Arise is the latest animated movie and television series based on Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell manga. Ghost in the Shell Arise is a reimagining of Masamune Shirow’s work and features new character designs. Kazuchika Kise (Blood: The Last Vampire, Ghost in the Shell) directs with Tow Ubukata (Mardock Scramble, Soukyuu no Fafner: Dead Aggressor) providing the screenplay. The movies have also been recompiled into television format that also features two original episodes that tie into Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie that was released in Japan earlier this year. Ghost in the Shell Arise: Borders 3 & 4 from Production I.G is available now on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK via Manga Entertainment.
If you’re unsure whether to jump in with Ghost in the Shell Arise, maybe due to not seeing any GitS previously, or don’t know where it fits chronologically then fear not. Arise is a reimaging of the original manga and, like the movies and television series Stand Alone Complex, they can be watched independently of one another. So if you’re a long time GitS fan or a newcomer to the series then Arise will not disappoint.
“Border 3: Ghost Tears A terrorist bombing and the mysterious death of a detective trigger a deadly investigation involving prosthetic legs and members of a rebel group leftover from an international conflict. When all signs point to a master of cyber warfare known as Fire-Starter, phantoms from the past come back to haunt Major Motoko Kusanagi as she struggles to keep her personal and professional life separate.
Border 4: Ghost Stands Alone Motoko Kusanagi is closing in on the dangerous hacker who created the false memory virus. After a mass shooting leads to the capture of a key witness, the team finds themselves in a race against the clock to unravel the secrets she’s keeping. With enemies appearing all around them and the stakes growing higher by the minute, it’s time to find out once and for all: Who is Fire-Starter? And how can they be stopped?” – Manga Entertainment
The plots throughout the entire Arise movie series is fantastic and while each movie may be standalone, and can be enjoyed that way, there is an underlying conspiracy that ties them all together. I personally find it a joy when a series can pull this off; you appreciate each movie as it stands, but when they all tie in at the end it’s a great feeling. The signs are there throughout the series and while your brain acknowledges them, you never put it together but always feel a sense that something deeper is at work. The last movie does end a little on the average side though; the brilliant set up into this movie seems to have lost its flow along the way. A shame, but still an awesome ride from start to finish and a must-see for any Ghost in the Shell fan.
When it comes to Production I.G, then visually there’s generally nothing to worry about, they always present a high standard of quality with their animation. Ghost in the Shell Arise is no different and maintains a stunning visual quality throughout. The character designs have changed for Arise but the characters are still recognisable, just updated and looking great. Ghost in the Shell Arise features an all-new Japanese voice cast that may put some off but each of the new VA’s do a brilliant job with the characters. Maaya Sakamoto, who previously voiced a child Motoko Kusanagi in both the film and Stand Alone Complex, returns now replacing Atsuko Tanaka as the voice of Major Motoko Kusanagi.
Ghost in the Shell Arise features a huge selection of extras on both discs including two episodes of the Logicoma specials, Ghost in the Shell: Arise Episode: (JP) special and so much more. For a standard release, the amount of extras is certainly a bonus and something you’d usually only find in a collector’s edition.
Border 3: Ghost Tears
Border 4: Ghost Stands Alone
Inside the World of Ghost in the Shell Part 1
Blu-ray & DVD Spots
Ghost in the Shell: Arise Episode: (JP)
Blu-ray & DVD Spots
Memory of GR: Making of Arise
Yuki Will Never Forget Kenji
Ghost in the Shell Arise is a brilliant addition to the GitS franchise and Border 3 & 4 continue the intense action of Major Motoko Kusanagi. If you’re a fan of GitS already or a newcomer then Arise is a great place to jump in. The fourth movie does feel somewhat weaker compared to what has come before it but it’s still a fantastic series of movies that Production I.G has put together. Visually stunning and with a great story, Ghost in the Shell Arise: Borders 3 & 4 should be on your watch list.