The creative force behind the ubiquitous "Akira" has announced that he is preparing two new projects.

Leading manga artist and anime director Katsuhiro Otomo said he is working on "Orbital Era," his third feature film, as well as a long-awaited new "Akira" anime. His second film was "Steamboy," released in 2004.

The projects were revealed during a panel July 4 in Los Angeles as part of Anime Expo 2019. It was hosted by anime studio Sunrise Inc., with Otomo in attendance.

Set in a space colony in near future, “Orbital Era” is an action-adventure story. Serving as director, Otomo is also writing the screenplay based on his own story ideas and providing design work.

A key visual drawn by Otomo was also unveiled, suggesting the theme of the story that describes “the reality of mankind’s future” through the eyes of a boy.

“Akira,” released in 1988, is based on Otomo’s cyberpunk manga of the same name that ran in Kodansha Ltd.’s weekly Young Magazine comic anthology from 1982 to 1990.

The story takes place in Neo-Tokyo in 2019 when the city is set to host the Olympic Games the following year. Otomo directed the animated film adaptation himself.

A fresh collection of his manga works will also be released as "Otomo: The Complete Works."

It will trace the trajectory of the manga artist’s creations and ideas throughout his career. Otomo himself will edit and organize the collection of his titles.

Details for the projects will be announced at later dates.

Visit the official website of “Orbital Era” at (http://orbital-era.com/).

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