Ghost in the Shell Arise [rating=4]
The world famous Ghost In The Shell franchise returns with with first of two episodes in a brand new 4 part series, Ghost In The Shell ARISE, a prequel focusing on a time before the Kusanagi and Section 9 team you’ve come know and love.
So just a short note, I haven’t seen any Ghost in the Shell movies or series. My first expereince with the anime is this prequel. I will be trying to view it with the eyes of someone who has.
Ghost In The Shell returns with it’s brand new incarnation, ARISE. A 4-part series. This release includes the first two Borders.
In the year 2027, a year following the end of the non-nuclear World War IV, a bomb has gone off in Newport City, killing a major arms dealer who may have ties with the mysterious 501 Organization. Public Security official Daisuke Aramaki hires full-body cyber prosthesis user and hacker extraordinaire, Motoko Kusanagi, to investigate. On the case with her are “Sleepless Eye” Batou, who believes Kusanagi is a criminal, Niihama Prefecture Detective Togusa who is investigating a series of prostitute murders he believes are related to the incident, and Lieutenant Colonel Kurtz of the 501 Organization who also wishes to keep an eye on Kusanagi.
The first part to a four part series uncovering Kusanagi’s past before she became what we have come to know and love. How she became her super cyborg and how she came to gather her own private team.
The animation compared to the movies and series is completely different. The image is crisper and clearer, and it pulls away from the old type of animation and into a more 3d look of things.
The plot was excellent, not too many twists to distract you completely; just enough to keep things interesting. The way these characters start off and the introductions slightly lacked. Going into it as I did (completely clueless) it seemed like when they brought in a few of the characters I should know them already. In the end however it did tie up some ends.
Freed of her responsibilities with the 501 Organization, Motoko Kusanagi must now learn how to take orders from Aramaki. When unknown forces hack the Logicomas, Batou enlists the help of former army intelligence officer Ishikawa and former air artillery expert Borma. Kusanagi also seeks to enlist ace sniper Saito and undercover cop Paz into the new Public Security Section 9. The two groups rival each other in a case involving a man who receives false memories of a refugee transport operation.
The plot of the second section lived up to the first, it developed the characters more and more focusing on not only a storyline, but also explaining how she became whom we have come to know. It also goes into the set up of her own team, missing a few members at the end of the feature leaving us want to get straight into Border 3.
The fight scenes overall were brilliant, Kusanagi wasn’t without flaw; which is nice to see. She isn’t an overpowerful being and she can be defeated. They were entertaining action scenes which held excitement not knowing really how each fight is going to end and a few surprises thrown into each.
The bonus features were very impressive, and stand alone interesting.
Ghost in The Shell ARISE at Anime Expo 2013 featurette, Textless Opening, Logicoma Beat, Promotional Video, News Flash Type A, News Flash Type B, Theatrical Trailer, Border: 2 Teaser, U.S. Cast & Crew Commentary, Logicoma Court, Decode SOI File, Border:1 – Ghost Pain Cyberbrain I.G Talk Night Show, Border:1 – Ghost Pain Cyberbrain Cast Night Talk Show
I’m giving the actual anime 3.5 stars in total; Good plot, good action, but I feel like it would have been so much more if I’d watched the other series. I liked the animation style used for a futuristic anime. In addition I’m going to give an extra half a star for bonus features alone.