A tabletop adaptation of hugely influential manga and anime series Ghost in the Shell is due to arrive next year.
That’s going by a teaser posted by River Horse Games, the British tabletop studio behind My Little Pony RPG Tails of Equestria and board game adaptations of films including Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, Hunger Games, Pacific Rim and Terminator.
The teaser image simply shows a silhouette of a figure holding a pistol, with what appear to be a series of wires extending out of their body.
On closer inspection, the outline seems to be that of Major Motoko Kusanagi, the cybernetic hero of the original Ghost in the Spell manga and its seminal 1995 movie adaptation directed by Mamoru Oshii. The link to Ghost in the Shell is confirmed by the image’s credit to Shirow Masamune - the mangaka creator of the Ghost in the Spell franchise.
The image offers scant additional details, beyond a teased date of 2024 - which could either indicate a release date or a possible crowdfunding launch. River Horse’s accompanying Twitter/X post simply teases that the project is “coming soon”. It’s also not clear whether the adaptation might be a tabletop RPG, board game or something else - with River Horse having previously created miniature wargames and card games.
Shirow’s manga ran from 1989 to 1991, exploring a futuristic world of 2029 where cybernetically altered humans are at risk from hackers accessing their cyberbrains and assuming control of their body. The series follows Kusanagi as she investigates such hacking crimes committed by a criminal known as the Puppeteer, uncovering a wider conspiracy within the Japanese government.
The original storyline has since continued in multiple sequels and spin-offs, including noughties anime follow-up Stand Alone Complex. An animated Netflix sequel to Stand Alone Complex, SAC_2045, was subsequently released in 2020. A live-action remake of the anime starring Scarlett Johansson was released in 2017, though perhaps the less said about that the better.
The Ghost in the Shell tabletop game follows a recent slew of tabletop adaptations of manga and anime series, ranging from the Cowboy Bebop RPG to the One Piece Card Game. A Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex board game surfaced in 2018 ahead of a planned Kickstarter launch in 2020, only to seemingly vanish with no further updates since 2019.
Dicebreaker has reached out to River Horse for more information on its Ghost in the Shell tabletop game.