Ghost in the Shell: Arise

Alt title: Koukaku Kidoutai Arise: Ghost in the Shell

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DreadNaught1's avatar
Jun 25, 2013

Ghost in the Shell is one of my favorite sci-fi series, and when I found out about Arise I couldn't wait to see it.

The characters are like they have always been in GITS, they fit very well into the story and world without being something else. Thus giving you that sense this could easily be something that could happen in the future. Also the change in background story on how the Major become a cyborg is a pretty neat change, from the one in the series.

The story it's follows the Major, who gets involved in an investigation around Mamuro her former unit commander. Now the story follows the normal route of uncovering things and some action, but what makes it great here is the twist that occurs near the end. That twist is great because it fits perfectly into the world and adds a nice change to how things happened as well as a interesting impact on the Major.

The animeation I know some has critized but I feel it's very fitting considering this is a prequal, so changing the look to something that seems I guess older makes sense. But regardless the animation is still exetremely good and wont be an issue for anyone.

Now the sound is good, nothing to complain the voices were good and the sounds of the effects were good to.

Simply put I have nothing bad to say about this, because everything in it is well done and fits into the universe of GITS. So if you enjoy Ghost in the Shell watch this, if you haven't seen the series before you can still watch this since it is an alternate story within the GITS universe. Thus it spoils really nothing or atleast so far it hasn't.

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
9/10 overall
Iguanalana's avatar
Sep 2, 2014

Short and sweet. The characters are the same, and have the core three personality traits of the originals, but they are very two-dimensional. As a stand alone anime it ranks just barely above average. Ghost in the Shell's name was Xeroxed and put on this miniseries, and it shows. I might finish it just because of the name, but that's the only reason. What they failed to take into account was the struggles that took place in the original series, and how it brought so much more meaning. The side characters are poorly designed and bring little to the show, leaving just the diluted Motoko to her pedestrian struggles. They should have let a sleeping dog lie.

4/10 story
7/10 animation
7.5/10 sound
5/10 characters
6/10 overall
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SixShooter's avatar
Nov 1, 2015

This review has very, very minor spoilers in regard to one minor subplot.

Overall: 5.75/10 - Ghost in the Shell Arise is less of a canonical prequel and more of a different take on the series altogether. While the old team remains similar, significant changes were made to Motoko's character (the main character) that I didn't think were good. The story is a bit disjointed and inconclusive. Animation is stellar in the action scenes, but issues with animating Motoko's face can be very apparent at times. Music is mediocre at best. That being said, plenty of action makes for an entertaining watch and those who have not viewed Stand Alone Complex/2nd GIG or who thought that those series were too slow will likely enjoy Arise.

Recommended for: People who are new to Ghost in the Shell would do well to watch this after the original movie in order to understand the mechanics a bit more. Arise has entertainment value, but whether you'll enjoy it as somebody who has seen Stand Alone Complex/2nd GIG will depend on what you thought of the SAC series. If you found SAC too slow, found Motoko too cold, or thought the philosophical/political issues were excessive you'll likely enjoy Arise. If, like me, you enjoyed these aspects, Arise might be a disappointment.

Breakdown:

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Story: 5/10-Mediocre

Creativity/uniqueness bonus points: None

Humour bonus points: There were moments, but not enough to give points.

General Plot and Structure 2/4 - The general plot of Arise was alright, but a little disjointed. Some of the subplots, such as a romance subplot, seemed unnecessary and forced. While the Ghost in the Shell franchise was never 100% aligned canonically, a few too many liberties were taken. This will be discussed more in the character section, as it mostly applies there.

Pacing 1.75/2 - Pacing was a little bit too fast, likely because they were trying to fit too much into a small timeframe as well as make room for extra action.

Emotional impact: 1/3 - There was very little emotional impact really, though this has never been Ghost in the Shell's forte.

Conclusion: .25/1 - The conclusion of the main investigation basically doesn't occur and this is probably the biggest annoyance with the story.

Annoying/mindset-breaking negative points - None 

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Animation: 7.75/10-Very good

Artwork 2.75/3 - Overall the artwork was very good. Backgrounds were well done, the predecessor Tachikoma (AI spider tanks) were interestingly designed. Some of the city scenes looked quite spectacular.

Character Designs 1.25/3 - Most of the old team looks similar or the same as the old series (really good), although the colours are generally more vibrant. Motoko (the main character) has a very different cybernetic body than in the other titles.

    Given the universe, this wouldn't be a big deal, perhaps even welcomed by some, if it weren't for the way they actually animated this new character design. There were far too many "what the hell happened to her face" moments where she looked really weird. In one scene she literally looked like a teletubby. I noticed a lot of scenes where they were focusing on other characters or covering her mouth while she talked, which makes me think they may have been having legitimate issues with animating her.

Action Animation 2/2 - Fight scenes are probably the best part of Arise. There are plenty of them and all of them look decent. The scenes in episode 4 were particularly awesome and reminiscent of the breathtaking animation of the original movie.

Other animation 1.75/2 - Other animation (aside from the issues detailed above) is usually good, but there are some jittery parts and parts where there's no movement for an awkward length of time.

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Characters: 5.25/10-Mediocre

Personality 1.25/3 - Now comes the part that bugged me the most. To get it out of the way now, the main team are all great and similar to the rest of the franchise. The arguably bad part is Motoko's personality. While it isn't drastically different than in the other titles it simply doesn't line up or make a lot of sense. In Arise, Motoko is somewhat hot-headed and almost juvenile at times. It draws some parallels to Korra from The Legend of Korra (I know, not an anime), though not to the same degree.

     While this personality wouldn't be bad if it was used in another anime and while she wasn't transformed into a weakling, it simply doesn't make sense in the context of the story. At the point where Arise starts Motoko is a highly trained black ops soldier who has likely killed quite a few people and has otherwise gone through a lot crap. It's hard to believe she became a slightly cold and highly professional individual within the few years she served in a police capacity.

Development 1.5/3 - There isn't really any development in Arise, but nobody really falls apart.

Uniqueness 2.5/4 - All of the side characters are similar to the other titles, but Motoko's new personality is significantly less unique.

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Sound: 5.5/10-Mediocre

Voice Acting (Dub) 2.5/3 - Every voice actor is great, including the new voice actor for Motoko. While the voice for Motoko is quite different, so is the character so they can't be faulted for it. The one thing that left me scratching my head was that Motoko's commanding officer is voiced by the same voice actor as the original Motoko. This seems like a very odd decision and was somewhat jarring.

Music 2/6 - The opening music, in my opinion, is pretty dumb. The lyrics are just "ghost ghost ghost" over and over with little musical quality. The ending is forgettable. During the show, there were large sections with no soundtrack and when it was there it was mostly chip tune-ish. It suits the theme I guess, but conveys very little emotion.

Sound Effects 1/1 - Excellent. 

5/10 story
7.8/10 animation
5.5/10 sound
5.3/10 characters
5.8/10 overall
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