Mass Effect getting anime-ated in 2012

Feature based on BioWare's successful sci-fi role-playing game franchise due next summer; Casey Hudson to be executive producer.

Two days after BioWare announced a fourth Mass Effect novel, it has unveiled another transmedia spin-off of its successful sci-fi role-playing game series. Today, the Canadian developer, its owner Electronic Arts, and Japanese studio FUNimation announced that a Mass Effect anime feature film is in the works. International production company T.O Entertainment will co-produce the project, which will arrive on home video and digital distribution channels in summer 2012.

The deal marks the second collaboration between EA, FUNimation, and T.O Entertainment. Last June, the trio announced a deal to make an anime based on another BioWare franchise, the fantasy RPG series Dragon Age. That project, executive-produced by BioWare creative director Mike Laidlaw and producer Mark Darrah, is due out on home video sometime later this year.

The Mass Effect series is getting the anime treatment.

Details were scant on the Mass Effect anime, other than that it will be executive-produced by Casey Hudson, executive producer of the Mass Effect series. Also executive-producing will be FUNimation president and CEO Gen Fukunaga, FUNimation director of original entertainment Chris Moujaes, and T.O Entertainment CEOs Takeichi Honda and Yui Shibata.

Today's announcement offered little in the way of plot information besides saying that the Mass Effect anime will "tell the tale of an epic science fiction adventure set in a vast universe filled with dangerous alien life and mysterious, uncharted planets."

The original Mass Effect saw series hero Commander Shepard engaged in a convoluted battle with agents of the Reapers, a race of sentient starships with mind-control powers. Mass Effect 2 had Shepard nearly die and then be revived by Cerberus, a shadowy pro-human organization, so he could battle a sinister alien race called the Collectors. Mass Effect 3, due out this holiday season, will have Shepard come to the rescue of Earth, which is beset by a catastrophic Reaper invasion.

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194 comments
Camerson
Camerson

Wouldn't it be funny if it was about Conrad Verner, the Commander Shepard fan?

foxhound_fox
foxhound_fox

More additions top the universe are always welcome. Hopefully it is related to Kahlee Sanders' continuum.

Timzor
Timzor

I'd like the animators who made "Samurai Champloo" to get this job!

brian376
brian376

shep probably wont be even in this this will be most likely after his death maybe an offspring of his or hint at him during the show like not mention his gender just be like i heard commander shepard killed 1000 geth today or something just like how they do in game they never really hint the gender just refer as commander shepard

ammathil
ammathil

u ppl do know that this will most like not have 2 do with shep right? at most he and i say he cuz the guys the posterboy might make a cameo

lilrizq
lilrizq

depends on the art direction, i say get the Ghost in the Shell team to visually create the anime. hope they don't get those corny cats that made dead space's drawings to work on the visuals.

swhite77
swhite77

I wonder how they'll interpret Shep, since the character can be made male or female. To me, the Commander will always be female for one reason: Jennifer Hale's voice acting. I finished the game 3 times as a female, and couldn't get halfway through as the male Shepard because the male voice actor's line delivery seemed to be flat in comparison. I'm interested to see how this thing will turn out.

a_tiger101
a_tiger101

@Shanks_D_Chop Yes I do know that, I watch Anime after all, but still, I couldn't imagine ME being any good as an Anime, any type of Anime style in that matter, ME has to look realistic or at least CGI (like the ingame CGI for example), any other style would be terrible in my opinion.

skullmanIOWA
skullmanIOWA

This would have been better if it would annouce that all the cast would be returning to do the voices of the characters. I don't want to watch an animated series about a video game and not have the correct voices for the charaters. Also, is the game going to be about the first game or the second. They could do a prologue for the first game, but that wouldn't have miranda or ashley in it. That wouldn't be as good as it could be.

MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

As long as Tali as in it I'll watch this from start to finish whether or not it's good or bad :D

cfwin
cfwin

Don't really care about this, if it's good then good, if it's bad I'll ignoe it. ME has always been an intensly personal gaming experience (for me) with individual choices that all influence the overall story and charater realtionships. Although, if they do manage to get just my play-style, choices and romances then it will be the most awesome film in the history of the world (of animation) :)

smoke_dog_4ever
smoke_dog_4ever

@FreakshowGamer My apologies for not thinking the art stylings of series such as DBZ, Ghost in the Shell, Inukami, or the majority of the contents from the Halo Legends or Dead Space movies are even remotely attractive to the eye. I think the stylings of Appleseed or Final Fantasy Advent Children are nice, but while they're classified as anime, I don't consider them to be anime personally. My fear is we're going to get anime that looks like Ghost or whatever style you call the segment from the Dead Space movie that looked like a high school student studying 3D design in his free time did.

smoke_dog_4ever
smoke_dog_4ever

I think what I see the problem being is that Hollywood wants to take a video game script, put minimum money into it, and turn out a film with lots of CGI and explosions that isn't all that true to the source material and makes just enough money to break even. This is why I have mixed feelings about a ME movie. I love the ME universe and I'm dying to see a live action version of it, but I'm afraid it'll get the same attention to detail as G.I. Joe or similar. Future films like ME, Halo, Gears of War, Resistance, etc, with their rich universes deserve to get Avatar or Lord of the Rings treatment, not a year to year and a half of production time.

smoke_dog_4ever
smoke_dog_4ever

@Damascuss Maybe it's the economy we're living in, or maybe it's just poorly executed design with the finished project when it comes to video game movies. Even among the regular action, comedy, or romantic comedy today, it seems you get just as many duds as you do films that are well received by all. In the past 10 years we've had Avatar, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Chris Nolan's Batman series, and several other films that mix great story, great acting, great editing, and great production value. Video game films, for some reason, just don't seem to get the same attention to detail, though maybe it can be blamed on the director and producers. I didn't think G.I. Joe was anything to brag about, but I didn't think it was horrible. The Resident Evil films haven't payed much homage to the original stories, but they've been generally well received to an extent.

Damascuss
Damascuss

@Evilnator You know, Anime is possible of different art styles, just like western cartoons? I think it could look pretty good. Imo, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell and Hellsing are great anime's, they even look great. Though I'm sure none of what I mentioned matters because you've probably never watched them. Stop being so closed minded.

Damascuss
Damascuss

@smoke_dog_4ever Well yeah...I'm sure you're not racist, don't really have to tell me that. My point is that this is just another one of those things that add a broader appeal. Most of the time it's to reach out to another audience while attempting to get your fans interest. So I agree that they're trying to appeal to the Eastern market. However, I don't think it's worth getting worried about. Whatever happens in the Anime will probably play none to a small role in future ME projects (including ME3). I'm more interested in the movie they're working on. Not many games should have a movie adaption, but I think Mass Effect could be the next Star Wars if they're extremely cautious. It's a rich universe with so many possibilities. I think...we can let the anime slide, its failure/success probably wont mean much.

FreakshowGamer
FreakshowGamer

@smoke_dog_4ever Poorly dubbed over kung-fu movies? Are you kidding me? If that's what you think anime is, you honestly have no idea what you're talking about. At this point I'm able to say that now you're stereotyping. Sure, there may have been some odd animes mostly back in the day that didn't get localized so well, but I'm sure a majority of us know that there are lots of anime movies and series that beat down the intelligence and imagination of most American films and TV productions. Now, go back and watch some Family Guy, and play Call of Duty.

Kendojin
Kendojin

@Evilnator I'm with Shanks_D_Chop get enlightened man cause you don't know what you're talking about.

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

@Bepedos Ftw. Can't understand how someone could possibly disagree with such a statement unless, maybe, they can't read paragraphs.

