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Masao Maruyama wants to make Pluto anime, doesn't have the cash

5:00 PM on 04.30.2014 // Ben Huber

The producer from Madhouse and MAPPA speaks about upcoming projects.

You may know about FicZone 14, an otaku convention in Granada, Spain. It's a fairly recent event, but it's been nabbing some big-name guests pretty rapidly. Most recently, they featured Masao Maruyama, a producer and co-founder of Madhouse, and had the chance to interview him. Much of it was on scheduling details, such as Sunao Katabuchi's new film, To All The Corners of The World, which will be released in Summer 2015. But the most interesting news was when they spoke about MAPPA, the studio Maruyama established in 2011.

Maruyama said that he desires to create a Pluto anime series at MAPPA, based off of Naoki Urasawa's fantastic re-imagining of Astro Boy. He doesn't promise it by any means, but implies he's at least been running the numbers, as he says they'd need an 800 million yen budget (oi). He also says the dream project would run 8 hours, presumably an hour per volume. While it doesn't appear to be coming anytime soon, he does say that it's "a project I have to do before I die." Morbid! He then goes on to say that the same goes for The Dream Machine, the unfinished Satoshi Kon film. Who knows if MAPPA and Madhouse, respectively, will ever finish or even tackle these projects, but it's nice to know someone with decision-making powers wants to make them happen.

The interview also goes into Shinichiro Watanabe's new show, Terror in Tokyo, as Maruyama says he thinks audiences will find in it a "whole new Watanabe." He then goes on to speak about money, managing a studio, and his priorities: he cares about whether an anime is good, rather than whether it is profitable. Let's hope it can be both!

Well... If a Pluto anime ever is officially announced, I will then be able to die a happy man.


Ben Huber, Contributor
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