The details about Ghost in the Shell: Arise, the new property based on the Ghost in the Shell manga, movie, and TV series franchise (compare prices), have finally surfaced thanks to the streaming press conference that ran earlier this morning. Here's what we've learned.
Arise will be released in four separate fifty-minute installments, each with a theatrical release and later a physical media and streaming release. This either puts it into the category of an OVA or a short feature-film series, depending on how you interpret such things. (I'm leaning towards the latte, since serial theatrical release is turning out to be one of the more consistent ways to monetize high-end anime projects.)
- The series is a prequel and deals with main character Motoko Kusanagi as she was earlier in her career with Section 9, presumably including her induction into the unit. (The cast list has all of the other major Section 9 characters, including Batou.)
- The first installment is entitled "Ghost Pain" and will be released to Japanese theaters on Saturday, June 22, 2013. Some theaters will be selling copies of "Ghost Pain" on Blu-ray Disc with a bundled storyboard booklet at a price of ¥8,000 ($85.47).
- The first installment will be available in general release on BD and DVD, in Japan, on July 26th.
- A manga adaptation is also slated to start serialization in Monthly Young Magazine (Kodansha), with art by Takumi Ōyama and a story by Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex screenwriter Jun'ichi Fujisaku. (The story for Arise itself is written by Tow Ubukata, of Le Chevalier d'Eon and Mardock Scramble.)
- Animation is of course by Production I.G, who gave us Stand Alone Complex as well.
- No information yet has been provided about English-language or overseas releases.
A trailer for the series is available on YouTube. The look of the production is strongly reminiscent of both of its predecessors -- the more dynamic TV series and the moody feature films.
Image: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, courtesy Pricegrabber.