Having spent some of the past few months in a sort of anime-funk, I crawled out of my mountain stronghold and found that Ghost in the Shell had gotten something of a reboot. Now, I feel differently about most reboots; some I loath and wish were smashed in the head, and some I don't bother concerning myself over. But, for some reason when I learned of the existence of Ghost in the Shell Arise, I was not outraged, and crying for someone to exact fan-boy justice.
For all intents, I'm not officially calling GitSA a full fledged reboot; sort of a re-imagining and re-mix. naturally, Production IG is handling the new four-episode OVAs, and like the masterful predecessors before, this new iteration of GitS is just as cerebral.
The question I'm probably going to be asked is, "Does GitS deserve a remake?"
My answer is, "Sure."
Ghost in the Shell has become an archetype of the anime pop culture. It is listed in almost every top list of anime, has outlasted almost every other anime to date (with the exception of Bebop), and was the inspiration for the Matrix film trilogy. Major Kusanagi is iconic, and doesn't come much more badass.
The truth I'm speaking here, is that unlike most other shows, GitS is old enough, tough enough, and awesome enough, that it doesn't matter what they do. We will come back for more. We will cheer every incarnation of Kusanagi, and will applaud at the badassery of Batou.
In addition to getting a refresher, the cast of characters has gotten some mild plastic surgery, and they no longer have that rough, from-the-90s look and feel about them. by and large the Major herself has gotten the most radical overhaul. going from something like an MMA fighter to a more diminished and stealthy looking killing machine, which better suits her cyberwarfare specialist role.
I might also add, that the Major has never looked more hot. Just an observation here.
The first two parts of Ghost in the Shell Arise were released last year in Japan, with the remaining episodes to premiere sometime this year. FUNimation Entertainment has already latched their claws into the franchise, and will no doubt mar any fondness for the original vocal cast by doing what-ever it is they are going to do to it, though rumor has it that the editions FUNi will distribute are subtitle only.
Each episode is around the fifty to sixty minute mark. So we're looking at something like the size of Hellsing Ultimate. The shitty part of all this is that each episode will be released separately, and not in a collection. Meaning we could spend serious bank for individual episodes on Blu Ray.
Is this series worthy of the name Ghost in the Shell? Absolutely. So far, it manages to move along at a nice brisk pace, and it doesn't get bogged down with endless monologues. The characters show up, do what they are there to do, and the scene changes.
There is excellently choreographed action, and some very impressive sound effects. This is definitely a step up. Well worth the watch, and worth the hype.