Saturday, July 27, 2013

Some thoughts about the new Ghost in the Shell: Arise episode

Anyone who knows me well will know that I have long been a fan of Masamune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell series (manga, anime movie, tv series, etc). Like, just about forever.

I've always admired the main character, Major Motoko Kusunagi of Section 9. I should probably warn at this point that you read at your peril as there may be spoilers for those who have not read or watched the series.

Tonight I watched back to back the original Ghost in the Shell movie and the first episode of the new four part ova series, Ghose in the Shell: Arise. And one of my first reactions was like, WTH? Why is she a little boy???

Her character design has certainly undergone transformation, but that's to be expected given that there's been 18 years between the first movie and the latest franchise.

Ghost in the Shell original movie: looking pensive.

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 1st season

Ghost in the Shell movie 2 Innocence

Ghost in the Shell: Arise ova, looking fierce and very boyish

The thing that I have issue with is how the animators for the ova have given her a very feminie body (much like the previous renditions) ONLY WHEN SHE'S NAKED or nearly so! But she's dressed in her military uniform or her tough red leather outfit, she's FLAT AS A BOARD! I think some consistency is needed here! Because it is an origins story, her less mature body can be explained away by a number of things (won't spoil it here), but it is rather painful to watch the inconsistencies. I think it's just eye-candy - I'd almost say Shirow himself would approve, but if you've been following his artwork over the last 30 years, I would say... nooooo, he probably would not have! I wonder how much input he had into the character designs though. I don't see his name associated with the episode though, of course, it's Production IG that's responsible for the series.

But watching this has re-engaged my interest in anime in general, especially cyber-punk and good story telling.

Ok, now I have to go re-watch the Ghost in the Shell: SAC. :P
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