14 Comments
Prolific manga author and director Katsuhiro Otomo announced a new anime film titled Orbital Era at his Anime Expo panel on Thursday. The title marks Otomo's third feature anime film as a director, following Akira and Steamboy.

Orbital Era is set in the near-future on a space colony under construction. The film features a coming-of-age action-adventure story following the lives of 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 story will take place over four seasons in the space colony. The characters relationships will unfold over these seasons. Otomo noted that the film is set in the future, but instead of being rooted in science fiction, the story will skew more toward fantasy.

The film is being produced by animation studio Sunrise. Otomo is credited for original concept, screenplay, design works, and direction. A key visual (pictured) drawn by Otomo and a teaser promotional video were also previewed during the project presentation.

The panel also revealed that a new anime adaptation for Otomo's highly acclaimed post-apocalyptic cyberpunk manga series Akira is in production. The series was serialized in Kodansha's Weekly Young Magazine from 1982 to 1990 and inspired an anime film in 1988. Akira won the 8th Kodansha Manga Award in general category in 1984 and the Eisner Award for the Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material in 2000.

The 1988 anime film will receive a 4K remaster in Japan in early 2020. Bandai Namco Arts will ship the remaster on Blu-ray on April 24 next year. The remaster will also screen in the United States theaters.

Furthermore, the panel announced that Kodansha will release Otomo: The Complete Works, a collection of Otomo's published works since his manga artist debut in 1971. Otomo will personally edit and organize the retrospective with the goal of publishing a fresh collection of works, through which fans can trace the trajectory of his ideas and creations as far back as the birth of his creative career. Details regarding the release of the collection will be announced at a later time.

Otomo became a household name in the West after the release of Akira. Since then, he's worked as an artist, director, and screenwriter for anime, creating a number of original works while continuing his work as a manga illustrator and writer.

Teaser Promo


Official site: http://orbital-era.com/
Official Twitter: @orbitalera

Source: Press Release, Katsuhiro Otomo's Anime Expo Panel, Anime! Anime!

Orbital Era & Akira (Shin Anime) on MAL

14 Comments Recent Comments

definitely a must watch since im a huge fan of scifi movies/anime with space as setting
otomo's works never dissapoint me: steamboy, akira, memories..etc
every single of his film is filled with visual wonders

Jul 5, 2019 11:42 AM by MAYOIII

Hmm, idk how to feel about an Akira remake. On one hand, the manga's content is better than the anime's, so faithful adaptation would be cool to see. On the other hand, I doubt the remake can look half as good as the original movie. The character and effects animation was on another level. It was painstakingly detailed and fluid and current anime scheduling simply can't support such work.

Jul 5, 2019 8:43 AM by GoldenDevilGamer

Rei366 said:

@astra_moon The news simply doesn't give any information about the second part of its title. And yes, "new adaptation" means that the manga will again be used to create an animation (be it ONAs, movies, or a TV format).
I don't know for you, but "remake" is supposed to be used when you take something original and make another one out of it. Not when you simply adapt yet again the same book(s) (just imagine how many "remakes" each Austen movie would have else).


Hmm... maybe you have a point there. But so far it says in the article above that it's only going to be up-scaled to 4K? Well, anyway... it's probably too soon to be sure about anything anyway. I just hope it will be good. And honestly, with the details in the art of the original movie, 4K upscale wouldn't be a terrible thing either.

Jul 5, 2019 7:58 AM by astra_moon

Real good stuff. I'll look forward to this!

Jul 5, 2019 7:40 AM by xchyssa

Rei366 said:
I still have the same reaction that I had when Otomo said (last year or this one?) that he would like to see AKira be adapted again: we have an animated movie by himself, "soon" a live movie or two by some guy living in the USAs, if you add the comic to that I think it's enough.

alpha_shadow said:
If they modernize the source material to present day standards, we can expect it to be terrible.

