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Confirmed only earlier today, Ghost In The Shell “ARISE” is already giving rise to significant concerns – key visuals of Motoko Kusanagi, the world’s most admired female cyborg, look far from their progenitor.

To change the face of an iconic character is blasphemous in itself, but this is truly the greatest degree of sin imaginable – her entire appearance has been reworked, and instead of a mature and established woman, we have some teenage radical with a flashy red jacket. It’s not that the design doesn’t fit Ghost In The Shell, it certainly looks like a character one may find in the series – but literally an expendable one.

This sort of tacky design would go to a prosthetic body which The Major would use perhaps once or twice and trash before returning to her proper form – but even given how evident such would be to any respectable fan of the series, someone over at Production IG intends to transgress all bounds and sully their remaining flagship masterpiece.

It doesn’t make any sense regardless of how one may look at it. In Stand Alone Complex’s second GiG, flashbacks presented Motoko to us in her earlier days a child, and even then, her prosthetics were distinctly reminiscent, and similar, to those of her grown self. Yet as seen here, the hair color is off, the mane is cut short, the visage is unfamiliar, and the choice of fashion is outright gaudy.

Presenting The Major with this look is just plain incorrect, not merely in that it doesn’t resemble her, but in that this design doesn’t capture any element of her character whatsoever.

Assuming the plot decides to write-in a shift in her character’s personality occurring somewhere along the lines of childhood and Section 9, that won’t change the fact it will be met with animosity for scarring a legendary name with unfitting rubbish that goes completely against any ideology of the work.

Yet this is all going under the context of worst case scenario, perhaps reality won’t prove so cruel.

36 Comments

  • shinmarizu says:

    If the pictures here were of someone else entirely, we’d be excited for a new dynamic between old and new characters.

    Unfortunately, we are going to compare this Major with the one we are so familiar with, and be disappointed. Even if the new series sheds light on her new appearance, we are probably not going to like it.

    Her voice (VA), behaviour and her role in the new narrative will be the dealbreakers here.

    • Seven says:

      “Unfortunately, we are going to compare this Major with the one we are so familiar with, and be disappointed. Even if the new series sheds light on her new appearance, we are probably not going to like it.”

      It’s a mistake to develop an established element into something which it is not, you may as well make a new one.

  • Anonymous says:

    She looks angry and tough, how exactly wouldn’t that fit major’s image?
    Even then her personality is not the same in any of the adaptations she’s put in.

    • Seven says:

      Before angry and tough, The Major was a deep thinker. She’s not a musclefreak or similar, although we’ll have to see what she truly turns out to be like upon series arrival.

      • triton6783 says:

        Based on images I have seen of previous Ghost in the Shell series, she wasn’t wearing neon red clothing, or had neon blue hair. Everything seemed much darker and more mysterious.

      • supervamp78 says:

        Well from what I’ve seen in the manga she wasn’t such a deep thinker and was the complete opposite of her anime version.

        • Seven says:

          As I mention all the time, other mediums are irrelevant – although in this case, not only that, but Ghost in The Shell is an original animation. The manga is based on the anime, not the other way around – and that’s regardless if you’re speaking of the original film or Stand Alone Complex.

  • Anonymous says:

    She looks more like the Major from the original movie instead of SAC. I don’t mind it.

  • misao93 says:

    At least it looks better than most shows nowadays (with a few exceptions).

  • She looks kind of moe. I wonder why they changed her design cause i don’t find anything wrong with the old one. Oh well, will just wait and see.

    • gargamesh says:

      i guess it’s the same reason why Takeuchi changed Ciel.

    • avatar mikeski says:

      I’m not seeing much “moe”, just a lot of “2010s anime style”.

      Her eyes are small (for anime), pupils small, nose larger than one pixel, has some shadows that give her some bone structure above her eyes… When I compare it to all the really moe faces next to her in the “random articles” sidebar, she looks pretty badass.

      • Seven says:

        “When I compare it to all the really moe faces next to her in the “random articles” sidebar, she looks pretty badass.”

        Are you suggesting it’s appropriate to lower standards for sake of seeing something in a better light?

        • avatar mikeski says:

          Saying “this art is in a modern style” isn’t lowering (nor raising) my standards. (Neither is “moe artwork” inherently high or low in standards, for that matter… though it’s inappropriate for a GITS story.)

          I’m saying what I’m saying; she doesn’t look “moe” to me; The giant-gradient-eyes-and-no-other-facial-features girls do.

          • Seven says:

            Thanks for the clarification, I was wanting to confirm you weren’t calling her “badass” exclusively based on how she appears in comparison to moe faces.

            I concur with you – although, to go further, I’d say this is a negative modern spin. To begin with, it’s visually unattractive.

            • avatar mikeski says:

              I should have worded it in a way that didn’t make “moe” and “badass” into opposites, yes. One can be both.

              • Seven says:

                So long as badassery isn’t something determined based on how moe something is or not.

