Anime Live

Microsoft continues to emphasize its Live service, and the latest addition to the marketplace is anime. Yesterday, Microsoft announced a deal that would bring many popular animes to the Xbox Live marketplace. And these aren't those obscure ones that have huge followings. No, these are some big name titles. Included among them: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (Seasons 1 and 2), Street Fighter II V, and Astro Boy, just to name a few. ANIME CLASSICS FROM STARZ MEDIA’S MANGA ENTERTAINMENT COMING TO XBOX 360 ‘Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex,’ ‘Street Fighter II V,’ ‘Noein’ and ‘Tokko’ Among Titles Rolling Out in Coming Weeks Los Angeles and New York – September 19, 2007 – Anime-style animation continues to demonstrate its multi-media appeal with today’s launch of audience-favorite titles from Starz Media’s large video library on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace video store. The agreement between the two companies was announced jointly by Marc DeBevoise, Starz Media’s senior vice president, business development and strategy, and Ross Honey, Senior Director, Media & Entertainment Group for Microsoft Corporation. Beginning today and rolling out on the platform in the coming weeks, fans of the cutting-edge animation in Starz Media’s Manga Entertainment library of anime titles will be able to watch such popular titles as “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Seasons 1 & 2,” “Street Fighter II V,” “Noein,” “Tokko” “Virus,” and “Astro Boy”. Xbox LIVE users, which make up the largest online console gaming community with more than seven million members, will be able to load up on episodes from the hugely popular “Ghost in the Shell” franchise, an acclaimed set of movies and TV titles that have not only been influential within the anime world, but have also been an inspiration for major feature films, including The Matrix trilogy. “These titles have been favorites for years, as manga, anime series, DVD movies, video games and more. With the emergence of broadband and wireless content platforms, fans have now been asking for these titles digitally. Xbox LIVE is the perfect digital media platform to bring this unique form of entertainment to those fans,” DeBevoise said. “We’re very happy to have these anime titles from Manga Entertainment on Xbox LIVE with its broad reach and significant depth of content.” Microsoft’s Honey said, “These titles from Starz Media are an ideal addition to the full range of entertainment content we offer on Xbox LIVE and in the growing catalogue of popular programming we offer in the Anime Channel on the service. We’re glad that our users will be among the fans to get access to this wildly original and entertaining content. We know they’ll make it a hit on our service.” “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex,” has been a fan favorite for years, the follow up to the anime movie classic “Ghost in the Shell” which was described by filmmaker James Cameron as “The first truly adult animation film to reach a level of literary and visual excellence.” “Street Fighter II V” is a consistently popular series of action-packed martial arts titles revolving around the charismatic Ken, Ryu and Chun Li characters. “Astro Boy” is a venerable anime title that entertains children and adults alike with the story of a robot boy who learns the importance of kindness, compassion and selflessness in the face of life's obstacles. “Virus” is an action-packed series, set in the year 2097, when an elite task force takes a stand against virus-infected war machines. “Noein” and “Tokko” are newer fan favorites. “Noein” is a futuristic inter-dimensional struggle of good versus evil with the highest of stakes: total annihilation of all matter in the universe. In “Tokko,” evil demons, ghoulish zombies, and the devil himself are the targets as gumshoe agent Ranmaru Shindo avenges the death of his parents. Xbox LIVE Marketplace continues to grow as new partners and content are added to the service. The service currently offers more than 2,800 hours of premium entertainment content from 30 networks and studios. No word as to whether these are in HD or anything, or even what they'll cost. But I'm guessing a couple hundred points per movie.