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Halo anime revealed

Seven shorts to be released on Blu-ray, Xbox Live

Microsoft's unveiled a series of seven anime shorts set in the Halo universe. Awesome.

Five production houses (Bones, Casio Entertainment, Production I.G., Studio4 C, and Toei Animation) as well as Microsoft's own newly-formed company, 343 Industries, will each produce a short, the first of which tells the history of Master Chief's Spartans. It all sounds a bit like The Animatrix.

Studio4 C's project, is a two-parter that explains the entire 100,000 year history of the Halo universe. Another, from Toei, is the only one outside of the official canon and "pokes fun at some of the game's characters".


"I liked that this would be an anthology of human stories told from different characters' perspectives," director Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed), who's overseeing the shorts, told the LA Times.

Within the general anime style, the visual look of the projects differs widely, says Halo man Frank O'Conner - although Microsoft's been on hand to give story assistance.

"It's a wildly varied genre, but anime creators do things with weapons and vehicle and technology nobody else does and that marries very well with Halo," he said. "It's amazing to see some of the new stuff they're introducing and how neatly it maps to the visual aesthetics in the Halo universe.

"Depending on the studio we did everything from writing the stories to feeding them with characters and scenarios they could explore," he added.

The shorts are due to start rolling out on Xbox Live this autumn and on DVD and Blu-ray early next year. Look for a trailer to short from Comic-Con any time now.