Shinichiro Watanabe, creator of Cowboy Bebop, has announced his next big anime project….an adaption of a Western property. Blade Runner: Black Lotus will take place in the world established by the groundbreaking 1982 motion picture and its 2017 sequel.
Chronologically, it’ll take place within those films — Blade Runner: Black Lotus sets itself in 2032, thirteen years after the original picture but seventeen years before its sequel. (Yes, Blade Runner happened in 2019.) The cartoon is currently being animated by Sola Digital Arts, and episodes will be directed by Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama.
Why Blade Runner? Perhaps because Watanabe already got his feet wet with the property and liked the experience. He directed an anime short called Blade Runner: Black Out that served as a promotional prequel to Blade Runner 2049, and was released just prior to the movie’s release.
We don’t have to tell you how ironic it is that Watanabe would be working on animating an American live-action property at the same time that one of his own ideas is being turned into one. But we did tell you. Just ignore us then.
Blade Runner: Black Lotus will make its TV debut on Adult Swim’s Toonami block, and its streaming debut on Crunchyroll — the production is a joint effort from both parties. There is currently no release date.