Video game studio Bungie is best known today for Halo and Destiny, two space shooters with massive followings. What not everyone remembers is that, back in 2001, it created manga-inspired, Ghost in the Shell–influenced adventure called Oni.
When creator Alex Okita spoke to Glixel he wasn’t shy about talking about his inspirations; as a longtime anime obsessive, he has an infectious reverence toward pioneering manga artists like Kenichi Sonoda (Bubblegum Crisis) and Shirow Masamune (Ghost in the Shell). “They were the two main influences at the time,” he says. “But there’s a lot of other shows. Mospeada, with the motorcycles. What was it called over here? Invid Invasion.”
On the subject of the new live-action Ghost in the Shell adaptation, Okita takes a glass-half-full stance toward the film, which has been dogged by whitewashing claims over the casting of Scarlett Johansson.
“It’s funny to see work that was done 30 years ago by one manga artist being revived in so many different ways, and the futuristic designs that he had still hold,” he says. “This is a guy who in the Eighties was basically living off the little Lipovitan Ds – the Japanese version of Red Bull – just drinking those things and drawing nonstop. He’s still getting tributes to his work, so that’s a huge testament to not only his talent but his vision. It’s decades old, and it still looks modern.”
To find out more about the creation of Oni and the fate of the team that worked on it, Bungie West, check out the full interview with Glixel.