Adult Swim Orders New Sci-Fi Animated Series Lazarus from Cowboy Bebop Creator

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Adult Swim Orders New Sci-Fi Animated Series Lazarus from Cowboy Bebop Creator

Now here’s a project that will certainly catch the attention of anime fans worldwide–Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo creator Shinichirō Watanabe is currently in production with a new series that will be hosted by Adult Swim’s Toonami block of animated programming, titled Lazarus. The show will mark Watanabe’s return to the same sci-fi action genre he explored iconically in Cowboy Bebop, with another story set in humanity’s near future. Lazarus will be produced by anime studio MAPPA, with action sequences “meticulously designed” by none other than stuntman and John Wick series creator/director Chad Stahelski. And of course, being a Watanabe series, music will also be a major focus of Lazarus, with the press release announcement saying that the series will feature “a captivating score by a collection of renowned jazz and electronic artists including jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington (West Coast Get Down); producer, DJ, and musician Floating Points (Floating Points Ensemble); 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,” said Watanabe in a statement. “I hope you enjoy it.”

But what is Lazarus about? Well, the story seems to draw some pretty obvious inspiration from the pandemic years we all just lived through, and how society acts and evolves with its destruction seems all but assured. As the official synopsis puts it:

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. 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. 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. This group is called “Lazarus.” Can they find Skinner and develop a vaccine before time runs out?

“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,” said Jason DeMarco, SVP, Head of Anime and Action Series at Adult Swim in a statement. “Like all of his work, Lazarus is packed with big ideas, incredible characters and a ton of heart. We can’t wait for anime fans to see this world.”

There’s not currently any available art or footage for the new series, but we will likely begin to see that footage in a few days, as Watanabe will be presenting at Adult Swim’s upcoming “Toonami on the Green” event on Saturday, July 22, in San Diego, CA. Hopefully, the first peek at Lazarus will make its way online quickly afterwards.

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