Home > Anime, Check-out Station > Check-out Station: Ghost in the Shell: ARISE

Check-out Station: Ghost in the Shell: ARISE

An eternity? An age? Definitely not forever. How long has it been since I last watched something titled Ghost in the Shell? It’s definitely something from my previous time of anime watching. The anime watching that had me almost ten anime DVD’s a month, maybe more. So when I got the chance to check out ARISE, I was wildly happy. Is this a movie or a series? It’s kinda both. And I’ll enjoy it as such.

Seeing as how this is an hour long, and pretty much a movie, I’ll skip the explanation of plot. Just set up will be enough.

I want to connect this to G.I.T.S. S.A.C. so much. It could fit perfectly within that world. Motoko is trying to end her days in the military, but there seems to be a bit of a hitch in those plans. Her commanding officer, and a person she deeply trusted is killed in a mugging. And this happens after rumours of rampant corruption are swirling around him. As such, she’s unable to free herself from the military. On top of that, it seems like she herself is suffering strange effects to her cyberbody. It’s up to her to clear her name… and perhaps clear her mind.

I really, really enjoyed this movie. I’m sure many may find this average. But I loved the pace, the detective work and the atmosphere. The beginning of the movie feels a little foreign at first, but you quickly see how the pieces fit together if you’ve ever watched the G.I.T.S. movies or Stand Alone Complex. I watched this movie just waiting to see the next familiar face. Hell, it was funny, I almost didn’t recognize Paz for a sec. He really is the most low-key cyborg I’ve ever seen.

The story itelf plays out pretty well as a Stand Alone Complex-like story. There’re bits and pieces strewn about evenly to give you a good feel of what everything was about. From Motoko’s hacking, the ugly-ugly early Tachikomas, the uneasy relationship not between the military and police, but in-between deparments in those organizations. It really gives you the feeling that government is a ruthless business that corrupts most, and isn’t hesitant to throw a few unfortunates under the bus (almost literally) for “the greater good”. Government and the military off their leash, running wild and without consequences. And when they or any other criminals go too far, there’s Section 9 to take them down. Or there eventually will be a Section 9. Right now, in this movie, all we see is the need for the soon-to-be organization to exist as we see Motoko and Aramaki oh so carefully work together to get the justice and closure they desire for their mutual foreign friend. It’s so very much exactly what I wanted.

And while the set up is quite familiar, the character designs are ever so slightly not so familiar. It took me awhile to adjust to Motoko looking the way she does. I know character designs have to change with the times, so I’m not upset. I was just annoyed by something I couldn’t put my finger at the time. I figured it out halfway through the movie though. She reminds me very much of Sasuke Uchiha’s Shippuuden character design. Oh the curse of that, it will take some effort to wipe the hate from my mind. Also, it seemed like some of the antagonists reminded me of Naruto movie-style villains. Maybe it was those cloaks, I can’t quite put my finger on it. That little annoyance out of the way though, everyone else was familiar enough. It melded well with the excellent production of the movie. Of which the only disappointment I found with being the disappointingly subdued opening theme.

If I was going to point out anything strange or funny, it would be Motoko’s love of doing her hacking in the shower, or in her underwear. She really puts other Hollywood movie hackers to shame with that body. And speaking of that body, we learned more about it than we’ve been plainly shown in any other movie or the TV series. If I was to connect it to Stand Alone Complex I’d be able to connect a lot of dots.

In the end, much of my enjoyment from the show came from it doing the things I loved about the TV series. It kept me excited and curious. It gave me detective work and action. And it’s all infused with that love for technology and the soul that makes this series so memorable.

  1. July 9, 2013 at 03:01

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