Ghost in the Shell Arise’s controversial decision to redesign Motoko and company and scrap all the old seiyuu seems to have been contentious even amongst the production staff – Production IG’s CEO has said he was dismayed when he first say the new Motoko, and even her new seiyuu has said she will “have to try to adapt” to the new Motoko.


Production IG CEO Mitsuhisa Ishikawa spoke further about Arise at a recent media event – and mentioned even he initially had his doubts:

When I first saw Kise’s new Motoko I thought it was really dicey as well. I knew he was serious. Kise’s characters come out in production, so I felt they had their work cut out there.

Kise for his part says Masamune told him to do it:

At first I wanted to have designs which were closer to Shirow’s original art, but Shirow said that as the male characters had become quite a bit more realistic in their design, he’d like to see Motoko treated the same way.

So I thought we should return to their origins – so we changed to something derived from the very first Ghost in the Shell.

Script writer and novelist Tow Ubukata, best known for his work on Mardock Scramble and Fafner, and describing himself as a fan of the series since he first encountered it at the age of 16, has been entrusted with the task of writing the script for the new series – he too is cautious:

When I first heard about it I was over the moon, but I was also rather frightened.

This is a work which has exerted a huge influence over me, so I see this as both a challenge and a chance to repay that debt, and that’s how I’m approaching it.

Maaya Sakamoto, the seiyuu now voicing Motoko (though she already voiced “Kodomotoko” – child [“kodomo”] Motoko – so technically she is reprising her role), also made an appearance as a “secret guest” and revealed she too was sensitive to the drastic changes the franchise has been subjected to:

Personally, I love the Ghost in the Shell series, so a change in the cast is definitely something I think I’ll have to try to get used to. I’ll be very happy if my previous role as Kodomotoko helps.

The new trailer causing so much fuss:

Online there is still no sign of fans accepting the changes – although with the production staff themselves apparently barely convinced this is perhaps not surprising:

“The art and cast both changed, it’s no wonder everyone is having a fit.”

“New Motoko looks like Aria…”

“The Motoko from the new PV’s only saving grace is that she is moderately cute. It doesn’t look fresh and the production budget does not feel particularly high. It looks even more old fashioned than the first one from the mid nineties too.”

“Her design ruins it.”

“I lost all hope on seeing the major’s new look. And why does the chief have black hair all of a sudden?”

“I can’t help but think all our cyberbrains have just been hacked…”

“Of everything in the franchise, it looks as though SAC will be the highpoint.”

“All the anime shows were pretty distant from the original in certain respects. I wish they had closed the gap a bit.”

“The closest to the original manga is actually the anime from the PS1 game…”

“I just watched it – it is pretty amazing.”

“They should have made the new anime like that! I would have forgiven the change in seiyuu then.”

“Really nice – would have been great if they used that. For some reason they seem to be taking Arise in a completely different direction.”

The Ghost in the Shell PSX OP for those left wondering what might have been:

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    Avatar of kintama00
    Comment by kintama00
    08:57 17/02/2013 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    huh PSX version gave me a boner..

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    00:59 19/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    its gonna be crap, like the new blood series they killed the characters just to make them moe, im tired of this new moe thing, to make all characters to appear younger.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:39 19/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    O GAWD DON'T MENTION THAT MONSTROSITY! The new blood anime was just horrible. Story was shit, art was shit, and the characters were big fat pile of shit. Why the hell did they let clamp do the animation? Clamp is notorious for creating crappy stories and sub par art.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Gotta love people who resist change. Adapt to the new series' look. KTHXBAIBAI

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:04 18/02/2013 # ! Good (+0.8)

    If it isn't broke, don't fix it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:00 18/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    How boring...

