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Ghost in the Shell Arise: Border 1 - Ghost Pain (2013)

In this prequel set one year after the fourth World War, cyborg and hacker extraordinaire Motoko Kusanagi from the military's 501st Secret Unit finds herself wrapped up in the investigation of a devastating bombing.

Writers:

Shirow Masamune (manga) (as Masamune Shirow), Tow Ubukata (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Maaya Sakamoto ... Motoko Kusanagi (voice)
Ikkyu Juku Ikkyu Juku ... Daisuke Aramaki (voice)
Ken'ichirô Matsuda Ken'ichirô Matsuda ... Batou (voice)
Tarusuke Shingaki Tarusuke Shingaki ... Togusa (voice)
Yôji Ueda Yôji Ueda ... Paz (voice)
Miyuki Sawashiro ... Logicoma (voice)
Mayumi Asano Mayumi Asano ... Kurutsu (voice)
Takanori Hoshino Takanori Hoshino ... Raizô (voice)
Yasuhiro Mamiya Yasuhiro Mamiya ... Ibachi (voice)
Kenji Nojima Kenji Nojima ... Tsumugi (voice)
Atsushi Miyauchi Atsushi Miyauchi ... Mamuro (voice)
Kôji Ishii Kôji Ishii ... Kanzaki (voice)
Yôsuke Akimoto Yôsuke Akimoto ... Department of Defense Deputy Minister Jôgen (voice)
Tomo Muranaka Tomo Muranaka ... Amuri (voice)
Yuta Odagaki Yuta Odagaki ... Section 9 Member A (voice)
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Storyline

In this prequel set one year after the fourth World War, cyborg and hacker extraordinaire Motoko Kusanagi from the military's 501st Secret Unit finds herself wrapped up in the investigation of a devastating bombing.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ova | based on manga | reboot | remake | See All (4) »


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

22 June 2013 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Ghost in the Shell: Arise - Border 1: Ghost Pain See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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User Reviews

 
Is the return of the Major really as amazing as we hoped?
5 November 2014 | by totalovrdoseSee all my reviews

When I acquired my copy of Stand Alone Complex, I remember watching this at least a dozen times in a row, none of the episodes ever failing to entertain. I still relished every battle scene; admired every line of dialogue, and cried like a baby each time I witnessed the penultimate episode. Major Motoko Kusanagi to this day remains, quite possibly, my favorite anime character of all time, and what Mamoru Oshii accomplished during the films, and Kenji Kamiyama conceived during the series, was to create a character so beautiful, intelligent and mysterious, nobody could possibly look away from her. Although more respectful and mature than Shirow Masamune's depiction (who occasionally resembled Duenan from Appleseed), Motoko's unflinching authority and superior abilities remained. The youthful impression we have of the Major in Ghost Pain doesn't capture the voice that Masamune conceived, however, does paint a new image of her character that we have never been privy to.

For those who have viewed the 2ng Gig of Stand Alone complex, you may remember Kamiyama developed a back-story for the Major, in which, as a young girl, she was involved in a catastrophic crash. After her human body failed her, Motoko's mind was transferred to that of a cyborg. This entire back-story is forgotten in Ghost Pain, which instead describes something else. As Masamune never actually wrote about how the Major came to be heavily cyborg, this allows plenty of leg room for a multitude of perceptions. The fact this feature doesn't reflect what has been previously developed may cause the audience to wonder which interpretation is most plausibly accurate During Ghost Pain, the Major is a seemingly short young woman with florescent blue hair and turquoise eyes. Although the actress voicing her is talented, the fact her vocal range never touches upon previous depictions of Motoko's character, makes adapting to this new design a little difficult. The colors used in Ghost Pain are very well developed, and Motoko's red outfit is further evidence of this. However, if the creators had retained a similar hair color to the previous series and comics, and gone for a blue suit (fans who have read Ghost in the Shell Phantom Fund might know what I mean), I think this would have done the character greater justice.

Although Aramaki, Batou, Togusa and Raz make appearances, these often feel like underdeveloped cameos, with Motoko commanding the screen, and though there is nothing particularly wrong with this, one cannot hope fans will want to join the Major on another adventure if she is nothing like they once remember. Rather than feeling like the traditional cyberpunk, although these elements distinctly remain, Ghost Pain is more film noir than anything else, and is a classic case of trying to figure out who the lead antagonist is. Despite been a different interpretation, the way this is written works really well, the developers making the viewer believe one particular idea, before pulling the rug out from beneath their feet and having them believe something else entirely. It is not until the case is concluded that we have all of the answers.

I would never go so far as to say the story is creepy, or even retains the same level of darkness as Ghost in the Shell 2 Innocence, but the writers do take advantage of the storyline. As some characters find their memories and eyes hacked, they are forced to witness and believe things that are untrue, and their frustrating battle to uncover what is real, alongside the fear they are losing control, is really well conveyed. Moreover, rather than having all of the answers, Motoko is seen to be a character with vulnerability, and her humanity is heightened in the actions that she takes. Although 'show don't tell' works great in literature, I have always had preference for Motoko's philosophical discussions, none of which make an appearance in this adaptation.

The action we have come to appreciate from Ghost in the Shell certainly does make a resurgence, the acrobatic movements of the cyborgs being a flurry of color, the sound of one cyborg smashing violently into another heightening these scenes. Despite a number of robotic bodies been irreparably damaged in some instances, it is perhaps contradictory the same level of destruction is never applied to the human combatants who are attacked. Furthermore, the music, which sounds very retro and digital, really helps immerse the viewer in the action scenes, though the opening and concluding themes are certainly no where near the caliber of Kenji Kawai or Yoko Kano.

If you are a massive fan of the Ghost in the Shell universe, you will probably do yourself a disservice by not watching this new reincarnation of the franchise. Don't be surprised however if it fails to live up to expectations, although by the end, if you're anything like me, you'll still want to marry Motoko Kusanagi and have a bunch of cyber babies with her. Despite Ghost Pain been no where near the most exemplary addition to the Ghost in the Shell universe, there are certainly a number of twists and entertaining scenes to captivate your interest. Just don't expect the same story or character quality exhibited from previous titles, both of which could have been equally fleshed out.


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