Ghost in the Shell / NissanThe latest chapter in the popular Ghost in the Shell anime series is set to debut, and two Nissan concepts from last year will be featured prominently. In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Solid State Society, members of the special police force called Section 9 will be seen driving the Nissan Sport Concept and the Infiniti Kuraza.

The widebodied Sport Concept hatchback, with its metal/carbon fiber bodywork, 20" wheels and racy interior, made its debut at the NY Auto Show in '05. The Kuraza, a very large and wild-looking luxury SUV concept, first appeared at Detroit earlier that same year. In the noirish, futuristic world depiced in the Ghost in the Shell series, neither looks out of place.

This is a big PR/marketing win for Nissan, seeing as the series enjoys a global following and has sold in excess of 1.5 million DVDs to date. These two concepts, and more importantly, their brands, are going to eventually wind up on a lot of TV screens with a lot of eyes on them once the theatrical run of Stand Alone Complex is up.

(More photos, press release after the jump)

[Source: Nissan]

Animation Stills:
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Ghost in the Shell / Nissan

Promo Still:
Ghost in the Shell / Nissan

Nissan Sport Concept:
Nissan Sport Concept Nissan Sport Concept Nissan Sport Concept

Infiniti Kuraza Concept:
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-- Two concept cars to feature in "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" --

TOKYO, A.D. 2034 - It's been two years since Motoko Kusanagi left Section 9, the special police force of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission. Togusa is now the new leader of the considerably expanded unit. Section 9 confronts a string of mysterious cases, and investigations reveal that a wizard hacker named the Puppeteer is behind all of themĀc

This is the opening setup for the science fiction full-length animated feature "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Solid State Society," produced by Production I.G, a major Japanese animation studio. In a rare collaborative event between an animation studio and an automaker, the full-length feature will introduce animated versions of two concept vehicles - The Nissan Sport Concept and Infiniti Kuraza. The Sport Concept, unveiled at the 2005 New York International Auto Show, and Infiniti Kuraza, shown at the 2005 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, are driven by Section 9's team members.

The film will air in Japan in autumn and also be available on DVD at that time. The film will be available on DVD in the US and Europe in 2007.

"This film is more than a simple combination of our animation with Nissan concept cars; it's the first full-scale collaboration by the creative people in both companies," said Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, president of Production I.G. "The zealous effort by our highly motivated creators, from the director right down the staff roster is noticeable in the film. Take a close look at the cars in the film. I'll bet you find them every bit as cool as the actual cars."

"This is a revolutionary collaboration made possible by direct exchanges between both young and more experienced creative talents from both companies and is different from product placement," said Shiro Nakamura, Nissan's senior vice president and chief creative officer. "Japanese animation is being taken more seriously as art every year around the world, and the concept cars in this film are rendered with particularly high quality; they're just wonderful. We hope that besides contributing to a great film experience, these very exciting images will bring the Nissan brand to a new spectrum of customers."

The Sport Concept is a three-door hatchback with a full-custom look to appeal to younger drivers. The dynamic shape of the car's fenders and spoilers, as well as its large wheels, evoke the supercars of video games. Infiniti Kuraza is designed for total comfort for six people and suggests new directions for sport utility vehicles. The car's luxurious interior combines traditional Japanese design principles, natural materials and state-of-the-art technology.

"Ghost in the Shell" is a series based on the graphic novel of the same title by Shirow Masamune. The novel was animated for movie theaters as "Ghost in the Shell" in 1995 by director Mamoru Oshii, and reached No. 1 on the Billboard US video chart the following year. It has since influenced many Hollywood movies, including "The Matrix," directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski.

Responding to worldwide demand, Production I.G released a sequel in 2004 entitled "Innocence", that became the first Japanese animated film nominated for the Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. The movie received rave reviews, consolidating director Oshii's reputation as a world-class animation director.

In order to expand the reach of "Ghost in the Shell," Production I.G created the TV series "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" in 2002. The series, which is directed by Kenji Kamiyama, has gained fans around the world and has already sold over 1.5 million DVDs in Japan alone.

Production I.G's other major projects include the movie "Jin-Roh - The Wolf Brigade," which has won various prizes in Japan and abroad, the TV series "Blood+," a hyperaction road battle that starts in Okinawa and circles the world, and the movie/TV project "xxxHOLiC," based on the popular comic books written by world-famous atelier CLAMP. The studio also produced the animation sequence of Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill: Vol. 1."

To commemorate the "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" collaboration between Production I.G. and Nissan, Nissan will hold a special public exhibition at the Nissan Gallery in Tokyo.

Event: Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. meets NISSAN
Venue: The Nissan Ginza Gallery
5-8-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Dates: Aug. 5, 2006 (Sat) to Aug. 14, 2006 (Mon)
Time: 10:00-20:00
Exhibits: Japan premiere of the Nissan Sport Concept
Premiere screening of the promotional trailer for "Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. - Solid State Society"
Collaborative displays, including related goods, original drawings and script.

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