John Wick And Cowboy Bebop Creators Join Forces For New Anime

By Douglas Helm | Updated

It’s always good to temper your expectations about a TV show, but the creative team behind the newly announced Lazarus anime is just too good not to get incredibly hyped. The series is the next project from legendary Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo creator Shinchiro Watanabe, which alone is cause for excitement. Add the fact that John Wick director Chad Stahleski is directing the action sequences, and you seemingly have the recipe for another legendary show for Watanabe to add to his oeuvre.

Cowboy Bebop’s Shinchiro Watanabe and John Wick director Chad Stahleski work together on the upcoming anime series Lazarus.

You may notice that the trailer for the Lazarus anime also has gorgeous animation. This is another reason to get pumped because MAPPA is animating the project. The anime studio is best known for its incredible work on Attack on Titan, Vinland Saga, and Jujutsu Kaisen.

Fans of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo also know that Watanabe is well known for ensuring his shows have incredible music. The Lazarus anime will be no different in this respect, as electronic musician Bonobo, electronic musician Floating Points, and jazz legend Kamasi Washington are contributing to the soundtrack.

Again, it’s hard to keep the hype down, knowing that all of these incredible pieces are part of this show’s puzzle.

What is Lazarus About?

To top it off, the Lazarus anime has a pretty interesting premise, as it takes place in the year 2052, where a wonder drug has been invented that cures sickness forever. However, three years after the release of the drug, the drug’s inventor reveals it is a slow-acting poison that will eventually kill anyone who has taken it. A special task force known as Lazarus is then assembled to take down the inventor and stop his plan.


For now, the trailer, the premise, and the creative team behind the Lazarus anime are the only details we have about the project. When the trailer was shown at Adult Swim’s “Toonami on the Green” panel at San Diego Comic-Con, the production team said they intended to finish production on the project by 2024.

However, a release date hasn’t been announced, and no promises were made that the series would release the same year that production is finished (though one can hope).

Where to Watch Lazarus

When the Lazarus anime does eventually air in the US, it will air on Adult Swim’s Toonami programming block. Adult Swim also showcased another massive anime series that will be coming to the network at Comic-Con when it debuted the trailer for the adaptation of Junji Ito’s seminal horror manga Uzumaki. The stunning black-and-white animation of the adaptation perfectly captures the essence of Ito’s bleak and chilling manga.

Uzamaki will be a four-episode series that follows high school student Kirie Goshima living in the town of Kurozu-cho, whose residents begin to descend into madness from strange spirals that start appearing.

The adaptation will be directed by Hiroshi Nagahama (Flowers of Evil), and Hereditary‘s Colin Stetson will be composing the score. In short, with Adult Swim releasing both the Uzumaki adaptation and Lazarus in the near(ish) future, we have quite a lot of potentially legendary anime content to look forward to.