At his Anime Expo panel on Saturday (July 2nd), which he held as a Guest of Honour, Macross creator, director and mecha designer Shoji Kawamori revealed more details on his new global project. The anime series’ title was announced as THE NEXT, and after the presentation, the teaser video below was posted online.
The show projected for release sometime between 2017 and 2018 was also given an in-depth description by Kawamori. Introducing it as a story of the potential of humanity, he posited that true AI is no longer a pipe dream, and tied together the themes explored in Macross, Aquarion and The Vision of Escaflowne as the beginnings of his “hybrid action” work.
Destruction, Destruction, Destruction and—Creation!
Exceptionally cool and intensely hot!
A breaking-the-limit hybrid action story!
The journey to end war using songs instead of weapons which I depicted in “The Super Dimension Fortress MACROSS,” the mind control and AI losing control which I depicted in “MACROSS Plus,” the relation between human and destiny which I depicted in “The Vision of Escaflowne,” the tie between heart, body and soul which I depicted in “Aquarion” series, and the aggregate of life form and the emotional link with the earth which I depicted in “MACROSS Frontier”…
When I worked on these series, the depicted themes were pies in the sky, but now they have gradually become reality in realistic shapes. AI has been widely used in our daily life, and autonomous cars will become more common in a few years. Humanoid robots are not rare anymore, and prolonging life by using biotechnology is no longer a pipe dream. The boundary between developed technologies and human beings is becoming obscure, and the time when we have to seek the meaning of mankind’s existence is coming before long.
What are Human Beings—?
Joy, Anger, Sorrow, Feeling, and Love. What is the power of “Emotion” that distinguishes human and machines?
What I want to depict in this work is the potential humans have. The rapid biological evolution, just like “Cambrian Explosion,” is caused by one incident. This incident turns into the genesis of a new jostle for supremacy. The influence of the evolution goes beyond biological framework and spreads to various kinds of materials and technologies. The era of massive evolution involving diverse existences, such as human, machines and biotechnologies, is coming.
Who is going to survive? Humans, or another existence—
The main characters who are forced to be involved with a war for the existence of the species grope for ways to survive by crossing the boundaries of differences in ideas and species. Since they live in such a hard time, the real potential humans have might be revealed. I want to pin such hope in the story.
Organic compounds and inorganic compounds, light and darkness, life and death… The intersection of two completely opposite elements often prompts signs of new potentials. I am going to challenge to create a piece of entertainment that no one has ever seen by combining the “coolest” forefront technologies and the drive of humans’ burning souls, just like how the species evolved.