Ghost In The Shell Returns With New Sci-Fi Anime That Must Be Better Than The Last

By Douglas Helm | Published

The Ghost in the Shell franchise is getting a brand-new anime series in 2026. Bandai Namco Filmworks announced the new series will be produced by Science SARU along with Kodansha and Production IG on the production committee. Masamune Shirow, the creator of the manga, is also set to have an exhibition in the spring of 2025.

Ghost In The Shell: SAC 2045 Was A Disappointment

The previous series in the franchise was Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2045 anime, which had two seasons along with a compilation film for the second season. The series took place in a world where the Big 4 nations of the world are engaged in a “Sustainable War” that keeps the economy going. Protagonist Motoko, Batou, and other members of the Public Security Section 9 task force act as mercenaries but must reunite when a conspiracy and Post Humans start to emerge.

The New Series Barely Has To Try To Better

Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2045 was met with almost unanimously negative reviews from both critics and audiences, so it’s almost guaranteed that this new anime will be an improvement. The first adaptation of Shirow’s manga was in 1995 when Bandai and Production IG produced a film of the same name. That film has gone down as one of the best anime films of all time, so it’s certainly a tough act to follow.

Stand Alone Complex Is An Anime Classic

However, the film’s sequel and the 2002 series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex both received mostly positive reviews. While they weren’t as revered as the 1995 film, they still stood on their own as worthy entries to the on-screen franchise. SAC 2045 was a massive disappointment, so hopefully, this new series will right the ship.

The Studio Behind Other Anime Hits

Science Saru’s involvement in the upcoming Ghost in the Shell anime is promising. The animation studio most recently got critical acclaim for the 2023 Netflix series Scott Pilgrim Takes Off, which beautifully brought the style of Bryan O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim graphic novels to life. Some of Science Saru’s other notable projects include Devilman Crybaby, Tatami Time Machine Blues, Yurei Deco, Super Shiro, two episodes of Star Wars: Visions, and an episode of Adventure Time.

Blending Digital And Hand-Drawn Techniques

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Science Saru’s unique blend of digital and hand-drawn animation helps it to stand out, and it’ll be interesting to see this style applied to the new Ghost in the Shell anime. Science Saru is also releasing an upcoming original anime film titled The Colors Within in August. The creative skills of Science Saru haven’t gone unnoticed either, as Toho snapped up all of the company’s shares and is making it a subsidiary.

More Ghost In The Shell Arrives In 2026

Now, fans must start speculating about the plot for the upcoming Ghost in the Shell anime. The brief teaser says that it’s “based on the manga” which means it could specifically adapt the manga or draw inspiration to tell its own story. It means it can do pretty much anything.

Regardless, the new Ghost in the Shell anime will feature fan-favorite protagonist Major Motoko Kusanagi. Outside of that, it’s anyone’s guess. Stay tuned, and we’ll keep you updated as the 2026 release date for the new anime draws closer.