Netflix has announced a new Ghost in the Shell anime series that will premiere on the streaming service in 2020.
Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 will be produced by the series' regular production company Production I.G. It will be directed by Kenji Kamiyama, who had directed the previous two seasons of Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex; and Shinji Aramaki, who had directed a previous anime adaptation of Appleseed. The new series will be a full 3DCG anime series. Kamiyama and Aramaki co-directed the CGI anime of Ultraman, which will be on Netflix beginning April 1, 2019.
"Through our partnership with Netflix, we are able to secure the necessary amount of time for bold creative challenges, and deliver great content with consistency. It is exciting that Production Line Deal has allowed our creators at Production I.G and WIT STUDIO to move beyond the Japanese anime business ecosystem. This is a great opportunity that challenges us to deliver content unique to our talents to fans all over the world."
– Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, President & CEO, Production I.G, Inc.
Ghost in the Shell was originally a manga created by Shiro Masamune back in 1989 and is now the longest-running Cyberpunk franchise in the world, spawning anime movies and TV series, video games and even Virtual Reality shorts.
The series follows Major Matoko Kusanagi, a spy working for Section Six, a counterespionage division of the Japanese Intelligence services who commands a team of former spies, soldiers and sentient AI-powered tanks to protect Japan against threats both internal and external. It's set in a future where everything is digital, even human souls, where brains and personalities can be uploaded to new bodies and virtually everyone is a cyborg. The Major has to navigate complex cases involving spies, double agents and terrorists while grappling with her own existential crisis over whether she's still human or just a copy of a copy of who she originally was many versions ago.
The franchise has now spawned more stories in its anime incarnation than its original manga series. It has become the Cyberpunk franchise that just won't die. Not even the horrible live-action Hollywood adaptation starring Scarlett Johansson could kill it off.
No, Production I.G. just keeps finding new stories to tell in its anime form. The Standalone Complex anime series is considered the best version of the franchise – its two previous seasons form the early early 2000s told the most nuanced and complex stories of espionage, geopolitics that could rival John le Carré mixed with themes of existentialism in a Cyberpunk future of digitally-hackable souls. The new series is now a meta digitally-recreated version of itself, always returning in a new form, and now Netflix has the latest version.