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:04 19/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    There is good change and bad change, I bet you liked DMC reboot.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:27 20/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    @ 7:46. Not a very good juxtaposition.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:07 20/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    DMC is a complete shitfest now

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:46 19/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    you're kidding right..? DMC:Devil may Cry (the ENTIRE TITLE) was a RETCON of the ORIGINAL title and so it's written here as an apt comparison.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:04 19/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    How is DMC relevant to GITS? Just sayin'.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:55 17/02/2013 # ! Good (+0.7)

    Looking at the PV, Motoko actually looks okay in motion.

    It's Aramaki's change in design that annoys me the most.

    Avatar of cats2
    Comment by cats2
    08:57 17/02/2013 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Ugh, all it's missing is a j-pop single OP instead of Origa to complete the "What the fuck GITS....."

    Avatar of PirateKing
    Comment by PirateKing
    03:12 18/02/2013 # ! Good (+0.4)

    That and the change from "shell" to "shit". They could even keep the abbreviation...

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:25 17/02/2013 # ! Good (+0.6)

    She looks like some pretty boy..

    In all the various designs Makoto has for the most part remained relatively similar until this one. I just can't understand why they need to change things this much and mess with an iconic design. It'd be like changing Super Mario in a drastic make-over.

    Another aspect they'll need to consider is the merchandising. If the designs aren't liked none of the merchandise will sell.

    Personally I would've liked a follow up to SAC rather than what looks like a reboot.

    Perhaps it's not too late to go back to the drawing board given the negative reaction? Going ahead now will be like flushing money down the drain.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:22 17/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    It's a prequel

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:56 18/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    *flushhhhh Though looking at that trailer, it's far too late to turn back now.

    She looks like a really bad tomboy version of Misato from Evangelion. A younger Major, I guess? Funnily doesn't even pander to the moe otaku, otherwise she'd look more like a Kyoani character.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:51 17/02/2013 # ! Good (+0.6)

    SEE WHAT DID I TELL YOU!!! Even the production staff thinks its a shitty design... Back to the basics.

    Avatar of PirateKing
    Comment by PirateKing
    19:50 17/02/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Motoko looked like a strong mature woman, now she looks like a lame brat.

    I really don't like to see the cool characters disappear and be replaced with lame knock-offs only so that they can be resold to the next generation.

    There is no creativity or ingenuity there. It's only repackaging with the intent to cash in even if they have to spit on the original and make an inferior version.

    Avatar of Myballz
    Comment by Myballz
    13:32 18/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I guess the Production company force themselves to update Motoko Kusanagi to fit the demographic of what Otaku fans want which is younger female character.

    Avatar of Myballz
    Comment by Myballz
    14:53 18/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't care what Otaku would think, I believe that's direction IG production is doing because the new series that focuses on Motoko Kusanagi origins starting out as a cop at the young age of 16.Which they are trying to attract younger demographic which is the only way to make money.

    Avatar of PirateKing
    Comment by PirateKing
    13:41 18/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Do you really think that is what Otaku want?

    I for one greatly prefer a mature strong female character to the 1000th whimpy whiny moe clone with zero depth that gets very old very fast.

    And I don't think even the most hardcore loli fan would (or should) want to go Motoko in that direction because it would kill the character.

    She is just the polar oposite of it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:39 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    This will not do well financially and you will be proven wrong. The demographic for those who want to retain her design is greater than the fraction of the moe market they can capture. As another poster said there are other ways they could've gone to expand their market share, unwise changes will only leads to a downwards spiraling tradeoffs.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:42 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    and like others have mentioned this isn't even moe/loli enough, it won't get what they're looking for.

    Probably they were mostly just trying to make her more realistic with expanding their market share being a secondary concern.

    They really messed up and are going to damage their franchise.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:03 18/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not most otakus, but they are probably thinking that it will draw in more people from this generation who don't know shit about GitS already.

    I'd say they ought make her show more hints of being cold and computerized underneath that seemingly warm, and (previously) sexy exterior of her's. Making her seem more cute and appealing does the opposite of make her more realistic.

