» Blog Archive Renowned Director Shinji Aramaki talks Halo Legends -
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Acclaimed director/designer Shinji Aramaki takes anime to an
altogether new level with an all-CG episode featuring Master Chief
entitled “The Package,” one of the seven stories within the
highly-anticipated Halo Legends.

Warner Home Video will distribute Halo Legends on February 16, 2010 as
a Special Edition 2-disc version on DVD and Blu-Ray™, as well as
single disc DVD, On Demand and Digital Download. The DVD anthology of
episodic films based within the mythology of the popular game Halo is
produced by 343 Industries, a unit within Microsoft Game Studios.

Aramaki’s Halo Legends episode, “The Package,” was produced at Casio
Entertainment. The episode finds Master Chief and four
specially-selected Spartans launched on a stealth cruiser and into the
heart of a giant Covenant fleet in a bid to recover a valuable
intelligence asset. While any Halo fan knows of the Spartans’
unparalleled ground battle superiority, “The Package” gives Aramaki
the opportunity to exhibit the Spartans’ impressive fighting abilities
in zero-G and while piloting never-before-seen light attack vehicles
(packed with a multitude of surprising weapons). Beyond the space
battle, the episode also features plenty of hand-to-hand combat aboard
a Covenant command vessel.

A pioneer in CG animation, Aramaki is renowned for his direction and
mechanical design on powered exoskeletons and his mecha and CG design
on several anime series. He has also designed several Microchange toys
that became Transformers. Aramaki’s most notable credits range from
the visually stunning Appleseed and its sequel, Appleseeed Ex Machina
to the innovative creative designs behind Robotech: Mospeada,
Transformers (original designer of Soundwave, among others), Bubblegum
Crisis, Full Metal Alchemist and Naruto.

As one of the group companies of the world-wide famous “Casio” brand
of watch and digital camera, Casio Entertainment was founded in
October 2004 for the purpose of planning and developing entertainment
contents. The studio’s resume includes VFX productions like Hitoshi
Matsumoto’s Dai Nipponjin (2007) and Symbol (2009), and CG work on the
SquareEnix production Final Fantasy Advent Children and Final Fantasy

Aramaki answered a few questions about the making of The Package.
Without further ado …

How does Halo lend itself to anime/animation?

Aramaki :
Halo belongs to the battle-action genre as well as to Sci-Fi and most
of its visual scenes look as exciting as the images from Sci-Fi
illustration library. This makes the property suit to Anime/animation
quite well. One more point why I think Halo suits Anime is that it is
a story of a super hero named Master Chief in a vast background of
Galaxy Wars which seems to be a grand epic.

What was the inspiration for your artistic vision in your episode of
Halo legends?

Master Chief is a super hero who is invincible on the ground battle.
My utmost motivation in creating my episode is to see Master Chief
also invincible in the aerospace.

Were there any particular images within the Halo realm that helped
shape or drive your creative vision?

Aramaki :
The design of Master Chief itself inspires me the most.

Who were the other key individuals that brought this episode to life?

Mr. Dai Sato, the script writer of The Package, is a guy who has a
vast knowledge about Sci-Fi and videogames and also has an edgy
creativity. I have wanted to have an opportunity to work with him for
a long time.

Mr. Atsushi Takeuchi, who has designed the ONI stealth ship, is the
only mecha designer whom I can rely on to ask to design things which I
cannot design. When I am in a trouble, he can always help me and the
result is more than I expect.

What did you set out to accomplish in this episode, and why do you
think you achieved or exceeded your goals?

Aramaki :
I always wanted to make my own episode a non-stop action movie with a
considerable density. For this purpose, Master Chief and his several
colleagues are the most suitable heroes/heroin.

I owe the complete realization of my visions to the continuous efforts
and the wonderful talent of the creative staff at Casio Entertainment,
Inc. – and especially to Mr.Teruaki Shiraishi, CG Director of the
episode. He is quite an enthusiast of Halo games and contributed a lot
in increasing the quality of the episode especially in recreating the
scenes from the videogames.

How important was having Halo gaming experience to bringing the world
to life in anime?

Aramaki :
Since a long time before I became involved in this project, I have
been a Halo player. After I got involved, I have played all versions
many times for the purpose of knowing the details of which I was not
sure, and I have noticed that there have been so many discoveries even
in the replay.

Did you include any hidden images or behind-the-scenes “Easter eggs”
within your episode for the devout Halo fans?

Aramaki :
The viewers will see other Spartans than Master Chief and a certain
important character (you’ll have to watch and see). The viewers will
find out that a machine gun turret can come out from a very unexpected
place. I hope that everyone will enjoy it.

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