Just recently, news of a Halo inspired Anime broke at the San Diego Comic-Con and some fans were ecstatic while others cried, “meh”. Don’t get me wrong, Halo is a juggernaut franchise that has propelled the Xbox 360 and helped ship consoles, but why make an Anime at this stage of the game? especially a Japanese Anime.
This new Halo Anime (which I believe will be irrelevant in the U.S.) in my opinion, is nothing more than a ploy to expand on a weak market in Asia where MS has never really penetrated. The folks over in the Halo camp could have easily made this a regular Anime cartoon, but instead opted to specifically make it Japanese animation with the classic facial features. There is no coincidence that the cartoon is done Shinji Aramaki, director of Appleseed and Appleseed Ex Machina. They want someone that is well versed in what sells well in the Japanese market in order to help grow the franchise in Asia.
Here in North America gamers are either strongly Pro-Halo or Anti-Halo, so creating this Anime will not help create more market share. Halo has the ability to create both fanboys and haters, which is the classic sign of a true mega title. Hop into any forum or comment thread and bear witness to the flame wars and chants that go on back and forth. I am not saying that the Anime is garbage – rather, that the relevance of the work in North America is far fetched. Most North American gamers I have spoken to about the new project have responded to me with this “I have no problem with it, but I am not that interested in it.”
Here are the first shots of the Halo Anime.
The overall look of the fight sequences looks to be entertaining, but I am taken away from the Halo lore when I see the classic Japanese animation features on the protagonists out of their armor. Please don’t get me wrong and think that I am hating on MS or Halo as I am an avid gamer that has enjoyed all three of the Halo games and feels that Master Chief is the poster child for MS. I am merely looking at the impact and relevance of this set of shorts in North America.
Are you on board or just thinking that this is an attempt to cash in. Quite honestly, I can wait to see these and won’t be crushed if I miss them all together. Has Master Chief become the same as Mario, a symbol to slap onto everything in order to cash in on the franchise? Perhaps. But, this may be a good thing.