Bepedos
Bepedos

I have the feeling most people here don't see the real problem. Anime is not better or worst than real movies or western animation. Great Asian animation exists, with great directors like Miyazaki or Rintaro, or movies like Paprika or Ghost in the shell. Unfortunately the anime most people see isn't that, but the derivative, kid-targeted, badly translated anime you see in the morning on TV. The problem is, the producers of Mass Effect at EA will probably contact a random animation studio that will make a derivative anime similar to those crappy kid-show programs. It's what happened with Dead Space, it's very likely the same thing will happen with Mass Effect. There's no problem with anime, just with producers forcing good content in other forms without any consideration for it. There's no problem with Mass Effect comics, novels, movies and anime as long as they're good as independent products, but think about it, would they exist if it weren't for the game ? Probably not, and that's why they're so bad. Even though comics do bridge Mass Effect 1 to its sequel story-wise, DLCs would have been more appropriate. Successful transfers from a support to another are a rarity, so transfers in general should be made with caution. And it also goes the other way around : for a great Arkham Asylum or Blade Runner, how many bad adaptations from movie to video game were made ? Do less, do better, that's all.

dark_harpy
dark_harpy

I love Mass Effect and I love anime, but I'm not sure they would mix together well. Still, could be interesting, will definitely check it out XD

Evilnator
Evilnator

I would'nt mind a Mass Effect animation as long as it's not about Shepard, and only if it's done in the style of Todd McFarlane's Spawn. It's Mass Effect! Dark and badass. Anime looks like it's made for children that need "special" attantion (no offense to those children). Because good western animation is gold, and anime is junk no matter what.

iocasiones
iocasiones

I like a mass effect movie done by james cameron, or a tv series with a complete story of mass effect

Kendojin
Kendojin

@smoke_dog_4ever I'd honestly prefer to see a ME movie done in CGI, never said there was a problem with it and guess what? It could still be done in CGI as well just by funimation though, also Blur studios are the people that did those cinematics not Bioware. Shameful ploys? It's called business, marketing, and most of all popularity, anime is very popular in general, especially among gamers, because there are those like myself that like anime and video games. Business and marketing? Just look at Animatrix, Halo Legends, and Batman Gotham Knight: Animatrix dominated anime sales in 2003, Batman's sold 394,834 copies resulting in $8,056,667 consumer spending, and Halo Legends total sales raked in $5.6 million. When you see those kind of numbers you'd do the same thing, if not something similar.

RedReckoning
RedReckoning

@CRS98 I agree. They must have the same voices from the games or it will ruin the anime.

Armageddonite
Armageddonite

I am sorry, but I am a fan of the series and just cannot keep myself from pointing out this mistake. "Mass Effect 2 had Shepard nearly die and then be revived by Cerberus." This is incorrect. Shepard DIED, and Cerberus brought him back to life. They restored him.

theycallmeRP
theycallmeRP

As long as they stick somewhat close to the story and overall look of the ME universe, I'll give it a shot. Not really a fan of anime though. I think it would be pretty cool if they did a show with an art style like Archer.

deltamirage
deltamirage

It seems a lot of people here have really bad misconceptions of what Anime is.

Joo_Phish
Joo_Phish

please just stop, focus on the game, id prefer 30+ hours of gameplay than 2 hours of cruddy anime

Jd1680a
Jd1680a

Woot, im excited to see it.

CRS98
CRS98

Hopefully, they'll have the original voice cast they had in the games. Otherwise...

Dynamo11
Dynamo11

Don't really like Anime. What's wrong with just drawing the characters like a DC/Marvel comic?

Dan21278
Dan21278

A Mass Effect Anime would be decent but I would enjoy a live action film more than an anime. Anime just doesn't appeal to some people and I'm scared Mass Effect might lose fans over this. I can't tell the future so we'll have to wait and see.

TheLawLord
TheLawLord

I think whether or not you like anime and whether this will be any good is a bit of a side issue. The real question for me is how many Bioware resources are going to get diverted until actual quality game-making becomes its own sideshow? We already saw Bioware release one sub-par game this year in Dragon Age 2, and when I see guys like Casey Hudson having to put time and effort into managing yet more side projects...I just don't know how they can manage keeping the creative vision for an actual game on track. It seems like Bioware is getting too big for their own good.

