Natsume Maya is reporting that the 40-episode Valerian & Laureline anime series will debut in France this fall.  Directed by Satou Eiichi and based on the long-running series of Valerian graphic novels by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezieres, the new series was animated in Japan by Satelight.  The series is a French Japanese co-production involving Satelight, Dargaud (Valerian's publisher), and Luc Besson's Europacorp.


The first adventure of the time traveling, special agent Valerian appeared in the French comic anthology magazine Pilote in 1967.  Valerian and his comely red-haired sidekick Laureline ranged across the galaxies and back and forth in time in a series of fast-moving science fiction adventures, which many believe had a profound influence on Star Wars.  Laureline, who Valerian plucked from her medieval French existence, proved over time to be the more intelligent and resourceful of the duo, making her the prototype of the modern heroine.  Several volumes of the Valerian series have been published in English, but are currently out of print.  However I Books is planning to release a 176-page Valerian collection this September, so by the time the Valerian & Laureline anime series gets to the U.S., retailers should at least have some related merchandise.