Halo Legends

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Halo Legends
Halo legends-cover.png

Directed by:

Frank O'Connor
Joseph Chou

Produced by:

John Ledford
Joseph Chou
Joey Goubeaud
Kevin Grace
Bonnie Ross
Veronica Peshterianu
Alison Stroll
Eiichi Takahashi

Studio:

343 Industries
J-Spec Pictures
Seraphim Digital Studios

Written by:

Frank O'Connor
Ryan Morris

Music by:

Yasuharu Takanashi
Naoyuki Hiroko
Tetsuya Takahashi
(With themes used from)
Martin O'Donnell
Michael Salvatori

Distributed by:

Warner Bros.

Release date(s):

Fall 2009 (Limited, on Halo Waypoint)
February 16, 2010 (Full release, DVD and Blu-ray) [1]

Available in:

English and Japanese

 

Halo Legends is an anime-styled series of seven short films. It was financed by Halo franchise overseer 343 Industries, while the collection of films in Halo Legends were developed by six Japanese production houses including Bones, Casio Entertainment, Production I.G., Studio 4°C, and Toei Animation.[2] Shinji Aramaki, creator of various other anime productions, also assisted with the project as creative director.

Halo Legends was distributed by Warner Bros. and released onto standard DVD and Blu-Ray on February 16, 2010.[3] And on February 9, the Halo Legends Original Soundtrack was released. Some of the episodes were briefly distributed on Halo Waypoint before the release of the DVD.[4]

Halo Legends will be available to users with the Halo Channel application for Xbox One and Windows 8.1.[5]

Background and development[edit]

"It's a wildly varied genre, but anime creators do things with weapons and vehicles and technology nobody else does and that marries very well with Halo. It's amazing to see some of the new stuff they're introducing and how neatly it maps to the visual aesthetics in the Halo universe"
Frank O'Connor, Creative Director of 343 Industries.

Halo Legends had origins in the 2006 Marvel Comics tie-in, The Halo Graphic Novel; Frank O'Connor said that the idea of an anime compilation existed for years before there was momentum for the project.[6] Wanting to tell smaller stories in a different format than video games and novels and in different art styles, Frank O'Connor said that anime was a natural fit. An additional consideration was that 343 Industries felt that the Japanese style of narrative fit the stories well.[7] Most of the animation studios Microsoft approached were available for the project. Most studios were "afraid" of creating their own stories, even if they were familiar with the series, so O'Connor sent them possible story treatments. Microsoft was deeply involved in making sure story details were correct and writing the scripts for the stories, Frank O'Connor estimated that 50% of the dialogue in the final products were verbatim from the original scripts.[8] While all the stories save Odd One Out are considered canon, Frank O'Connor noted that some discrepancies were the cause of artistic interpretation.[9]

The animation studios were given wide latitude in their presentation.[10] In developing their stories and styles, the anime studios were supplied with access to Halo Story Bible and art assets.[11]

One of the artistic styles that is the most radical departure from traditional animation styles is featured within The Duel, which employs a filter that makes every cell look as though it was hand painted by watercolors. His goal that he was aiming for in this project was, "to make audiences understand there should be other styles of animation beyond the existing two primary kinds of animation presented – precisely cel-drawing 2D style and CG 3D style. I wanted to show that creators are not limited, that they have many options for different (animation) styles to create stories."[12]

Voice recording was done by Seraphim Digital in Houston, TX.[13][14]

Films[edit]

Producer Name Description Poster
Bones Prototype Taking place during the Battle of Algolis, Prototype tells the story of a Marine who, despite orders to destroy an advanced prototype armor, uses the suit to buy time for civilians evacuating from the planet. Prototype poster.jpg
Casio Entertainment The Package A CGI-film taking place during a SPARTAN-II raid on a Covenant Assault Carrier using Booster Frames to recover "the package". The Package poster.jpg
Production I.G The Duel Taking place long before the Human-Covenant War,[15] The Duel tells the story of an Arbiter, Fal 'Chavamee, who refuses to accept the Covenant Religion. Duel poster.jpg

Bee Train

Production I.G.

