Manga Entertainment UK have been looking for ways to produce new content outside of but still connected to the anime industry for a while and it looks like we might see just that very soon.
Wayward, an ongoing comic series written by Jim Zub (Avengers, Samurai Jack) and illustrated by Steven Cummings (Deadshot, Legends of The Dark Knight) published under the Image Comics label has been optioned by UK-based Manga Entertainment for development in television as a Japanese animated or live action series.
WAYWARD is an action-drama set in modern Tokyo where Yokai, Japanese creatures and spirits of legend, battle against teenagers imbued with newfound supernatural power. The series launched to critical acclaim in August 2014 and is currently available in monthly comic format and four collected trade paperbacks, with a new deluxe hardcover collection arriving in July. WAYWARD’s first volume, ‘String Theory’, made the Young Adult Library Services Association’s 2016 List of ‘Great Graphic Novels for Teens’ and has been favorably reviewed by many outlets, including Kirkus.
Jerome Mazandarani, COO of Manga Entertainment, said, “We are very excited to be working with Jim and Steven to bring the characters and world of WAYWARD to life for the screen. Jim and Steven have managed to create a truly unique high stakes action-drama that feels fresh and authentic in its mixture of Japanese and Celtic mythology. We are very confident this story will connect with audiences across Asia and the rest of the world.”
Jim Zub said, “As soon as Jerome and I started talking about a collaboration, I had a good feeling Manga Entertainment would be the right place to develop Wayward. The crew at Manga intimately understand the anime market and have helped popularize some of the biggest brands in that space. As Japanese art and animation continues to go global, co-producing Wayward at a Japanese studio with Manga taking the lead is a natural choice.”
This is certainly an interesting prospect when you consider the current anime industry is looking to produce series based on foreign media, just look at the increasing number of Chinese web manga/novel’s seeing adaptations each season. Wayward would definitely be a great fit for an animated venture but the idea of a live-action series also excites us. Being big fans of the series we can’t wait to see where this goes and hopefully have more details on it soon.