Ghost in the Shell Arise’s new trailer joins news that not only will the OVA be getting entirely new character designs, but also an entirely new voice cast, in what is proving an exceptionally controversial new direction for the series.
The new character designs:
As or more controversial than the new character designs is the fact that Motoko will now be voiced by Maaya Sakamoto, who perhaps not coincidentally also voiced child Makoto in SAC and Deunan in Appleseed XIII, rather than Atsuko Tanaka, who voiced her all the other Ghost in the Shell anime.
Along with Motoko, Aramaki (now voiced by Ikyu Juku), Togusa (Tarusuke Shingaki), Batou (Kenichiro Matsuda) and every other member of the cast also sees a new voice actor, for what is clearly intended to be a clean break with the previous incarnations of the franchise.
A new 2027 setting and storyline (yet again involving viruses) round out what has been described as a Motoko “origins” style story with her still with army intelligence prior to her Section 9 career.
Aside from the new character designs and seiyuu changes, plenty of other information about the new project has just emerged – it will be comprised of 4 50 minute parts, with the first – “Ghost Pain” – to see limited theatrical release and then an OVA BD/DVD release in June and July.
A manga edition of the new production is also due to begin serialisation in March, in the pages of Monthly Young Magazine.
Masamune Shirow himself has acknowledged the new iteration of the series takes things in a new direction:
2029AD. Togusa would be 29, so in the world of Ghost in the Shell, today in 2013 he would be in middle school. What would he be doing now, and would he already have resolved to become a detective?
[In the 24 years since the original manga’s debut] the world has changed a lot – especially computers and networks, with many people now carrying and using high powered mobile terminals at all times.
The original manga is now quite old, and I think it must be quite challenging to adapt, but I’m really looking forward to seeing viewers enjoy whatever new Ghost in the Shell Kise and the new staff produce.
And please, afterwards don’t start saying “this was all a fake memory and none of the anime adaptations were real,” OK?
His concern over what fans will make of all this is perhaps understandable – the fan response so far has been distinctly negative: