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Katsuhiro Otomo is directing a new movie and making some kind of Akira follow-up

Screenshot: YouTube

With Warner Bros. and director Taika Waititi continuing to defy everything we thought we knew about common sense by moving forward with the Americanized live-action remake of legendary anime film Akira, original Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo is evidently feeling a little emboldened. He wrote and illustrated the original Akira manga, but other than the Akira movie (which he directed), his only other feature film was 2004's Steamboy—until now. According to Variety, Otomo has announced that he’s making a new movie, a “near-future action adventure film” called Orbital Era.

Otomo will write, direct, and “design” the movie, which is set in an unfinished space colony and centers on the young boys “surviving in this peculiar environment.” Based on the trailer, it will also involve skateboarding:

But wait, there’s more! You can’t pass up this much news about Akira (not to mention the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in 2020, which is a plot point in the movie) without cashing in a little bit , and to that end Otomo some sort of follow-up Akira project, with Variety describing it as a “new version” and then not explaining what the fuck that means. Luckily, Anime News Network has graciously explained a bit more of what the fuck that means, with Otomo teasing at Anime Expo that it’ll be a “new anime project” that will hopefully “incorporate the entirety of the manga’s story.” The Akira movie and the manga it’s based on are very different, to the point where Akira himself—a young telepath with godlike superpowers—is already dead and dissected by the time he appears in the film, so being able to tell the full story of the manga in this adaptation could be a pretty big deal.


Both that and Orbital Era are probably very far off, but a new 4K remaster of the original Akira will be released in Japan next year. You can also see a trailer for that below, featuring the tiniest tease of the film’s utterly perfect score.

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