Most anime are adaptations of existing material. Some adapt manga, while others adapt light novels. Others still might adapt video games or even live-action series. There’s never been an anime that was an adaptation of a live theatrical stage reading. Until now, that is. We previously reported on the announcement of MARS RED, an anime co-production between Funimation and Yomiuri-TV Enterprise LTD that is set to adapt the theatre works of Japanese playwright and director Bun-O Fujisawa. Now, we have some new details on the series thanks to an update from the official website.
The debut trailer for MARS RED above gives us a first look at the vampire boy anime in motion. This co-production is set to create a multi-media franchise out of the MARS RED IP, as a manga adaptation of the theatre reading launched back in 2019. While a premiere date for the series has yet to be shared, the trailer caps off telling viewers that the show will become available in 2021.
We also got info on the first members of the voice acting cast for MARS RED. The actors, as well as their respective characters, are as follows:
- Tasuku Hatanaka as Shutaro Kurusu, an A-class vampire and rookie on the Code Zero squad
- Junichi Suwabe as Yoshinobu Maeda, captain of Code Zero and the “most powerful human”
- Akira Ishida as Takeuchi, a D-class vampire and mad scientist with an immortal brain
- Kenichi Suzumura as Suwa, a veteran vampire since the Edo era
Funimation describes the story of MARS RED as follows:
MARS RED takes place in 1923, and vampires have existed for quite a while. But now, the number of vampires is increasing and a mysterious, artificial blood source called Ascra has appeared.
The Japanese government, in turn, creates “Code Zero,” a unit within the army tasked with taking down the vampiric forces. And what better way to track vampires than by using vampires?
Created by Lieutenant General Nakajima, this unit has historically been in the business of information war, but has been re-assigned to solve the vampire crisis. It’s up to Code Zero and the S-class vampire Deffrot to investigate this increase and put a stop to it before society crumbles.
The anime is being produced by Signal.MD, with Kouhei Hatano set to direct the series. He previously served as episode director for Freezing Vibration and Angels of Death. Junichi Fujisaku, who previously worked on Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Blood+, Blood-C, and The Beast Player Erin, is set to be a scriptwriter and script supervisor for the anime. Kemuri Karakara, who is the illustrator for the official manga adaptation of the franchise, is credited as the original character designer. Karakara previously worked on Donten ni Warau. Yukari Takeuchi of Norn9 fame is adapting those character designs for animation. Bun-o Fujisawa, the original creator of the franchise, will be the sound director of the anime. Finally, cellist Toshiyuki Muranaka, who previously composed for In This Corner of the World, will be composing the music for the anime.
The original stage production of MARS RED debuted back in 2013, with subsequent shows being staged in 2015 and 2017. Karakara launched the manga adaptation of the stage production in Mag Garden’s Monthly Comic Garden magazine on January 4th.