Tokyo Babylon to get anime TV series in 2021

Today it was confirmed that CLAMP’s early manga Tokyo Babylon will be adapted as an anime next year, and will be set in 2021.

Following a week of speculation, a trailer for the new series, entitled Tokyo Babylon 2021, was released on 25th October 2020 at 15:00 (midnight Japanese time). The trailer and the series will be made by the studio GoHands.

On Monday, the official CLAMP fans website posted a link to a forthcoming YouTube video. The message reads: “—7 more days” and a graphic of the number 7, the word “START” and the years 1990-2020. The years are significant as CLAMP are celebrating their 30th anniversary. Today, the link was reposted with the message: “—6 more days”, with the graphic on the YouTube channel changing to the number 6 and the word “PAIR”. Fans then spotted that these referred to past volumes of the original manga.

Running between 1990 and 1993, Tokyo Babylon (published in English by Dark Horse) follows Subaru Sumeragi, a 16-year-old onmyoji. Onmyoji were formerly civil servants specialising in divination and magic. In the series, Subaru solves various supernatural and occult occurrences in Tokyo. He is joined by his twin sister Hokuto and his gay love interest Seishiro Sakurazuka, a 25-year-old vet whom the reader learns has a murderous dark side. Subaru and Seishiro would later become central figures in CLAMP’s next major work X, aka X/1999 (VIZ Media), in which the duo fight on opposite sides in a battle to either stop or bring about the apocalypse in the year 1999. X ran from 1992-2003, when the series ended up being put on hiatus and never returned to. Some fans had suspected that the video might have announced a continuation of the X manga, but it was not to be.

This is not the first time Tokyo Babylon has been adapted as an anime. Back in the 1990s it was partly adapted as a two-part OVA, which was released in the UK by Manga Entertainment. The new version will be set in 2021 rather than the 1990s.

As well as the video, since the start of October new artwork of past CLAMP characters has been posted by the CLAMP fans website, featuring their creations dressed in clockwork/steampunk type clothing. The style appears to connect with CLAMP’s only currently running series, Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (Kodansha), in which one of the characters, Yuna D. Kaito, is a controller of powerful magic that can stop and reverse time. The full list of characters that appeared were (in order of when they were posted):

  • Sakura and Syaoran from Cardcaptor Sakura & Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card. (Kodansha)
  • Hikaru, Umi and Fuu from Magic Knight Rayearth. (Kodansha)
  • Kimihiro and Yuko from xxxHolic. (Kodansha)
  • Kurogane, Fai and Syaoran from Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle. (Kodansha)
  • Chi from Chobits. (Kodansha)
  • Su from Clover. (Kodansha)
  • Akiho, Cerberus (aka Kero), Spinel Sun, and Momo from Cardcaptor Sakura (except Akiho and Momo) & Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card. (Kodansha)
  • Mokona from Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle. (Kodansha)
  • Mokona Modoki from xxxHolic. (Kodansha)
  • Ashura from RG Veda. (Dark Horse)
  • Kamui and Fuma from X. (VIZ Media)
  • Akira from Man of Many Faces and CLAMP School Detectives. (VIZ Media)
  • Nokoru from CLAMP School Detectives. (VIZ Media)
  • Kohaku from Wish. (Dark Horse)
  • Misaki from Angelic Layer. (Dark Horse)
  • Kobato from Kobato. (Yen Press)
  • Subaru and two versions of Seishiro from Tokyo Babylon. (Dark Horse)

Ian Wolf

Ian works as an anime and manga critic for Anime UK News, and is also the manga critic for MyM Magazine. Outside of anime, he also is the editor of On The Box, data specialist for the British Comedy Guide, is QI's most pedantic viewer, has written questions for both The Wall and Richard Osman's House of Games, and has been a contestant on Mastermind.

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