July 24, 2009

Halo Videogame Being Given Anime Makeover

On Thursday, Microsoft announced that it is collaborating with Japanese anime studios to develop short films based on its "Halo" videogame franchise.

Halo is now the top selling title for Microsoft's Xbox gaming console, and the company hopes the collaboration with "a renowned set of storytellers" from Japanese anime studios will take the franchise "to a new level.''

The videogame is centered on the adventures of a super soldier named "Master Chief" who defends mankind against "The Covenant," a group of aliens.

Shinji Aramaki, who directed "Appleseed" and "Appleseed EX," and Mamoru Oshii are among the anime legends who will work on the "Halo Legends" project.

"Halo and its characters are a very natural fit for anime," said Aramaki, creative director for the project.

"As a fan of the Halo universe, it is an honor to work with Microsoft and my very talented peers from other studios to create this collection," he told the AFP.

According to Microsoft, Halo Legends will be a compilation of short stories dealing with characters and themes from the videogame.

Japanese studios working on the Halo Legends project include the creators of popular anime works such as "Fullmetal Alchemist" and "The Animatrix."

"The opportunity to work with talents such as Shinji Aramaki, Mamoru Oshii and others from some of the greatest anime studios is a very rare opportunity for Microsoft," said Frank O'Connor, director of Halo franchise development.

"We've seen the world through Master Chief's eyes, and we've experienced facets of the universe through a variety of literary prisms, but now we get to watch new tales unfold in really rich, visually dynamic ways," O'Connor added.

The Halo anime project will premier on Xbox Live, an online entertainment platform available through the Microsoft videogame console.  

Halo Legends will be distributed by Warner Home Video.

"The combination of the talent involved and the Halo brand ensure the collection is something consumers are really going to enjoy," said Amit Desai of Warner Home Video.


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