“Ghost in the Shell: Arise” albeit not as strong as “Stand Alone Complex,” still have its moments and for the most part, the designs aren’t bad, though it does take some time to get used to. The two stories featured in these two seasons (or Borders) are decent and give some good background of these characters
“Ghost in the Shell: Arise”
Borders 1 & 2
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Action, Mystery
FUNimation | TVMA – 114 min. – $39.98 | October 28, 2014
THE SEASON – 4.0/5
This cyberpunk classic that sparked a phenomenon returns with all new story lines combining breathtaking visual effects and exhilarating action sequences! “Ghost in the Shell: Arise” sheds new light on the mysteries that have haunted fans for decades while rebooting the genre it helped define.
BORDER:1 – GHOST PAIN
Set against a backdrop of international arms dealers, exploding cyborgs, and murdered prostitutes, this origins story plays out with a futuristic flair for the destructive. When cyborg hacker Motoko Kusanagi is hired to investigate a devastating bombing, she must fight her way through a maze of phantom memories to unlock her mysterious past – and track down the evil mastermind behind the attacks.
BORDER:2 – GHOST WHISPERS
Witness the formation of the legendary Public Security Section 9. When a clandestine organization hacks every car in the city, Kusanagi recruits a lethal team of cyber operatives that includes a badass brawler with Special Forces training, an explosives expert, a technology specialist, and a chain-smoking jack-of-all-trades with a sordid past. Together this ruthless gang of enforcers sets out to clamp down on the chaos and make the city safe again.
Quick Hit Review: As a fan of the original “Ghost in the Shell” anime series (in fact, I prefer this over the feature films), I wasn’t too sure what to expect from “Arise” but after finding its bearing in the first 10-15 minutes, I thought it does a good job not only establishing these characters – and how they first met – but it’s an intricate story providing a back story for Kusanagi. Now, the animation style itself isn’t the best but OK and takes a backseat to the characters and story.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.5/5
The four-disc set (2 BDs, 2 DVDs) comes housed in two separate Blu-ray cases which are tucked into a side-sliding matted slip cover. Each “Border” comes with a multi-page booklet with pictures, character designs and essays.
“Ghost in the Shell: Arise” at the Anime Expo 2013 (21:17; HD) is footage introducing this new series with the creators answering questions and perspective from the fans.
Logicoma Beat (2:22; HD) is some strange music video featuring those annoying tanks (which I never liked even on the original anime series). Only in Japan, man, only in Japan.
Promotional Video (1:53; HD)
News Flash Type A (0:35; HD)
News Flash Type B (0:37; HD)
Theatrical Trailer (1:32; HD)
Border: 2 Teaser (0:26; HD)
Textless Opening (1:03; HD).
U.S. Cast and Crew Audio Commentary – This is a light-heart track features an ADR director, script adapter and voice actors Elizabeth Maxwell and Christopher Sabat.
Logicoma Court (2:17; HD) is like the “Beat” one with those tanks in court. As I said, only in Japan.
Decode 501File (2:37; HD) is background on Special Army Unit 501.
Border:1 – Ghost Pain Cyberbrain I.G. Talk Show (11:10; HD) and Border:1 – Ghost Pain Cyberbrain Cast Talk Show (10:54; HD) both of which have filmmakers and voice actors on a Japanese talk show promoting the show.
News Flash (0:31; HD)
Theatrical Trailer (1:02; HD)
Promotional Video (1:43; HD)
Commercial (0:17; HD)
Blu-ray & DVD Spots (0:48; HD)
Surface X Ghost in the Shell Arise Another Mission (3:02; HD)
Pacific Racing Team X Ghost in the Shell Arise Promotional Video (2:06; HD)
Textless Opening (1:04; HD)
Textless Closing (3:54; HD)
U.S. Trailer (1:44; HD)
VIDEO – 4.5/5
“Ghost in the Shell: Arise” arises, heheh, onto Blu-ray presented in its original televised 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and a nice 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture offers sharp details and, as one would expect from anime, bright colors which look gorgeous.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
We get Dolby TrueHD 5.1 tracks in both Japanese and English languages and you can’t go wrong with either… The English dubbing isn’t altogether bad with clear dialogue levels, decent depth when Kusanagi is on the Net but sound effects don’t quite have the impact or bass, but generally I prefer the country of origin so if you had the choice, please select the Japanese track (I believe the English is the default language).
OVERALL – 3.75/5
Overall, “Ghost in the Shell: Arise” albeit not as strong as “Stand Alone Complex,” still have its moments and for the most part, the designs aren’t bad, though it does take some time to get used to. The two stories featured in these two seasons (or Borders) are decent and give some good background of these characters with two more on the way offering more for the other supporting characters. The Blu-ray released by FUNimation has strong video/audio transfers and a good selection of bonus material to peruse, the highlights being the Expo footage and episode commentary.
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.