'Akira' Sequel Series Coming From Creator Katsuhiro Otomo And A 4K Remaster

Fans of Katsuhiro Otomo's 1988 anime classic are about to get inundated with Akira. On top of the embattled live-action feature film that has finally kicked into gear with Taika Waititi helming, Otomo has confirmed that he will be directing a new Akira anime sequel series, right as the original 1988 film is set to receive a 4K remaster.

Just in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (which play a major part in the original film), Akira creator and director Katsuhiro Otomo has confirmed that he will be helming a new anime series continuing the story of the groundbreaking cyberpunk classic, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Otomo revealed the Akira sequel series news at a panel at the Anime Expo in Los Angeles, where he unveiled that the series will be produced by Bandai Namco's Sunrise.

While THR could not confirm whether Otomo would be creating a new story for this sequel series or adapting the manga, Anime News Network confirmed that the Akira sequel series will "incorporate the entirety of the manga's story."

Otomo's original science-fiction manga ran from 1982 to 1990 and told the story of a postapocalyptic Neo-Tokyo that had been destroyed and rebuilt after a mysterious explosion. Otomo would later adapt the first part of the series into an animated film, Akira, in 1988, which went on to become one of the most acclaimed and influential anime films of all time. The film was released on July 16, 1988 — the same day of the fictional Tokyo's destruction in Akira.

The film follows a group of teen bikers who get caught up in a potentially city-destroying government conspiracy when an accident causes one of them to acquire incredible telekinetic abilities. The leader of the group rushes to stabilize their friend and prevent him from causing another apocalyptic explosion as a group of insurgents attempt to take down the military-controlled government. It was one of the most expensive anime produced at the time (costing around $9 million), but when released, it more than made back its money and was widely hailed as an instant classic and helping to spread the popularity of anime worldwide. More than 30 years later, the seminal feature film will be given a 4K remaster, to be released in Japan in April 2020.

These latest updates are great news as Akira fans brace themselves for Waititi's upcoming live-action adaptation, a long-embattled project that Warner Bros. has been trying to get off the ground for years. While Waititi is a great filmmaker, there's no one that fans can trust more with Akira than the creator himself, Otomo.