The Halo universe is getting an anime adaptation. At the San Diego Comic-Con this week, Microsoft is unveiling a series of seven shorts based around the game, with help from Appleseed director Shinji Aramaki.
According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, five animation houses are working on the property: Toei, Bones, Casio Entertainment, Production I.G. and Studio4 C.
The Halo anime is also getting production oversight from renowned Appleseed director Shinji Aramaki, who has a broad slate of credits in mecha anime. He'll also direct his own individual short for the project, based on the history of the Spartan warrior class.
"I liked that this would be an anthology of human stories told from different characters' perspectives," says Aramaki in the LAT.
Microsoft will reportedly finance and oversee production through its Halo internal division, 343 Industries -- named for the first time in this new announcement.
While the division is giving free creative reign to the animators, it's supervising the process to be sure the story details and concepts are consistent with the world established by the game.
The Halo anime series will be previewed on Xbox Live Arcade in the fall, says the report, and then it'll see a DVD and Blu-ray release from Warner Bros. early in 2010.
[UPDATE: Microsoft's press release includes further information on the project, formally titled Halo Legends. Pioneering anime director Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell) will also participate in the project alongside Aramaki.
The shorts will appear early on a new section of Xbox Live called "Halo Waypoint". Launching this fall, it will be a special destination with content aimed at Halo's fan base -- including news, screenshots, podcasts, videos, and content "you won't find anywhere else," according to the press release. This will include behind-the-scenes videos of the making of Halo Legends.
Further, the special section will offer a "career system and player rankings" -- implying a Halo meta-game for dedicated fans, which will also in some way encompass out-of-game content, according to Microsoft.]