Before Hayao Miyazaki became a renowned director in the world of animated films, his start as an animation director on TV gave the world many delights, from his early work on Lupin III — which paved the way for his theatrical directorial debut — to classics like Sherlock Hound. But now his very first solo credit as a director is coming to the U.S., at long last.
Today GKids announced that it had secured the licence to Future Boy Conan, the 26-episode, 1978 post-apocalyptic animated series from Nippon Animation. It’s best-known outside of Japan for the fact that it was Miyazaki’s first work as a solo director on a series, after co-directing the likes of Lupin III Part 1 with Isao Takahata and working as an animator and storyboard artist.
It’s set in the then-far-future of 2021 — a decade after a devastating war on Earth took the planet off its axis, destroying entire continents and wiping out much of humanity’s population. The series follows the titular Conan, an 11-year-old boy used to secluded life on Remnant Island, before he crosses paths with a young girl named Lana after she washes up on his home’s shore. Soon becoming fast friends, Conan and Lana decide to travel across what’s left of Earth, discovering what’s left of human society and facing adventure and danger in equal measure.
GKids’ acquistion marks the first time Future Boy Conan will ever have been made legally accessible in the United States; it will be released with a 4K digital restoration, and will be available with both the original Japanese voice acting or a brand new English dub.
“We are thrilled to help bring this legendary series to North America,” GKids president David Jesteadt said in a press release. “With a beautiful new restoration, now is the perfect time for American fans of director Hayao Miyazaki to experience this classic adventure series as it was meant to be seen.”
Future Boy Conan will release on Blu-ray sometime in late 2021.
Editor’s Note: Stay tuned for news of a local Australian release.