In the last decade, Studio MAPPA has really taken off. The anime studio is constantly pushing the envelope in the types of original anime it puts out and the skill with which it animates them. The studio adapted Osamu Tezuka's Sengoku Era demon-hunting manga, Dororo in 2019, made the incredibly popular figure skating anime, Yuri on Ice in 2016, the 2020 adaptation of Q Hayashida's bizarre fantasy manga, Dorohedoro, and, of course, the still-going final season of Attack on Titan. So what other MAPPA anime can we look forward to in 2021?
Heion Sedai no Idaten-tachi
Heion Sedai no Idaten-tachi, or Idaten Deities in the Peaceful Generation, is set to air in July. The original manga is currently serialized in the seinen magazine, Young Animal, and was created by a well-regarded ecchi mangaka duo. Penning the story is Amahara, who wrote the original manga of 2020's infamous Interspecies Reviewers anime, while the art was handled by Cool-Kyou Shinja, best known for Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid and I Can't Understand What My Husband is Saying.
Unlike the duo's previous works, Heion Sedai no Idaten-tachi is uncharacteristically non-slice-of-life. The world has known 800 years of peace since the demons were sealed away by the fierce gods of battle, "Idaten." The gods of this generation now nothing but peace, and so when someone breaks the seal that will revive the demons, an all-out battle royale breaks out between these two forces.
Zombie Land Saga: Revenge
Zombie Land Saga: Revenge, the highly anticipated second season of 2018's comedy-horror idol anime, brings back everyone's favorite undead idol group, Franchouchou. The series is set to air on April 8 on Crunchyroll, with an English dub produced by Funimation.
The first season saw high schooler Sakura Minamoto die in an accident only to reawaken 10 years later as a zombie, alongside six other reanimated girls from different eras in time. Gathered by their eccentric producer, Kotaro Tatsumi, they are given the goal of reviving their home of Saga Prefecture by becoming "Legends."
Munehisa Sakai, who directed the first season of Zombieland Saga, will be continuing as director for the second season. Sakai worked as an episode director on a number of Toei properties including Precure and One Piece, and even directed the One Piece Film: Strong World, before joining MAPPA to make Zombieland Saga.
Maybe MAPPA's most intriguing new project, Yasuke is an upcoming historical samurai anime following the fantasy-fied exploits of the real-life African samurai, Yasuke, who fought under Oda Nobunaga. The series is being produced for Netflix and will be released on April 29.
Netflix describes the series as "A peaceful boatman once known as the Black Samurai is pulled back into conflict when he takes a little girl with mysterious powers under his wing."
The series was created and is being directed by LeSean Thomas, who is known for other animated series like Cannon Busters, The Boondocks, Children of Ether and Black Dynamite. Flying Lotus will be providing an original score and Lakieth Stanfield (Sorry To Bother You, Atlanta, Get Out) will be providing the voice of Yasuke.
Like Zombieland Saga and Yasuke, Re-Main is also a MAPPA original anime, created by Masafumi Nishida, best known for writing for Tiger and Bunny. No word has been given yet on an exact release date, but Re-Main is still set to air sometime in 2021.
This sports anime follows Minato Kiyoumizu, a boy in love with Water Polo, who makes the decision to quit after an incident in junior high. Now in high school, something compels him to give the sport he loves another chance as he joins the Water Polo team, where he and his friends have an exciting but fearsome new road ahead of them.
Jujutsu Kaisen 0 Movie
Following the success of the incredible Jujutsu Kaisen TV adaption, MAPPA is going ahead with a movie, set to premiere this winter. The movie will adapt author Gege Akutami's Jujutsu Kaisen "prototype," which was serialized in Jump Giga before the serialized Jujutsu Kaisen manga began publication in Weekly Shonen Jump.
In Jujutsu Kaisen 0, we meet Yuta Okkotsu, a new student at Jujutsu High. Unlike his fellow freshman students, Yuta isn't here to learn about curses, but because he is cursed himself. After his childhood friend, Rika died, she haunts Yuta as a curse, inflicting harm on anyone who gets too close to the meek boy. Now as a student, Yuta wants to learn to control Rika to help others and why she manifested into a curse in the first place.