While at C2E2 2019 I attended a panel featuring Fuminori Kizaki (Director of Afro Samurai), Toshiaki Obata (Marketing Producer of Pyscho-Pass), and Shuzo John Shiota (President of Polygon Pictures) to talking about their new film Human Lost. Kizaki said this new project was born from a desire to create an epic science fiction film in the vein of Akira or Ghost in the Shell.
Based on the acclaimed 19th century Japanese novel No Longer Human, this new animated film is set in a SciFi world where the Shōwa era never ended. In the future medicine has cured every disease, live expectancy averages 120 years, and people can work 20 hour days on only 3 hours of sleep.
However, these biological advancements come at the cost of mental illness caused by workaholism. Furthermore the gaps between the rich and the poor have never been greater. It’s a SciFi world with real world issues. Funimation showed a teaser trailer (seen below) as well as a longer trailer exclusive to the convention.
Despite this interesting concept a major sticking point for Human Lost is the choice to make the film cell-shaded CGI. Polygon Pictures is the same studio behind Netflix’s Godzilla films. From what I saw of the teaser footage shown at the panel, audiences can expect more of the same.
Polygon Pictures President, Shuzo John Shiota, was refreshingly candid about the use of CGI. He acknowledged that many fans may be critical of the style but the animators worked hard to deliver spectacular fight sequences. Many fans of RWBY are able to overlook the graphical limitations and still enjoy the action.
Even with assurances that this Human Lost would be an action packed film with a meaningful story I couldn’t help but feel let down. Parring the dynamic and unique art of Afro Samurai and a SciFi story to rival Akira should have created an anime film for the ages. Unfortunately it appears we’re going to be getting another forgettable film like Netflix’s Godzilla.