'Akira' Anime Series in the Works

Courtesy of Kodansha Comics
'Akira' manga

Creator Katsuhiro Otomo at the Anime Expo in Los Angeles also announced his third anime feature, 'Orbital Era.'

Akira director Katsuhiro Otomo will direct a new anime series that will be a continuation of the steampunk cult classic that made his name.

Otomo, who also created the original Akira manga, announced the news during a panel at the Anime Expo in Los Angeles. The series will be produced by Bandai Namco's Sunrise, although few other details were unveiled.

He also unveiled that he will direct Orbital Era, his third anime feature. Otomo is also writing and directing Orbital Era, set "in the near future on a space colony under construction," according to the project's website. It will be, "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."

The feature, also with Sunrise, will only be Otomo's third, including 2004's Steamboy, which took him 10 years to finish.

A 4K remastering of the groundbreaking 1988 feature Akira will also be released in Japan in April 2020, it was announced. When the postapocalyptic story of juvenile delinquent bikers, set in 2019, was released, it was the most expensive anime produced at the time, costing around $9 million (1.1 billion yen). It is widely hailed as a classic of the genre, has been a huge influence on creators since and helped to popularize anime outside Japan.

There will also be a Complete Works collection, curated by Otomo, chronicling his career since 1971, released by Akira publisher Kodansha.

After many years of delays, false starts and personnel changes, a live-action Hollywood remake of Akira directed by Taika Waititi is set for release in May 2021.