From the New World, a past winner of Japan’s equivalent of the Nebulas (the Nihon SF Taishou Award, given by the SF Writers of Japan) is being adapted into a TV series which is available with subtitles to most of the English-speaking world.
The origin story is briefly related in a press release at Crunchyroll.com:
Five children living in the future are the protagonists. The story begins when they are 12 years old and starting their lives at an advanced school to learn the ‘cursed power’ of telekinesis. They also learn of humanity’s bloody history and set out upon epic adventures that place their very lives on the line. The age of 14 brings them still greater trials and heart-wrenching events, and finally, in the summer of their 26th year, a tragedy like nothing history has ever seen befalls mankind…
The stream itself is here.
And the Anime News Network has translated some Japanese promotional material including a Q&A with the book’s author Y?suke Kishi:
Could you please tell us what made you decide to write this book?
I first had the idea for it over 30 years ago when I’d just entered university. It came to me after I read the book, On Aggression, published in 1970 by Australian ethologist Roland Lorenz. In his book he wrote that because humans were weak creatures to begin with, the checks against intraspecies aggression were also very weak. I took my idea from that description, and spent the next 30 years refining into this novel.
What were your reasons for setting the story 1,000 years in the future?
I was considering many time periods as possibilities, but 1,000 years in the future was the only compromise I could reach. One of my main reasons is that I wanted to depict plants and animals which had undergone an irregular evolution. To do that, 1,000 years honestly isn’t enough time. It would take ten or a hundred thousand years for that, and I wanted to place it in that future, but if I did so, then elements of the story, such as the ruins of modern civilization, would not be around anymore. I researched many things, like the longevity of concrete, and 1,000 years was about the only point where they might all come together, so that’s the time period I set it in.
[Thanks to Petréa Mitchell for the story.]