Ghost in the Shell: Arise


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Jan 11, 2007
As some of you might have heard, a new Ghost in the Shell series is in production!

It's called Ghost in the Shell: Arise and will consist of four 50-minute films that tell the story of a young Mokoto Kusanagi, as a prequel to the GitS film (so it's set in the film universe, rather than the Stand Alone Complex universe). The cast of characters also includes [younger]: Batou, Togusa, Ishikawa, Saito, Paz, Borma, and Aramaki.

The first film is titled Ghost Pain and will be shown in Japanese cinemas for two weeks starting on 22nd June.

The text in the trailer (for anyone who doesn't read Japanese), is:

A.D. 2027
Her name is Motoko Kusanagi
Attached to the Army's 501st Secret Unit
Heavily Cyborg
Hope for the future

What proves who I am?

It all begins here

There is a little more information, as well as the cast of voice-actors, on Anime News Network:
A trailer for the first part of GitS: Arise has been released (in Japanese, of course - no subs):

Similar scenes to the first trailer, but we also get to see the young Section 9 members, and hear voices! The voice actors may have changed, but the characters still sound the same. I'm getting kind of nostalgic for SaC, now. May have to rewatch.
I never noticed this before. I am glad I did and grateful to Lenny too.

Ahem - been waiting for more Ghost in the Shell for ages. Looks good, although are you sure they are going for the movie world and not the SAC TV series world? It's a bold choice if they do since the movies are getting on a bit whilst the TV series pretty much has risen up under its own generation of fans.

Also looking at the video I see Togusa who pretty much shouldn't be appearing much if at all if its to tie in with the films (since its established very early on that he's very new to Second 9 in the first film*). I'd more expect them to be building this as a prequel to the established SAC series - esp since many of the supporting characters and the Tachikoma are also making an appearance (if not actual Tachikoma then a very similar spider robot design at the very least is appearing).

*interestingly Togusa is about the only character who breaks the SAC TV series building into the movies (if we ignore some visual choices with regard to the style of animation/world/digital representation); since through the SAC series he rises up and even runs part of the day to day operation of Second 9 after the Major does her vanishing act.

A second neat thing is that the story line of the second SAC series builds very nicely into the arguments for why the Major is how she is in the movies and also the loss of her white haired boyfriend *can't remember his name* who "went ahead of her into the net" is a very nice background idea for why she'd accept the merging offer of the "AI born in the net".

Edit - found this on the Wiki
The year 2013 will see the start of the Ghost in the Shell: Arise film series, a prequel to the original manga.

Which suggests an even more bold move to merge the new films with the 3rd time line that exists which is the manga itself (which I've not read).
I'm pretty sure I assumed it was a prequel to the films because I got myself mixed up over Togusa, and thought that he was new to Section 9 in the series (and thus couldn't have been part of the original crew, as the trailers to Arise suggest), rather than in the film.

I think I definitely have to rewatch things now!
Far as I recall he is new in the first SAC series, but not quite as "Green new" as he is in the films (the films suggest that he's got very little if not actual background with the team - whilst the SAC series suggests a little more).

Honestly I'd be amazed if they go for the Manga as whilst it is popular it splits the visual world down a 3rd avenue and I just don't see that being a popular choice; SAC series prequel is what I'd expect and probably be happiest with.
I have only really seen the first film and not much of the anime series. This sounds interesting because GITS was always visually impressive,cool series.

I wonder is the manga seen as better than the anime film/series that doesnt seem to be quite the same ?

Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex is my favourite anime series.
So Ghost Pain is floating around the internet, with English subs (fansubs, I guess, as the DVD/Blu-ray release, which will have official subs, isn't out until the end of the month), and it's pretty good. It doesn't quite live up to how awesome I remember S.A.C. being, but it's not bad. Sorting out and separating the three different timelines in your head as you watch it is fun (it is a prequel to the manga, as OR stated above, so quite a lot of the backstory from the films or S.A.C. just doesn't fit at all, and it can be quite jarring if you try to force that onto Arise).

My biggest problem with it was the animation, as some of the movement seemed a bit floaty and unnaturally slow at points. However, I can think of other animes with similar animation, so I guess it's a studio thing.

A lot of people around the net have problems with Motoko's new look, but I don't mind it so much.


In series news, the second part, titled Ghost Whispers, is due for a limited theatrical release (in Japan) on 30th November this year.

There's also the news that FUNimation have acquired the American rights for Arise, and will release a limited run of the imported Blu-ray with English subs, as well as screening the first two parts in a limited theatrical release later this year (my guess would be December).

Funimation Acquires Ghost in the Shell: Arise Anime - News - Anime News Network
I am not yet familiar with this new version GITS series.
But I am a huge fan of previous movies and the 2 series, and as soon as this new series is coming to dvd complete, I would love to check this out.
The 2 movies GITS 1995 and Innocence 2004 where based on serious topics, I love to see in a animation movie.
It really took the genre to a whole new level, and well deserved too.
Thanks for brining this to my attention.
Sounds great to me.
Fansubs of Ghost Whispers are online (and apparently have been since the first of December, which surprised me - I thought they would take at least a week). I'm not going to link to it, but if you watch anime online I'm sure your favourite site will have it.

Whilst the first episode of Arise, Ghost Pain dealt with Motoko and some of her past, and played out more as a mystery, this second episode introduces most of the core team we all know (although Togusa was absent), and is very much an action-packed, "stop the terrorists!" episode.

I enjoyed it more than the first episode, and picked up on more cyberpunky, SF elements than I did in the first episode. It also felt like it is going to lead into something, whereas the first episode could have been almost standalone.


The third episode, Ghost Tears, is due for limited theatrical release in Japan on 28th June 2014.
You should know the drill by now - the third episode, Ghost Tears, is out in Japanese cinemas, and fansubs are floating around online.

With each new episode, Arise is definitely improving. Probably closer to the second episode's feel than the first, Ghost Tears is the first episode of Arise that I, personally, would compare positively to Standalone Complex. There were also some cool bits of world-building that I rather liked.


Looking through a couple of Wikis, I realise that I've missed various bits that tie all of the Arise episodes together. If you're going to watch this mini-series, I'd recommend waiting and watching all four when it's finished, or watching the preceding episodes before you watch a new episode. Speaking of...

The fourth, and final, episode, Ghost Stand Alone, is due for a limited theatrical release in Japan on 6th September this year.
To start: the first two episodes are available on Netflix US with English subs.


Got round to watching the fourth, and final, episode, Ghost Stand Alone. Whilst the third episode is the first I would compare positively to the SAC series, the fourth is the only one that actually felt like the SAC series... though it wasn't quite the same.

Overall, I enjoyed Ghost in the Shell: Arise. Although we can argue until we're blue in the face whether we need a prequel reboot, my opinion is that Arise is a worthy addition, and that by going for an origin story we know the ending to, it was able to take the time to explore the characters as they grew to become Section 9, rather than having to devote everything to new and cool plots involving a team that has the baggage of the Laughing Man and the Individual Eleven cases.

Maybe it's a good thing that Arise didn't set itself up for direct comparison to either SAC series, because although the mysteries at the centre of each episode were interesting, I found that they lacked the depth you find in SAC, and, in a couple of cases, were overly convoluted schemes with little payoff.

Would I watch it again? Yes. Aside from Arise being entertaining, and part of the GitS family, I'm convinced that there are underlying elements throughout all four episodes that join them together - at the very least, I'd watch the episodes back-to-back, just to see if there is any overlap.

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