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Cowboy Bebop and John Wick directors are teaming up for a new anime

Published Jul 20th, 2023 4:20PM EDT
Lazarus is a new anime from Cowboy Bebop director Shinichirō Watanabe.
Image: Adult Swim

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On Thursday morning, Adult Swim announced that Lazarus, a new anime series from Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo director Shinichirō Watanabe, is now in production. The series is being produced by the anime studio MAPPA, which has recently worked on popular shows such as Attack on Titan, Jujustu Kaisen, and Chainsaw Man.

Adult Swim also revealed that Chad Stahelski, director of all four John Wick movies / stuntman, designed action sequences for the show. Plus, the score features jazz and electronic music from famed musicians Kamasi Washington, Floating Points, and Bonobo. The phrase “dream team” is overused, but this is a dream team if there ever was one.

Adult Swim didn’t share any images or videos from the show, but here’s a synopsis:

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?

MAPPA has been on such a roll lately that even without the renowned crew, I’d still give Lazarus a shot as soon as it started airing on Adult Swim. Sadly, the network didn’t share any information about release plans, but we should learn more in the coming days.

Watanabe will attend the Adult Swim Festival during San Diego Comic-Con for the “Toonami on the Green” event on Saturday, July 22, at 5:15 p.m. PT. Adult Swim says its event will include “a first-look at Lazarus alongside other forthcoming Toonami original series.”

When the series does start airing, it will also be available on Max.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.