Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence Ani-Manga Box Set

Mar 9th 2005
VIZ DEBUTS GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE ANI-MANGA BOX SET

Special four-volume set depicts all of the action of critically acclaimed anime film, frame-by-frame

San Francisco, CA, March 9, 2005 – VIZ, LLC, which recently announced its upcoming merger with ShoPro Entertainment, Inc. to form one of the entertainment industry's most innovative comprehensive manga and animation licensing and publishing companies, has announced the debut in April 2005 of a special four-volume, full-color Ani-Manga box set for GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE. The set is rated “T+” for older teens and will retail for $39.99.

The exclusive Ani-Manga edition of GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE was created using over 2000 full-color stills from renowned director Mamoru Oshii's spectacular film, which was released theatrically in North America in 2004 by Dreamworks. Each volume in this four-volume set comes with elegant dust jacket that mirror's the original Japanese edition, along with the complete and uncut Japanese sound effects, and a bonus glossary. Also included is a special original essay on director Mamoru Oshii and Innocence.

In 2032, the line between humans and machines has been blurred almost beyond distinction. Humans have forgotten that they are human, and those that are left coexist with cyborgs and dolls. Batou is a cyborg. His body is artificial, the only remnants left of his humanity are traces of his brain and the memories of a woman called The Major. A detective for the government's covert anti-terrorist unit, Public Security Section 9, Batou is investigating the case of a “gynoid” — a hyper realistic female robot who malfunctions and slaughters her owner. As Batou delves deeper into the investigation, questions arise about humanity's need to immortalize its image in dolls. The answers to those questions lead to the shocking truth behind the crime, and quite possibly, the very meaning of life.

When Oshii's original GHOST IN THE SHELL film hit screens in 1996, it forever altered the perceptions of the vast potential of anime and became a strong influence on directors like Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill Vol. 2) and Andy Wachowski (The Matrix). Oshii's fascinating style is rooted in his unique ability to fuse the dynamic and the mystic, blending the action of big budget science fiction blockbusters with a pervading sense of mood, reflection, mystery and surrealism. GHOST IN THE SHELL's sequel, INNOCENCE, finds director Oshii back on familiar footing, once again drawing from the same source material (Masamune Shirow's manga series), the same characters (Batou, Motoko, Togusa), and continuing to explore the same compelling conflict between man and machine's coexistence.

“The release of the Ani-Manga box set for GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE is sure to delight fans of science fiction, anime and manga,” states Anthony Jiwa, director of marketing for VIZ. “It also validates our commitment to deliver the highest quality content in a unique and compelling format. The Ani-Manga version of INNOCENCE allows readers to follow all the action from the film in a compact and portable version that can be picked up again and again.”

About VIZ LLC/ShoPro Entertainment
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ, LLC and ShoPro Entertainment recently announced their upcoming merger to become one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. The new company, whose name will be announced shortly, will be owned by three of Japan's largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shogakukan, Inc., Shueisha, Inc. and Shogakukan Production Co, Ltd. (Sho-Pro Japan).

VIZ/ShoPro Entertainment is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese animation. The new company offers an integrated product line including magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos, DVDs, audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment starting from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages.

Contact VIZ/ShoPro Entertainment at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086 and web sites at and www.Sho-Pro-entertainment.com and www.VIZ.com.

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