Since he created Naruto in the 1990s, almost all of Masashi Kishimoto’s work has been connected to that ninja-filled world. But now, Kishimoto is turning his attention to science fiction with his new manga series Samurai 8.
The series will be written by Kishimoto and illustrated by Akira Ōkubo, his former assistant. Samurai 8 was announced at Shonen Jump‘s Jump Festa convention, where a trailer for the manga also debuted. The trailer shows off several quick scenes of cybernetic warriors and swordplay before revealing that the series will begin sometime in 2019.
In a statement from the festival translated by Twitter user OrganicDinosaur, Kishimoto reportedly said “I like Japanese-styled things: I’m thrilled about the culture and decor. I like sci-fi things too. I’m excited for this gimmick and it’s [sic] creation. Since I like both things, I’ve decided to mix them together to depict this work.”
Kishimoto added, “I’ll work as hard as possible to make it even more interesting than the Naruto series!”
Considering Naruto’s immense popularity, that could be an imposing task. After a few early one-shots, Naruto ran in Shonen Jump from 1999 to 2014 and stands as one of the most popular manga in the world. The series spawned a wildly successful, long-running anime adaptation and a sequel series, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, which has also been adapted as an anime.
Samurai 8 will begin running in Shonen Jump sometime in 2019.