Homecoming Focused on the tragedies involving the SPARTAN-II recruitment in 2517, and the SPARTANs coming to terms with their origins. Homecoming poster.jpg
Studio 4°C Origins An expansive history of the 100,000 year long Halo universe. It is comprised of two parts. Origins poster.jpg
Studio 4˚C The Babysitter A story about the rivalry between the SPARTAN-II Commandos and the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers as they're sent to Covenant-controlled world to assassinate a Covenant San 'Shyuum. Babysitter poster.jpg
Toei Animation Odd One Out A non-canon and satirical interpretation of the Halo universe featuring SPARTAN-1337. Odd One Out poster.jpg

Release and reception[edit]

Halo Legends was originally to be released on February 9, 2010, but its launch was pushed back a week to February 16. The compilation comes in three different retail packages: a standard DVD release with all the episodes, a two-disc special-edition which contains additional commentary, and the Blu-ray Disc edition, featuring the special-edition features and a summary of the Halo storyline.[16] The film's United States premiere was held at the AMC Metreon in San Francisco on February 10,[17] with the companion soundtrack released by Sumthing Distribution the day previous.

Reception to Legends was mixed. IGN UK wrote that while the decision to merge Halo and Japanese anime seemed an odd choice, "Halo Legends proves a successful—if uneven—attempt to fuse these two universes, and will certainly prove essential viewing for those with more than a passing interest in Bungie's seminal shooters."[18] IGN US said that the short films "prove surprisingly accessible to sci-fi fans in general," and that the collection was "well worth" the time.[19] Game Informer said that Halo Legends would appeal to story-interested fans of the franchise, not those who cared about multiplayer gameplay.[20]

Based on Rentrak and Home Media Magazine numbers, Legends ranked second and fourth in Blu-ray Disc and DVD sales, respectively, during its first week of sales in the United States. It also ranked seventh in Blu-ray Disc rankings in Japan. In its second week it dropped off the US Blu-ray Disc Top 20 charts, and slipped to tenth for DVD sales.[21] According to The-Numbers.com, Legends sold $2.56 million worth of merchandise or 168,000 DVDs its first week.[22] Total sales have reached $8.27 million.[22]

Trivia[edit]

Halo Legends is the final piece of media to use the original Halo logo.

Gallery[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ WarnerVideo: Halo Legends DVD
  2. ^ Kotaku: Details about Halo Anime
  3. ^ Los Angeles Times: Video game publishers Microsoft, Ubisoft invading Hollywood's turf
  4. ^ "IGN-next six years": Legends, Movies and the Next Six Years
  5. ^ Gamespot: Halo Channel and Halo 5 Beta Dates Revealed at Gamescom
  6. ^ "majornelson-343"
  7. ^ Halo Legends; The Making of [DVD; Disc 2/2]
  8. ^ "majornelson-343"
  9. ^ "Frankie's Halo Legends Q&A Session"
  10. ^ "Los Angelas Times"
  11. ^ "IGN-next six years": Legends, Movies and the Next Six Years
  12. ^ "Fancoredaily": Interview With Hiroshi Yamazaki
  13. ^ "Microsoft and Warner Brothers tap Seraphim Digital Studios (formerly ADV Studios) for Halo Legends English Adaptation"
  14. ^ "Former ADV Dubbing Studio Voices Halo Legends Project"
  15. ^ Frankie: This is quite late into the Covenant as a society, with most of the client species either absorbed or in the process of absorption...
  16. ^ "Gamespot.com"
  17. ^ "IGN.com": IGN Presents Halo Legends Premiere
  18. ^ "IGN": IGN UK-review
  19. ^ "IGN": "IGN US-review"
  20. ^ Game Informer: "gameinformer-review"
  21. ^ "Anime News Network": Sales
  22. ^ a b "The Numbers"