Watch Your Back, Disney, Here Come the Japanese …

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It’s a very good time to be a fan of anime in general and the work of Shirow Masamune in particular, as the acclaimed writer has a trio of high profile and very high quality releases poised to hit North American shores within the next six – nine months.

The most obvious and highest profile is Innocence, the sequel to his seminal Ghost in the Shell, which Dreamworks Pictures will be bringing to our shores via their Go Fish imprint. Though they’ve yet to announce a release date their original intent was to release as close to simultaneously with the Japanese as possible and given that the film is hitting Japanese theaters right about now and that Go Fish is starting to bring more of their domestic website online here chances of a summer release look good. Go Fish have yet to post a domestic trailer, but the Japanese site has a dazzling array of visuals for your perusal.

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Also poised to a summer release is the North American DVD release of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, a dazzling 26 episode television series produced by Japan’s Production IG (the folk behind the anime sequences in Kill Bill as well as the Ghost in the Shell feature films) and drawing from the wealth of stories in Masamune’s long running Ghost in the Shell manga. The North American release hits in June and is being handled by Manga and Bandai, two of the larger players in the anime world.

And in what is perhaps the most surpising move of the lot Ganeon Animation, formerly Pioneer Entertainment and the other anime big boy in this part of the world, has announced that they will be bringing Appleseed, another high tech Masamune title, into North American theaters sometime this summer. The mightily impressive Japanese trailer can be seen here.

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