Anime fans have something to look forward to as Shinichirō Watanabe, the creator of Cowboy Bebop, teams up with John Wick director Chad Stahleski for a new anime series titled Lazarus. The project, produced in collaboration with Adult Swim and Studio MAPPA, is described as a sci-fi action thriller set in the near future.
Lazarus marks Watanabe’s return to the director’s chair since his work on 2019’s Carole & Tuesday. The legendary creator considers this project to be a culmination of his career thus far and expresses his hope that fans will enjoy it. A first look at Lazarus will be revealed at the Adult Swim Festival on July 22, 2023.
Chad Stahleski’s involvement in the project brings excitement, given his background as a stuntman and director for the John Wick franchise. This collaboration further solidifies the connection between Cowboy Bebop and John Wick, as the latter directly drew inspiration from the former in a sequence from John Wick 4.
The music for Lazarus will feature the talents of saxophonist Kamasi Washington, as well as producer/musicians Floating Points and Bonobo. The combination of Watanabe’s storytelling, Stahleski’s action design, and the musical expertise of these artists promises a unique and immersive viewing experience.
The story of Lazarus takes place in the year 2052, where a neuroscientist named Dr. Skinner creates a miracle drug that cures all illnesses. However, Skinner reappears after disappearing and reveals that the drug will ultimately lead to the death of those who take it after three years. In response, a task force called “Lazarus” is formed with the mission to find a vaccine and save humanity.
Jason DeMarco, head of Anime and Action Series at Adult Swim, expresses his excitement in working with Watanabe, whom he regards as one of the greatest living artists. He describes Lazarus as a series packed with big ideas, incredible characters, and a ton of heart—characteristics often associated with Watanabe’s previous works.
Watanabe’s Cowboy Bebop is widely considered one of the best anime series ever made, and he has also worked on other notable projects like Samurai Champloo and Kids on the Slope. However, the Netflix adaptation of Cowboy Bebop in 2021 received negative reviews from fans and critics, with Watanabe himself stating that it was not a faithful representation of his original work.
As of now, there is no confirmed release date for Lazarus. Fans eagerly anticipate the first look at the series at the Adult Swim Festival and are hopeful that Watanabe’s return to the director’s chair will bring forth another memorable and captivating anime experience.