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Fuminori Kizaki directed Afro Samurai, just one of the many things the genre legend Samuel L. Jackson has been involved in, and its Emmy-winning follow-up Afro Samurai: Resurrection. Now he's got something else big in store for fans of oddball (and slightly futuristic) anime from Funimation.
SYFY WIRE learned at the C2E2 panel featuring Kizaki — as well as Toshiaki Obata (marketing producer of cyberpunk anime Psycho-Pass) and Shuzo John Shiota (president of Polygon Pictures, which does shows like Star Wars: Resistance) — that the director will tackle a new cyberpunkish piece of sci-fi. Called Human Lost, the film is still rather mysterious, though fans can know that it's set in 2036 in Tokyo.
The panel showed off concept art (foggy, urban, blue-hued) for the film, which has been in the works for the past four years and, according to its creators, was looking to fill the gap in Japanese sci-fi left by films like Akira and Ghost in the Shell. Combining the influences of its creative team, the film looks to follow in Afro Samurai's footsteps for a crossover success both critically and popularly.
That said, Kizaki explained through an interpreter that working on the film had plenty of differences from his past work. The 3-D film takes a different process than creating 2-D animation, which was a refreshing approach for the director, who also included tons of action sequences.
The panel also announced that the film would be based on the famous Japanese novel No Longer Human. The book, by Osamu Dazai, is an intense, partially autobiographical drama about alienation and addiction. Combining the book's subject matter with sci-fi elements will provide an inherently complex and flawed humanity inside the secretive film. Kizaki teased that, although the novel has plenty of heavy subject matter, they tried to brighten up the "depressing" ending for the film.
Finally, the film showed off its first teaser trailer and a longer industry-focused trailer exclusive to the convention, which showed off a world where medicinal advances have improved life expectancy dramatically — but at a cost. There were also Mad Max-esque vehicles driving the Tokyo highway, big Blade Runner-y neon advertisements, and plenty of bloody conflict. Also, a horse was on fire at one point. Yeah.
Human Lost will come out in theaters this fall.
You can find all of SYFY WIRE's C2E2 coverage here.