Ichigo, a Japanese real estate company and clean energy producer, announced on Wednesday that acclaimed director Mamoru Oshii is creating a new animation series for release next year. Oshii is credited for the original story, scripting, and chief direction of the project, which is slated for broadcast and streaming in spring to early summer next year in Japan. Oshii developed the concept for the new series over the past decade.
Ichigo established Ichigo Animation as a wholly owned subsidiary on April 4, and the subsidiary will produce Oshii’s new series as its sole investor. Yutaka Nakanishi is serving as the subsidiary’s president and representative director. Ichigo Animation is part of its parent company’s long-term Ichigo 30 initiative to invest in animation ventures to promote its Akiba Cultures Zone retail building in Tokyo’s Akihabara district. Ichigo Animation has not revealed the title and other details of the new animation.
Oshii is known for writing and directing numerous animated films, original video anime (OVA), television anime series, and live-action films. His early career included directing the first original video anime, Dallos. He also directed Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer, Angel’s Egg, and several Patlabor projects.
The 1995 science fiction animated feature Ghost in the Shell led him to international critical and commercial success. After the success of Ghost in the Shell, Oshii was involved in various projects such as Jin-Roh – The Wolf Brigade, Blood: The Last Vampire, and The Sky Crawlers.
Oshii also has worked on live-action projects in the past, such as The Last Druid: Garm Wars, the The Next Generation -Patlabor- project, and Nowhere Girl. He directed the hybrid live-action/CG micro-series “Sand Whale and Me” at Production I.G, which debuted on Adult Swim’s Toonami block in March 2017.
Author Baku Yumemakura had confirmed in March 2018 that Oshii would be working on a film adaptation of his Chimera novel in animation. Media news website Comic Natalie then reported later that month that Oshii is directing the film. Ichigo Animation did not state if its project with Oshii is related to Chimera.
Oshii recently directed a “school fantasy” film that Production I.G produced. Production I.G’s post on the school fantasy film does not reveal if this film is related or separate from the Chimera film project. Production I.G and video and music conglomerate Avex announced in March that they are collaborating to launch the Cinema Lab live-action film label. The label is producing films helmed by directors Oshii and Katsuyuki Motohiro.