Bepedos
Bepedos

The fact videogame producers try to bring their creations to other mediums shows that videogame still isn't seen as a culture on its own. It's quite sad. Mass Effect is a story that was brought to light as a game, and is great as it is. Why make poor derivative sub-products when you already made a masterpiece ? Because, come on, if you want to read good science-fiction, you better read Asimov or Herbert. Some books become movies, and usually it's appropriate. It really Mass Effect suited to become comics, novels, a movie and anime ? EA (because I think it's more their decision than Bioware's, since the same thing is happening with other EA series, like Assassin's Creed), stick to what you're good at.

smoke_dog_4ever
smoke_dog_4ever

@Kendojin This is how the new ME cartoon should look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6IAoPAjzpw Or heck, even like the ME 3 trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnEej1RfqTs What is wrong with doing these spinoffs in the CGI styles shown in those two Bioware produced trailers? THAT would be epic. Every time a video game gets turned into an animated movie, it gets the anime treatment. I wasn't aware anime was the only way of producing video game spinoffs. Myself and others are tired of the whole anime gimmick. They should start catering to their fan base, not making shameful ploys at reaching out to the Asian markets that don't play FPS's and western games. How many times do I need to stress that point??? It's nothing to do with being narrow-minded and everything to do with being original.

Kendojin
Kendojin

@smoke_dog_4ever Could you just stop man? You grew up on Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry? So did I, I grew up with TMNT, Looney Tunes, Savage Dragon, X-Men, and so on. You and all the other haters are just narrow-minded, you've seen DBZ or some other anime and you instantly think that's how an anime of ME will be.

wis3boi
wis3boi

Anime Tali...you know you want it

Spybreak
Spybreak

I don't know how I feel about this. On one hand I love Mass Effect but on the other hand Mass Effect's greatest strength is the interactivity of the series.

Suisfonia
Suisfonia

Personally speaking, 'if' they can do this the right way and with the right style (yes there are different anime styles, look at Appleseed for example, that style actually might go better with Mass Effect to be honest) then it has a chance of being a success. That said, give it a chance, for all YOU know it'll be a success. Then again, tehre is always that chance of failure, but we haven't even 'seen' anything about what anime style will be used, or whether it'll follow the storyline or not. So really, you people have nothing to complain about right now. Wait until a trailer comes out, or some additional information, THEN complain.

MooncalfReviews
MooncalfReviews

Anime and Mass Effect have nothing in common. It just doesn't fit. They'll have Specters with stupid blue hairstyles, corny evil badguy laughter, guns the size of the titanic, and jumping 90 feet in the air. Why not just make it pure CGI?

paxis85
paxis85

given the right art style it might actually be pretty good. besides, isn't the story of mass effect more important than the design? I could totally see ME working with the art design of something like Full Metal Panic for example.

peterfaj
peterfaj

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

smoke_dog_4ever
smoke_dog_4ever

@Damascuss My main beef is the fact that I don't see this as being a good move. Most people have mixed feelings regarding the Halo Legends and Dead Space anime. Those who are fans of anime tend to enjoy them but I see more negative opinions regarding those two animes. Like I mentioned, they're doing this more to appeal to the asian market and not the fans in the western market who made the games as successful as they have been. If it wasn't anime, I'd fully endorse it, but it just comes across as a shamless ploy to appeal to outside markets other than the loyal fanbase that made it what it was. ME doesn't scream "anime" to me at all. If we were talking about a Final Fantasy or Ace Attorney or Metal Gear game, I could understand producing an anime series. This move just annoys me. And for the record, I love Japanese people, since a certain poster here believes not liking anime means you're racist.

dzezer
dzezer

Let's make pokemons out of ME :P

tobiasz931
tobiasz931

I can not stand anime. I love animated show such as The Simpsons or Family Guy, but I just can't stand anime. Mass Effect has fantastic plot, they could make huge cinema production about ME and that would be great. I heard that Columbia Pictures bought rights for Mass Effect some time ago... Of course movie can be made only after ME3 release, or it could be divided for parts like the game.

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

@a_tiger101 You do realise that there are many various artistic styles within anime/manga?