Masterminds Behind ‘Cowboy Bebop’ and ‘John Wick’ Team Up for an Action-Packed Anime Series

Shinichirō Watanabe, the creative genius behind the critically acclaimed Japanese animeCowboy Bebop,’ is back in the saddle once again, with Lazarus. Adult Swim recently greenlit the electrifying new TV series to air on Toonami, and Watanabe himself will be leading the charge as the creator and director. Per Variety, a full season of Lazarus has been officially commissioned, with Adult Swim enlisting the renowned studio MAPPA to handle production. The upcoming series will feature “a jazz and electronic score” composed by the talented trio of saxophonist Kamasi, DJ Floating Points, and producer Bonobo.

There’ll be some heart-pounding action too, courtesy of Chad Stahelski, the mastermind behind the epic John Wick franchise. The series is already in production; however, there’s currently no word on the release date. Lazarus takes place in the year 2052, centring around a revolutionary miracle drug, Hapuna, formulated by a renowned neuroscientist. However, as a disturbing truth comes to light, revealing that the drug’s users die exactly three years after taking it, chaos grips society.

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Adult Swim Lazurus
Image: Adult Swim

The escalating number of fatalities of Hapuna users leads to the creation of an elite task force to trace the origins of this mysterious drug. In a statement about the show, Watanabe expressed his hope that audiences would thoroughly enjoy it, noting that the series served as a reflection of his personal evolution as a director. “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. “I hope you enjoy it.”

In addition to the fresh trailer drop, Adult Swim’s full synopsis for Lazarus provides a juicy glimpse into the action. As per the 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?”

During the show’s announcement, Jason DeMarco, SVP and head of anime and action series at Adult Swim, said, “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. 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.”

Hulu anime cowboy bebop
Cowboy Bebop | Image: Netflix

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Shubhendu Vatsa

Shubhendu Vatsa

Shubhendu Vatsa is an experienced reporter specialising in video game, eSports and technology coverage. A BTech IT graduate, Shubhendu has previously written for entertainment-based publications such as GiveMeSport, Touch, Tap, Play, Attack of the Fanboy, EssentiallySports, Twinfinite and The Load Out.