                Senyu is “moe” in the sense of cute visuals, but sheer badass all while at it.

  • zammael says:

    Wonder what Masamune Shirow thinks of this redesign of his creation?

    I gather that the studio couldn’t go retro in their redesign according to demographics and the market trends but this revision suffers from the worst possible sin in design: bland, boring, mediocre. It doesn’t even have the pretense of a new stylish direction.

  • Anonymous says:

    The manga (the original one) was released in 1989-1990, the first anime movie in 1995.

    • Seven says:

      The film and subsequent anime series step away from the single manga volume released prior to the first movie’s debut – although it doesn’t make a difference either way.

  • Anonymous says:

    Why does no one remember that the Major looked like this in the original movie but with yellow eyes?

  • Anonymous says:

    When I compare this picture with the image from the original movie, every individual element of the face (eyebrows, eyes, nose, mouth) seems to match (aside from the hair, but that was blowing in the wind in the movie, so I’m trying to ignore it). However the overall structure just doesn’t seem to be the same, and I can’t pin down why.

    Ok, a few more passes, and I think I’ve got it: the Arise Motoko is angry, while the original has this calm sereneness. Being in an artificial body, there was always the sense that her emotions were rather detached from her physical appearance. Even when not explicitly shown, you could still feel the inhumanness in her.

    The Arise version of Motoko just looks too… human. Like she’s a Very Angry Girl, not a Pissed Off Killing Machine. The body frame hurts there, too, since it’s clearly a very light and young build, while the original Major had a distinct sense of mass (made explicit in the movies at various points) and maturity.

    This new body frame seems like lightweight plastic frame compared to the heavy metal frame of the original. Technically more ‘modern’, yes, but still feels wrong.

    Will have to see how well it holds up in actual production.

  • Anonymous says:

    Why is everyone comparing this Motoko to the one from SAC? GITS:SAC is an alternate version of the original movie and manga. This new series might be another alternate universe of the preceeding media. And as stated above,her face is comparable to the movie Motoko. So what if she’s wearing red and has blue hair? As long as this new series keeps the same feeling as the other GITS media,it’ll be a good series.

    • Seven says:

      It’s debatable whether her visage is comparable or not.

      “As long as this new series keeps the same feeling as the other GITS media,it’ll be a good series.”

      The fact the heroine is changing is already an indicator that it may not “keep the same feeling”.

      • Anonymous says:

        Motoko’s personality and appearance has changed between each medium. But there has always been an underlying sense that they were the same basic person though. In the manga she jokes around and is more free-spirited(cyber lesbian sex anyone?). The movie she’s self-reflective and serious. SAC and 2nd Gig she’s kind of both combined but balanced out. So what if they change her appearance and personality then? It will be good if we get to see a side of her that we haven’t had the chance to be aquainted with.

        • Seven says:

          I agree with the first half of your statement, however:

          “But there has always been an underlying sense that they were the same basic person though.”

          That’s the exact issue here, there is no underlying sense that she’s the same person if going on this key visual. This article is on the key visuals, and maybe the series will release some more later on that change everything, or the actual series proves better upon premiere – but based on this visual, it’s not promising as of yet.

          “It will be good if we get to see a side of her that we haven’t had the chance to be aquainted with.”

          If it diverges too much, it’s not even the same character any more – just a shell of the former ghost. They may as well replace Motoko Kusanagi entirely with someone else.

          • Anonymous says:

            Maybe I should clarify. No matter the change to her appearance or personality,to me there’s always something that makes me say “Yeah that’s Motoko.” The image above provokes the same feeling in me. I mean your point is valid. Change too much and you have a different character. But there are certain themes that run thru all GITS media that remain the same. You can’t deny that.

            • Seven says:

              I agree, albeit when it comes down to whether one can look at her and say “Yeah that’s Motoko”, it varies on the person I presume.

              At most, I personally feel this body looks like an expendable one she would use during espionage, but that’s it.

              • Anonymous says:

                That could be true. I also feel like the different iterations of Motoko could be views of her in different stages of her life. Like this new one in Arise could be really young;the manga is that irresponsible,college age;SAC is the more mature stage;and the movie is the oldest and most contemplative.Maybe I’m off on some of those,because I haven’t really read the manga all the way thru. I’ll admit Arise Motoko’s blue hair does throw one off a little when viewed closely.

              • Seven says:

                Its been a while since I’ve seen the film, but I feel like the SAC Motoko is the most matured one in that she has a lot of background experience and can understand where things are going at just the hint of what direction they’re taking.

                There’s numerous examples in SAC, but it’s really best exemplified in Solid State Society. The film variant is definitely contemplative, but to a degree, it’s like she’s just pondering over what route to take, instead of actually foreseeing it.

  • Anonymous says:

    Has anybody heard why they did a redesign to The Major’s character?

    • triton6783 says:

      Maybe they felt the need to be more modern, or something else like that. Either way, it doesn’t matter why they did it, all that matters is that it is terrible

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