Cowboy Bebop director Shinichirō Watanabe makes his return in a collaboration with Adult Swim and anime studio MAPPA on the new Toonami original anime series Lazarus.
The collaboration was announced ahead of Adult Swim Festival’s Toonami On The Green at San Diego Comic-Con, where Watanabe provided insight on the sci-fi adventure series as well as a teaser trailer giving fans a first look at the world of Lazarus.
The synopsis for Watanabe’s new futuristic sci-fi series Lazarus provided by Warner Bros. official press release states, “The year is 2052 – an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity prevails across the globe. The reason for this: mankind has been freed from sickness and pain.”
“Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Dr. Skinner has developed a miracle cure-all drug with no apparent drawbacks called Hapuna,” the synopsis continues. “Hapuna soon becomes ubiquitous… and essential. However, soon after Hapuna is officially introduced, Dr. Skinner vanishes.”
“Three years later, the world has moved on. But Dr. Skinner has returned – this time, as a harbinger of doom. Skinner announces that Hapuna has a short half-life,” Lazarus’ official synopsis continues. “Everyone who has taken it will die approximately three years later. Death is coming for this sinful world – and coming soon.”
“As a response to this threat, a special task force of 5 agents is gathered from across the world to save humanity from Skinner’s plan,” the official synopsis concludes. “This group is called ‘Lazarus.’ Can they find Skinner and develop a vaccine before time runs out?”
Known for his influential filmography consisting of Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, and Kids on the Slope, Lazarus marks Watanabe’s directorial return since 2019’s Carole and Tuesday and to the sci-fi action genre since 2017’s Blade Runner Black Out 2022.
Produced by Sola Entertainment and animated by Studio MAPPA, Lazarus will feature high-octane action sequences designed by John Wick franchise director Chad Stahelski.
Similar to Watanabe’s previous works, Lazarus’ soundtrack will feature a slate jazz and electronic artists including West Coast Get Down jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington, producer, DJ, and musician Floating Points, and producer, DJ, and musician Bonobo.
“As I embark on this creative journey, I can’t help but feel that this project will serve as a culmination of my career so far,” Watanabe said in a message to fans. “I hope you enjoy it.”
“Shinichirō Watanabe is simply one of the greatest living artists, and it’s a dream come true to be able to collaborate with him on a new original series,” Senior Vice President and Head of Anime and Action Series at Adult Swim Jason DeMarco acknowledged.
“Like all of his work, Lazarus is packed with big ideas, incredible characters, and a ton of heart,” he added. “We can’t wait for anime fans to see this world.”
As of this writing the first season of Lazarus is set to have 13 episodes and release in 2024.
Do you plan on checking it out?