Animations by: Madhouse OR Production I.G.
Adaptation?: Novel; Animage’s Despera section
Director: Ryuutarou Nakamura (Serial Experiments Lain; Kino no Tabi director; Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - participation)
Screenplay: Chiaki J. Konaka
Character Draft: Yoshitoshi ABe (Serial Experiments Lain)
Character Design: Yoshitoshi ABe
Prop Design: Unknown
Mechanic Design: Unknown
Music Composer: Unknown
Despera (ですぺら Desupera?) is an upcoming anime series, directed by Ryutaro Nakamura, written by Chiaki J. Konaka and featuring character designs by Yoshitoshi ABe. This is the second time all the three main creators of psychological thriller anime Serial Experiments Lain will be collaborating once again for the new project, and is Nakamura and Konaka's third collaboration, after their work on Ghost Hound. The title Despera derives from a poem of the same title by Japanese Dadaist poet Jun Tsuji. Though the title of Tsuji's poem comes from the word "desperation" or "despair", the official blog states that it also implies the Spanish word desperado. A graphic novel serialization relating to the anime is being published in Japanese magazine Animage, beginning from its July 2009 issue.
► The main male protagonist is never shown, apparently.
► Ain spends her time building all kinds of weird devices, including a number of cathode ray tube displays (in 1922, cathodes have only just became a commercial product).
► The unnamed man, who’s sort of a friend to Ain, claims to be able to see the future by looking into the cathode ray tubes.
► Einstein’s relativity theory is briefly discussed between the two
► Ain - A 14 year old girl who resides in her workshop inside the basement of the Ryōunkaku in Asakusa, Tokyo. A technical genius with no prior scientific knowledge, she is able to create electronic devices far beyond the capabilities of the current era. Some of the devices created include early versions of a modern computer, complete with typewriter keyboards and cathode ray tube display monitors.
► Unknown Man - A man in his 30s who is an associate of Ain's. In the prologue chapter of the novel, he claims to be able to see the future through the displays on Ain's computer monitors. His face and identity has yet to be revealed.
► Enoki - A military officer who works for the Japanese army's science institute. He holds the rank of 2nd lieutenant. Enoki is sent to Asakusa to investigate the unstable electrical discharge occurring in the vicinity of the Ryōunkaku.
► Fuenokoji Kimiyasu - A Japanese nobleman with the title of viscount. It is unknown what relationship Kimiyasu has with Ain, but he is interested in her unorthodox inventions. He has a primary residence in Sanbanchō of Chiyoda-ku, and a second residence at the Kanda-Surugadai district.
► Andrei Barbara - A Russian woman of aristocratic origins, Barbara is a refugee who escaped from Harbin during the disownment of the presence of Russians by the Chinese Republic. She lives in the Kanda-Surugadai residence owned by Kimiyasu who has taken her in. Ain is particularly uncomfortable of Barbara's presence as she is frightened of her pale white complexion, presumably having never seen a Russian before.
► The story introduces the main character, Ain, and an unnamed man residing in the basement of the Ryounkaku, a famous 12-story landmark in Asakusa district of Tokyo (this landmark is damaged during the 1923 Kanto earthquake and subsequently demolished soon after).
►The story centers around a 14 year old girl named Ain, who often builds devices despite the lack of scientific background for them. The sci-fi alternative period story is set in Tokyo during the Taisho era in 1922, one year before the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake. Expect a pseudo-steampunk historical drama novel/anime series.
Chapters for the graphic novel is under serialization in Animage magazine.
00. "Prologue" (序章 "Joshō"?)
01. "The Girl Below the Twelve Storeys" (十二階下の少女 "Jūnikai shita no shōjo"?)
02. "The Russian Lady of the Mansion" (洋館の露西亜貴婦人 "Yōkan no roshia kifujin?)
03. "Asakusa Tales" (浅草異譚 "Asakusa itan"?)
04. "Electric Girl Versus Tank Corps" (電気娘対戦車隊 "Denki musume tai sensha tai"?)
05. "From Beyond the Screen" (銀幕の彼方より "Ginmaku no kanata yori"?)
06. "In the Corner of the Triangular Second Floor" (三角二階の片隅にて "Sankaku nikai no katasumi nite"?)
07. "The Black Cat of the Twelve-Floor Pagoda" (十二階天塔の黒猫 "Jūnikai tentō no kuro neko"?)
08. "Devil" (魔王 "Maō"?)
09. "Sky" (空 "Sora"?)
"Why did you decided to start the series with a novel serialization?"
► Of course at first we want to do this as an anime project, but while everyone has the image of the show in their own head, it’s quite hard to explain what’s good about it. Main protagonist—the “man”, for example, will never have his face shown or even have his name mentioned in the series, how we will do it as an anime is quite hard to imagine. That’s why we decided to start a novel serialization in Animage magazine, because we’re not risking as much, and by doing so, how the show will look like can be built up from the illustration in the serialization.
"The “man” is a main protagonist, but he won’t make any appearance in the series?"
► Basically the “man” is someone who stay behind in shade of history, but nobody knows who he is so he will never have his face shown. But because we have his character design done, we may make have him make his appearance when the series becomes an anime. Although you can say “Ain” is another protagonist, but because we won’t know what she’s thinking, so we decided to built up the series from the “man” viewpoint. That’s my understanding.