    Then again, they may have a point with this... if most Japanese would want to design a female robot to look like whatever they want, they wouldn't go with a sexy woman body but.. in fact, maybe a cute, young, seemingly-innocent teenager =P sad, but true... but even still, it's an unnecessary change to the source material.. it's like Shirow is trying to pull a George Lucas.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:34 18/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    So you are telling me, that a huge company who pays a lot of money in predicting the market sales would rather choose to make an anime for say 10 "hardcore fans" willing to pay 10grand each or choose the general populace of millions who would probably pay a dollar at most?

    Well the new Motoko sucks, but what the heck, it's not enough for our support to change the company's mind.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:10 18/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Haha! No, we need to adapt her more! Make her eyes big and watery and re-set GITS in a suburban high school. Moe-toko FTW!

    It will be like every other piece of soft-pr0n anime that ca$hes in today.

    Who knows, though. It might be amazing. Could go either way.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:18 25/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Don't forget cat ears. Cyborgs look cute with cat ears.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:07 20/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I'm glad they lolified Motoko.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:48 21/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I'm glad you're just trolling.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Preach it Captain Obvious!

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:56 17/02/2013 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Don't get mad at the truth. Blame yourself for being a blind and stupid fanboy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:57 18/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Putting in my 2 cents on here. I'm a fanboy for GiTS and I'm a bit on the fence on this one.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:41 17/02/2013 # ! Drivel (-0.7)

    Thank you Einstein. I'm sure we wouldn't have figured it out without you.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Hahahaha You mad?

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:50 18/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    I'm sure we can all come to an agreement, that her hair/redsign is still better than new Dante.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:21 25/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is true. They should have made Dante look like this.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:40 17/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Seems like a huge fail, but I bet the apologists will find something to compliment even when it's bad..

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:12 19/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    What I see happening here is the same thing that has gone on with Lara Croft. The companies are trying to present a less sexual image of the lead heroine in order to provide girls with a greater self image. Yet I'm still wondering if they understand that this is irrelevant as it removes one of the factors that may have assisted it making these characters feel so badass to begin with. What is wrong with having a lead female character who is sexy and kicks ass? Why do they have to conform to societal norms, it's boring and just seems stupid to me. Cause the message that sends is, look and act like everybody else so people will accept you better. idk just my own opinion.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:30 19/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Exactly, and the real irony of feminism... that society should allow women should be free in all ways EXCEPT, of course, in their sexuality.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:29 19/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    As if it was not enough as the equality imposed by feminists (who already earn a long time, and in the matter of better jobs many men lose their job for them) now want women to look like man too (or something between tom boy and EMO)

    The way that most feminists are ugly is easier to look like men. Even gay men are more feminine than these witches!

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:21 19/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Motoko's hair color is the problem for me - Too blue.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:53 17/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    The anime will probably be fine. But with all character redesigns, I find myself asking the same question... WHY?!?!?

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:43 17/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    They going back in the timeline, so it's supposed to be like that right? With the younger voice actor and everything.

    Lol @ that last vid, i always loved those tanks.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:02 18/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    She's fully prosthetic it isn't like her voice changes over time.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:37 25/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    If she's fully prosthetic, she should be able to change her voice at will. It makes sense that they would initially give her a voice and body that more closely fit her age, and allow her to move to a more mature appearance as she mentally matures.

    Avatar of cdp5280
    Comment by cdp5280
    13:28 18/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    The only real problem with "this" Motoko, is the hair. It's too blue and has no...texture? It almost looks like she's waring a bright blue swimming cap.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:46 17/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    That PV for the new anime is meh... nothing aspiring or "fresh" at all. They should of just kept the old design but then I shed tears as I see that PSX PV... sigh.

    Avatar of vega427
    Comment by vega427
    12:12 17/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I'm okay with the way it looks.I'll give it a watch.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:31 17/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    HOLY SHIT!!! The PSX OP look freaky good!!!
    Mokoto's face could use a little work however.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:00 18/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's better than Arise any day.

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