When it comes to live-action sci-fi films, there are a few inarguable and incredibly influential titles that immediately come to mind, like Blade Runner or The Matrix. When it comes to anime, though, there is one clear winner in the race to determine the most iconic sci-fi series of the entire medium; Ghost in the Shell. Originally published as a manga before later being adapted into an industry-changing full-length anime film in 1995, Ghost in the Shell is now a multi-media franchise that has seen multiple television anime, video game adaptations, and even a live-action Hollywood version. The train keeps on rolling, as Netflix are currently producing a new entry in the series titled Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045. Thanks to a recent press release, we now know exactly when the anime is hitting Netflix, as well as who is part of the cast and crew of the gorgeous looking 3DCG anime.
Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 is set to debut exclusively on Netflix worldwide this April, although a specific premiere day has yet to be shared by the streaming company, or by Ghost in the Shell parent company Kodansha. While most animated entries in the iconic and long-running sci-fi action series have been animated in 2D, the latest Netflix-produced take on the franchise looks to be an entirely 3DCG affair. With each new sub-series in the world of Ghost in the Shell, regular series protagonist Motoko Kusanagi tends to sport a brand new design with changed up hair and outfits. The latest series is no different, with our cold and calculated heroine sporting an updated design made by Internet-famous Russian illustrator Ilya Kushinov. Kishinov launched their career as a prolific fan-artist and online illustrator, but has recently broken into the world of anime with a character design role on the standalone film The Wonderland, which premiered last year in Japan and North America.
Ilya Kushinov is also character designer on Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045, and they’re joined by an all-star cast of veterans from Production I.G and other legendary sci-fi anime creators. The new Netflix-produced and Production I.G animated take on the franchise is set to have two 12-episode seasons, with the first season directed by none other than Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex director Kenji Kamiayama. The second season, meanwhile, will be directed by an equally iconic industry member: Appleseed director Shinji Aramaki. Studio Sola Digital Arts is set to collaborate with Production I.G on the anime.
The music composition team for Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 is made up of equally interesting and promising industry icons. Nobuko Toda and Kazuma Jinnouchi are set to compose music for the series. Nobuko Toda was previously the composer for Sweetness & Lightning and The Case Files of Jeweler Richard, while Kazuma Jinnouchi previously worked on Busou Shinki: Moon Angel. This isn’t the first time these two composers have worked together, though, as the duo previously collaborated on the soundtrack for last year’s Netflix-produced Ultraman anime. Additionally, the pair previously worked together as composers for the soundtracks of the Halo 4 and Halo 5 video games. Nobuko Toda also worked alongside Harry Gregson-Williams to compose the music of the iconic Metal Gear Solid video game series.
The previous animated entry in the franchise, Ghost in the Shell Arise, was criticized by some for having the iconic and regular voice actors of the series replaced by different, if equally talented, actors. Hardcore fans will be pleased to know that, for Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045, the entire main crew of the series will have their original voice actors return to once again portray them:
- Atsuko Tanaka as Motoko Kusanagi
- Akio Ohtsuka as Batou
- Kōichi Yamadera as Togusa
- Yutaka Nakano as Ishikawa
- Toru Ohkawa as Saito
- Takashi Onozuka as Paz
- Tarô Yamaguchi as Borma
- Sakiko Tamagawa as the Tachikoma
- Osamu Saka as Daisuke Aramaki from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
While an English dub for the new anime has yet to be confirmed, considering every other Netflix-produced anime project has launched with multiple audio tracks, it’s likely that Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 is no exception and will launch with English audio as well.
The opening song for the new anime is titled “Fly with me,” and will be performed by millennium parade, a new creative team led by King Gnu member Daiki Tsuneta. The song will also have vocals by ermhoi, HIMI, Cota Mori, and Kento Nagatsuka (WONK).
This is far from the first time Production I.G have been involved with a Ghost in the Shell animated project. The anime studio responsible for Psycho-Pass and Kuroko no Basuke were responsible for the original Ghost in the Shell film that launched back in 1995, which itself was an adaption of the 1989 manga Mobile Armored Riot Police by Masamune Shirow. Production I.G later went on to produce the film Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence in 2004, as well as the spin-off television anime Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex in 2002. These projects were followed up by another spin-off in 2013 titled Ghost in the Shell: Arise, with a 2015 sequel titled Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie following soon after.
Netflix describes their new animated take on the series as follows:
In the year 2045, the world has entered a systematic “Sustainable War.” Hired as a mercenary unit, the former members of Japan’s elite Section 9 are faced with the sudden appearance of “Post-Human,” a being with tremendous intelligence and physical capabilities.