Halo goes anime with Legends anthology

Microsoft working with <i>Ghost in the Shell</i>, <i>Dragon Ball</i> studios on collection of short films; 343 Industries revealed to be Halo publishing brand; teaser trailer inside.

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Between this year's Halo Wars and Halo: ODST, Microsoft is working to establish a universe for its blockbuster sci-fi series extending significantly beyond the Master Chief character. Today the company revealed another step toward that, with the announcement of Halo Legends, an anime anthology focusing on different times, locations, and characters in the universe.

Master Chief has a great poker face, and a visor to match.
Master Chief has a great poker face, and a visor to match.

Like previous anime anthologies, The Animatrix and Batman: Gotham Knights, Halo Legends taps a variety of notable Japanese creators and animation studios to produce short films for a compiled home-video release. Directors Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed) and Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell) will be working on the project, as will familiar studios like Production I.G. (Blood: The Last Vampire), Studio4˚C (Tekkonkinkreet), Toei Animation (Dragon Ball), Casio Entertainment (visual effects work on Big Man Japan), and Bones (Cowboy Bebop: The Movie).

Unlike those other projects, Halo Legends will also help Microsoft usher in Halo Waypoint, "a new destination for Halo fans on Xbox Live."

Launching this fall, Waypoint will host previews of Halo Legends, podcasts, news, and trailers for various projects in the Halo universe. It will also introduce its own leaderboards and achievement-style system for Halo fans to mark their in-game and out-of-game feats.

Both Halo Legends and Halo Waypoint fall under the purview of 343 Industries, which is--as rumored--the name of Microsoft Game Studios' new label covering the franchise. In addition to games, 343 will oversee the creation of Halo books, clothing, collectibles, and other content stemming from the series. The group has drawn some notable names to its ranks, including former Kojima Productions producer Ryan Payton and Bungie alum Frank O'Connor.

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