Despera is an upcoming anime by the creators of Serial Experiments Lain,written by Chiaki J. Konaka and featuring character designs by Yoshitoshi A Be and which was orignally to be directed by Ryūtarō Nakamura. A companion light novel serialization relating to the anime is being published in Japanese magazine Animage, with thirteen chapters released in serial form between July 2009 and July 2010. The complete novella was published as a single volume on April 28, 2011, and included new story content and illustrations
The story set during the Taisho era will center around a 12-year-old girl named Ain with a familiar hairstyle. She lives in the cellar of the Ryōunkaku, Japan's first skyscraper and builds devices far ahead of the current time period. These include computers with cathode ray tube display monitors and type writer keyboards
Her inventions are funded through a myserious man called Takeshita, who claims he can see the future in Ain's computer screen's. Other people taking an interest in Ain and her inventions are a military officer called Enoshi, sent to investigate some unexplained electrical currents, and an aristocrat named Kimiyasu Fuenokōji. Living with the latter is Barbara Andrei, a Russian aristocratic refugee from Harbin.
The series is currently in Development Hell due to the health problems and later passing away of the director on June 29, 2013 (the news of his death was announced on July 25, 2013). As of 2015, ABe announced that they will proceed with a new director.
Despera contains examples of:
- Diesel Punk: The technology Ain builds is futuristic, but with a 1920s aesthetic.
- The Faceless: Takeshita's face isn't shown in any illustration.
- Ms. Fanservice /Sensual Slavs: Barbara Andrei. Ain is scared of her however because Europeans were a rare sight in Japan at the time and she has never seen one before.
- Shock and Awe: Ain seemingly displays an uncanny ability to generate electricity from her hands
- The Tower: Ain lives in the Ryounkaku, at the time Japan's tallest building.