Netflix has something new in store for sci-fi fans with their upcoming original anime Moonrise. Produced by Wit Studio (known for Spy × Family), this action-packed space tale has caught the eye of many not only due to its gorgeous visuals but because of the staff involved.
CEO George Wada had something special to share about the project in his recent announcement:
Moonrise will portray the lives of two men, Jack and Al, as they confront various hardships in the vast world of outer space. All action and scenery in the unexplored parts of the Moon will be illustrated using an innovative type of animation unlike any seen before. My sincere wish is that this project inspires contemporary lives everywhere.George Wada, Wit Studio
As far as the innovative animation is concerned, fans will have to wait and see. The trailer has confirmed that the series will utilize a mix of both 2D and 3D animation. That may seem standard fare for the current state of anime, but perhaps Moonrise is saving its best moments for its 2024 release date.
Fullmetal Alchemist fans have likely noticed a familiar art style in the Moonrise key visual. And Hiromu Arakawa isn’t the only big name that’s joined Wit Studio’s supergroup. Director Masashi Koizuka and animation director Ayumi Yamada of Attack on Titan fame along with Fate/Grand Order composer Ryo Kawasaki have joined the project.
What is the plot of the upcoming Moonrise anime?
Those wanting to get a sneak peek into Moonrise’s world are in luck. An introductory novel written by screenwriter Tow Ubukata is available for free for Kindle Unlimited users and for $0.99 to purchase otherwise.
While only a brief snippet of Moonrise’s world, the short story starts with protagonist Jack recalling a song about a beautiful ocean while he traverses the basins of black basalt that now take up 35% of the moon’s surface after a meteor strike. Called the ‘Sea of Crises’ for a reason, Jack feels a sense of claustrophobia in his suit as he takes the reader through the current state of human society after the first ‘Moon People’ landed.
Author Tow Ubukata is best known for his screenwriting work on Psycho-Pass 2 and RWBY: Ice Queendom as well as the Mardock Scramble film series. But his experience isn’t limited to anime. As a multi-award-winning author and columnist for Japan’s Newtype magazine, Ubukata has certainly made a name for himself — just in more ways than one.
What is the controversy surrounding Moonrise writer Tow Ubukawa?
While many anime fans are excited for Tow Ubukawa’s latest work, some have mixed feelings about the novelist and screenwriter due to an alleged domestic abuse incident back in 2015. Japan’s Public Prosecutors Office dropped all charges against the author, and Ubukawa has a memoir in the works regarding the situation titled 9 Days Trapped.
The initial charges alleged that Ubukawa struck his wife during an argument, breaking her front tooth. Ubukawa has maintained that, while the two did argue, he never hit his wife. In the midst of the allegations, a drama based on Ubukawa’s novel Mitsukuni-den was placed on hold. But the writer has not experienced any other forms of industry blacklisting since.
Regardless, this hasn’t been enough to put some fans at ease — some previously boycotted RWBY: Ice Queendom due to the writers’ involvement and urging that the series be canceled or that Ubukawa be fired. Seeing as the charges have been dropped over 7 years ago, it is unlikely Netflix or Wit Studio will take any action based on allegations alone.