Masao Maruyama is the co-founder of Madhouse and MAPPA, and is currently promoting his new studio, Studio M2.
Maruyama’s new studio is making a name for itself by pursuing serious projects that defy tropes and are surrounded by celebrity. The studio produced its first anime January 2017 with Onihei, which pulls from the famous novel series by the same name. If Miyazaki is the master of magical realism style, Maruyama is the master of psychological grit.
While at Japan Expo in Paris, Maruyama stated his desire to adapt Satoshi Kon’s unfinished manga, Opus. An official announcement has not been made nor has the project been green-lit.
Kon’s manga was serialized between October 1995 to June 1996. Opus follows Chikara Nagai, a mangaka who is under great pressure to finish his latest work. One of Nagai’s harsh critics at the moment happens to be a character that is planned to die in the finale. The immense pressure causes Nagai’s manga and reality to blend, which brings him to a maze that may prevent him from writing a conclusion.
Opus would be canceled in after 19 chapters, with Kon deeming the work a failure. It was also his final manga series before becoming an anime director. An unused ended for Opus was discovered after Kon’s death.
Maruyama is no stranger when it comes to Kon’s mind-bending style. He helped produce Perfect Blue and Tokyo Godfathers, while helped with planning on Paranoia Agent and Millenium Actress.
Maruyama is still “in theory” producing Kon’s Dream Machine movie, which was put on hold following Kon’s death. While Maruyama still wants to produce the movie, he is having difficulty securing funds and finding a talented successor to direct the project.
Do you think Opus could end up being a good anime source if the project ever gets green-lit?