Ghost in the Shell taking the World by Storm

Sep 9th 2004
GHOST IN THE SHELL” PHENOMENON TAKING THE WORLD BY STORM

Cult franchise staging a major comeback with a new movie, TV series, videogame, graphic novel, and DVD releases.


In 1995, writer/director Mamoru Oshii's widely influential “Ghost in the Shell” burst onto the international film scene, introducing a new wave of Japanese animation through its mesmerizing cinematic expression. Seamlessly merging traditional cel animation with the latest computer graphic imagery, this stunning sci-fi spectacle broke through the boundaries of mainstream animation with its detailed artistic direction and uniquely intelligent story line.

Nine years later, “Ghost in the Shell” is about to take once again the world by storm with a movie sequel, TV series, graphic novel and several DVDs all debuting this Fall.

On September 17th, Go Fish Pictures, a division of Dreamworks Pictures, will release the long-awaited sequel “Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence” in theaters. Once again written and directed by Mamoru Oshii, “Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence”—the first anime ever to compete for the Cannes International Film Festival's coveted Palme d'Or—is the story of a solitary cyborg who desperately wants to hold on to what's left of his humanity in a world where the worth of the human soul is fading almost into obscurity. “Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence” will get the widest theatrical opening release ever in the United States for an adult-themed anime film.

Less than two weeks later, on September 28th, Manga Entertainment and Bandai Entertainment will release the second DVD volume of the highly anticipated anime series “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.” The series, which will be released bi-monthly on seven DVD volumes over the next year, was created by the revered animators at Japan's Production I.G—the team behind “Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence” and the anime segments in Quentin Tarantino's “Kill Bill: Volume 1.”

Dark Horse Comics will also contribute to the “Ghost in the Shell” phenomenon with the October 6th release of the “Ghost in the Shell 2nd Edition” graphic novel. This new edition of the original “Ghost in the Shell” manga will be in the original Japanese size and feature additional material not published in previous U.S. editions. “Ghost in the Shell 2nd edition” will carry an 18+ age advisory and be shrink-wrapped.

A month later, in early November, the anime series “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex” will debut on Cartoon Network's highly rated late-night Adult Swim. Set in the not-too-distant future when technology plays a key role in everyday human life, “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex” follows the adventures of the most popular female cyborg, Maj. Motoko Kusanagi, and her fellow police officers of Section 9.

November will also mark the launch of “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex” for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. Developed by Cavia Inc., and published by Bandai America, this 3rd person shooter allows you to hack into your enemies' minds, play as multiple characters from Ghost in the Shell, choose from 15 weapon types, select multiplayer combat for up to 4 players, and contains over 20 minutes of beautifully rendered CGI Ghost in the Shell FMV. This game is designed to appeal both to Ghost in the Shell fans as well as the most hardened gamer.

The year will end with a new beginning when, on December 7th, Manga Entertainment releases a Special Edition DVD of the movie that started it all. “Ghost in the Shell,” which was the first anime video to ever reach number one on the Billboard chart back in 1996 and has since sold over 1 million DVD and VHS units in the United States alone, will be re-released with enhanced audio/visual and language options in a feature-packed set that is sure to please even the most die-hard fans.

The future looks very bright for the “Ghost in the Shell” property, with the DVD release of the much-touted “Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence” following its theatrical release and the production of a second season of the “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex” TV series.



About Bandai America Incorporated (www.bandai.com or www.ghostintheshell-thegame.com)
Bandai America Incorporated is a subsidiary of Bandai Co., Ltd., the third largest toy company in the world, with more than 30 group companies in 9 countries. Global interests include toys and children's entertainment, video game software, multimedia, music, full-length feature films, vending machines, trading cards, candies and licensed apparel.

About Bandai Entertainment, INC. (www.bandai-ent.com and www.ghostintheshell.tv)
Bandai Entertainment, INC. is the premier distributor of Japanese animation on DVD home video in North America. The company has distributed notable titles like Wolf's Rain,Gundam Seed, Cowboy Bebop, and Witch Hunter Robin. Bandai Entertainment, INC. is a subsidiary of Bandai America Inc., who makes the toys for the hit television series, Power Rangers, Digimon, and Mobile Suit Gundam. All U.S. operations are headquartered in a large, ultra-modern facility in Cypress, Calif. Bandai Co., Ltd. is the third largest toy company in the world comprising 53 subsidiaries in 18 countries. In addition to toys and children's entertainment, Bandai Co.'s global interests include video game software, multimedia, music and full-length feature films, vending machines, trading cards, candies, and licensed apparel. Bandai Entertainment is headquartered in Cypress.

About Cartoon Network (www.cartoonnetwork.com)
Cartoon Network, currently seen in 87.1 million U.S. homes and 160 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.'s 24-hour, ad-supported cable service offering the best in animated entertainment. Since its launch in 1992, Cartoon Network has remained one of ad-supported cable's highest-rated networks. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry.

About Dark Horse Comics (www.darkhorse.com)
Dark Horse Comics was founded in 1986 and has become the fourth largest comic-book publisher in the U.S. It is recognized as the world's leading publisher of licensed comics material.

About Dreamworks SKG (www.Dreamworks.com and www.gofishpictures.com/GITS2)
Dreamworks SKG was formed in October, 1994, by its three principal partners—Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen—to produce live-action motion pictures; animated feature films; network and cable television programming; home video entertainment; records; books; toys; and consumer products.

About Manga Entertainment (www.manga.com and www.manga.com/ghost/ghost.html)
Manga Entertainment Inc., an Anchor Bay Entertainment Company, specializes in the production and distribution of Japanese animation for theatrical, DVD and home video release worldwide. Manga's cutting-edge film catalog also features Asian live-action, cult, pop-culture and international animation. Manga films are distributed in the U.S. through Anchor Bay Entertainment. Manga has offices in London and Tokyo, and is headquartered in Chicago.

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