Don't you know that jap.bad boys gangs are a thing from the past/80s that has to be switched with something contemporary (especially their look), that Otomo's charadesign style looks "old" and would need heavy plastic surgery to look "pretty", etc ?
@alpha_shadow Yes, sadly... (I was being ironic btw)


@astra_moon The news simply doesn't give any information about the second part of its title. And yes, "new adaptation" means that the manga will again be used to create an animation (be it ONAs, movies, or a TV format).
I don't know for you, but "remake" is supposed to be used when you take something original and make another one out of it. Not when you simply adapt yet again the same book(s) (just imagine how many "remakes" each Austen movie would have else).

Yeah, I deleted my post because I didn't understand what you meant initially. Let's hope for the best, apparently Sunrise will also be in charge of the remake and they aren't sure what they want to do with it.

Jul 5, 2019 7:17 AM by alpha_shadow

I still have the same reaction that I had when Otomo said (last year or this one?) that he would like to see AKira be adapted again: we have an animated movie by himself, "soon" a live movie or two by some guy living in the USAs, if you add the comic to that I think it's enough.

alpha_shadow said:
If they modernize the source material to present day standards, we can expect it to be terrible.

Don't you know that jap.bad boys gangs are a thing from the past/80s that has to be switched with something contemporary (especially their look), that Otomo's charadesign style looks "old" and would need heavy plastic surgery to look "pretty", etc ?
@alpha_shadow Yes, sadly... (I was being ironic btw)


@astra_moon The news simply doesn't give any information about the second part of its title. And yes, "new adaptation" means that the manga will again be used to create an animation (be it ONAs, movies, or a TV format).
I don't know for you, but "remake" is supposed to be used when you take something original and make another one out of it. Not when you simply adapt yet again the same book(s) (just imagine how many "remakes" each Austen movie would have else).
astra_moon said:
It says in the article above that it's only going to be up-scaled to 4K?

https://dengekionline.com/articles/5474/
https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-07-04/katsuhiro-otomo-akira-gets-new-anime-project-and-4k-remaster-of-1988-anime-film/.148651

Jul 5, 2019 7:09 AM by Rei_III

"...'Akira' Receives New Anime Adaptation"

Is it just me or does "New Adaptation" sound more like a remake? I legit thought it was for a sec, but apparently it's only going to be remastered. More like "Improved Adaptation" then if you ask me. But we will have to see...

Jul 5, 2019 6:12 AM by astra_moon

"The panel also revealed that a new anime adaptation for Otomo's highly acclaimed post-apocalyptic cyberpunk manga series Akira is in production"

That's a hell of a ninja reveal there. What a time we live in. I guess he is putting out all his final works now that is probably about to retire. Will anticipate the busted 3DCG, 12 fps animation, and moe elements that somehow find their way into it.

Jul 5, 2019 1:39 AM by VyseLegendaire

Akira is back, baby!

Really looking forward to that.

Jul 5, 2019 12:03 AM by Nidhoeggr

Old_School_Akira said:
alpha_shadow said:
I'd like more info on that Akira remake and who is making it. It better not be some CG dumpster shit.


If Katsuhiro Otomo is not directing it, than the original anime movie will be better.

There still are some great talents working in the industry, even if he won't direct it. But if it's a CG abomination or if they modernize the source material to be hip and cool to present day standards, we can expect it to be terrible.

Jul 4, 2019 9:53 PM by alpha_shadow

alpha_shadow said:
I'd like more info on that Akira remake and who is making it. It better not be some CG dumpster shit.


If Katsuhiro Otomo is not directing it, than the original anime movie will be better.

Jul 4, 2019 9:50 PM by Old_School_Akira

I'd like more info on that Akira remake and who is making it. It better not be some CG dumpster shit.

Jul 4, 2019 9:45 PM by alpha_shadow

Really excited for the movie but I'm also very excited to see Akira fully adapted as an anime series

Jul 4, 2019 9:42 PM by Tokoya

Rather curious about the spacesuit being a 1960s Soviet Cosmonaut's... Particularly as the Soviet Union no longer exists... hmmm, a mystery it is.....

Jul 4, 2019 9:20 PM by Takuya_Kanbara04

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