I have recently been getting back into watching Anime, a form of animation normally coming from Japan. I have enjoyed anime for a long while, but until recently hadn’t been as into the medium as I have been in the past, and watch relatively little in recent years. This all changed recently when I realised that Netflix (if you have a Netflix account click here to browse the anime genre) is a wealth of Anime. You would think that it would have been obvious from the start, but due to the poor UX on all devices but mobile and browser, it is hard to find content that Netflix doesn’t “recommend for you”. Once I signed in on the Mac and went looking for this content there was a lot.
So here is some of the stuff I have been watching lately, I have split it in to bite sized posts one each week. And we are starting with you guessed it.
Ghost In The Shell : Arise, Ok so my mate tells me this is on Netflix in Japanese with subtitles, however I can’t find it and I watched it on Blu-Ray. Arise is the latest in the Ghost In The Shell (GITS) series, and reboots the franchise. This time out it is a 5 part although at this time you only seem to be able to get parts 1 – 4 OVA (original Video Animation) in the UK. An OVA is basically films that designed to go straight to home video.
Set in the year 2027 It tells the story of Major Motoko Kunsanagi as she forms her elite Cyber Security team. This time she is not directly reporting to the Section 9 chief, but acting as a solo unit with government funding. Like the original the story takes place in a futuristic Japan, where the line between humans and machines is blurred, due to the common place of cybernetic implants. This time round the story is very much more focused on Motoko with the team forming a less important supporting role than in “Stand Alone Complex”. The team is however all there, with some very minor changes in appearance, Motoko however has gone through a complete redesign. This however isn’t that charing as we have seen Motoko’s appearance change numerous times, due to the fact that she is a complete cybernetic body. Other Ghost In The Shell elements are also back, the squad are supported by a unit of self aware AI tanks, this time called logicoma and are fighting hackers, that take over people to do their will. I recurring “enemy” in this series is the mysterious computer virus known only as Firestarter.
I really enjoyed this, but I am a self confessed Ghost In The Shell fan, owning everything and anything GITS related. The stories are fast paced with plenty of the action that we are custom to in a Ghost In The Shell outing. The Major once again is a strong and powerful main character able to deal with any demand the job throws at her. This time out however we do get to see more of Motoko’s past, including some of her service in the war. This is a good outing, and addition to the Ghost In The Shell lore, although there are cosmetic changes and some effort to expand on Motoko’s story, some of the themes it explores have been covered before in other outings of the franchise. If your a fan of Ghost In The Shell or new to the series this is certainly an enjoyable and entertaining watch.
Ghost In The Shell : Arise Part 1 (Ep 1 and 2) and Part 2 (Ep 3 & 4) are out now