Ghost in the Shell 5G AR event will surely be a world first

Netflix, 5G, CG animation and mixed-reality join forces in Tokyo, all in support of a show set in the future. 

It doesn't get more cutting edge than the campaign showcase for original Netflix anime Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045, the latest instalment in the long-running Ghost in the Shell franchise.

While we in a dystopian-version of the West are burning 5G masts and unable to make any use of the latest phone network in public, it seems Japan has had a head-start on the possibilities made available by the technology.

In what must be a world marketing-first, the campaign – titled 'Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045' x au 5G Unlimited Reality – will transform Tokyo's famous Shibuya high street into a futuristic entertainment showcase with mixed-reality content. Created by Geometry Ogilvy Japan, the event brings to life both the characters and plotlines of the series to demonstrate the power and speed of 5G.

With Japan (much like the rest of the world) implementing restrictive measures on social movements and non-essential outings due to 2020 madness, the campaign has expanded to make the full range of content accessible to consumers from the comfort of their own homes.

Sean Palmer, general manager of Geometry Ogilvy Japan (GOJ) commented, "This unique partnership demonstrates first hand the ability of 'au 5G' to provide futuristic experiences to a city on the cutting edge of entertainment, like Shibuya. The rich fan base and futuristic story arcs so synonymous with the Ghost of the Shell franchise was the only choice to help us tell the story of this partnership.

"In this challenging time for the world, we had to completely reinvent how we brought this story to life for consumers limited to their home environment. Despite production challenges, our teams and partners were able enhance not limit the experiences provided to users."

KDDI began commercialising 5G in March to provide its customers a new and unprecedented expanded experience, called 'Augmented Experience', that makes full use of 5G (or it's brand name of au 5G) and advanced technology in an array of everyday situation such as entertainment, sports and art. Although the entire experience based content was moved online, GOJ kept the plan to 'ad-jack' Shibuya with cyberpunk Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 visuals all around the city.

"Our experiential content on the streets themselves will be live and ready to go as soon as restrictive measures are lifted," adds Palmer.

Until May 31st, smartphone users can hit YouTube for an original story of Major Motoko and Batou fighting with criminals in Shibuya in 360° VR.

There's also an online treasure hunt you can play on Twitter. Members of Public Security Section 9 appear on select Twitter accounts owned by participating partners
& accounts related to the new show; check this website for hints on where they are.

You need to find all six of them, take photos, place the hashtag 'Collect the members of the Public Security Section 9' and upload them on Twitter by May 10th. 

You can also have fun with cute cyberpunk mecha in the comfort of your own home. Download AR app Styly and access the Tachikoma AR URL to enjoy the sensation of having Tachikoma robots run riot in your living room.

Being long-associated with all things futuristic, the anime has had many brushes with the latest tech. Since 2017, there's been a virtual reality game based on Ghost in the Shell in VR Zone Shinjuku, which you can also find in Tokyo.

Related: Watch Tokyo turn to AR hell in new Squarepusher promo

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