Director of previous animated installments returns to co-helm new anime from Production I.G.
After years of speculation and scrutiny, the live-action Ghost in the Shell is finally out in movie theaters. So far, it’s received a lukewarm response in English-speaking territories, with many placing the blame on either casting choices or tonal changes compared to the 1995 Ghost in the Shell anime movie, which was many Western fans’ first contact point with the franchise that began as a manga from original creator Masamune Shirow six years prior, in 1989.
The live-action Ghost in the Shell just opened in theaters in Japan on April 7, so it’s too early to call it a box office success or failure in the franchise’s native nation. Nevertheless, anime studio Production I.G. chose the live-action film’s Japanese premiere date to announce that it will be making a brand-new Ghost in the Shell anime.
Production I.G. has been responsible for all of the myriad Ghost in the Shell anime movies, TV series, and direct-to-video installments that have been released over the past 22 years. During that time, a trio of directors have held the reins: Mamoru Oshii (the first Ghost in the Shell movie and its theatrical follow-up Innocence), Kenji Kamiyama (the Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex TV series), and Kazuchika Kise (Ghost in the Shell Arise video series and Ghost in the Shell New Movie). For the upcoming anime, Kamiyama will once again be directing, but as part of a “double director” team with Shinji Aramaki, whose most recent noteworthy credits are as director of the CG Appleseed and Appleseed Alpha movies, which are themselves based on a separate Shirow manga that predates Ghost in the Shell.
Despite Kamiyama’s involvement, the project is not being billed as a sequel to Stand Alone Society. Instead, Production I.G. is promising that this is “the birth of a new Ghost in the Shell world.” Details such as the anime’s format and release date are yet to be revealed, but for anyone who feels like the live-action film left a bad taste in their mouth, hopefully they can take some solace in knowing that there’s an animated palate-cleanser coming.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s saving all of his outrage at changes to source material for until there’s a remake of Escaflowne or Maison Ikkoku.