The sci-fi steampunk genre always had this touch of intrigue that attracts attention. Popular cult titles, Ghost in the Shell, is one such franchise that left a big enough impression to inspire a throwback anime series. Impressive as it sounds, this attempt already caused some fans to balk. Worse is having Hollywood take a gander at the franchise. Personally though, as oddly portrayed as Ghost in the Shell: ARISE (ARISE) anime can get, the live stage version seems to be doing something right.
Hold up? A live stage show of Ghost in the Shell with proper actors? You bet’cha! And it’ll be done with 3D effects too, where the live-stage cast will be acting alongside 3D visuals and video-clips.
This is as close to a live action as the Ghost in the Shell franchise would ever get, Hollywood and Scarlett Johansson notwithstanding. Of course, like the original anime throwback that gave birth to ARISE – The New Movie, this live stage version took certain liberties in how its cast would be portrayed as the look and feel of certain characters have been tweaked to accommodate the limitations of a live stage.
Fans would recognise, for obvious reasons, the main cast and will immediately be able to detect the stark differences of certain character portrayals. Take for instance, the subtle changes given to Saitou, the super marksman, and team-muscle Batou. A more obvious Mohawk and smaller stature, respectively, for the two are dangerous ingredients that can generate disastrous response from fans.
Preview posters of the ARISE stageshow have been released earlier this month, featuring these startling changes along with everything else the stage production got right. There are other subtle errors present that only dedicated fans can spot – like the bad attempt in making the prosthetic eyes and not-so-subtle Gatsby-packed pull-back slick for Paz/Pazu.
The proper reference to how the original design looks is on the right.
Thankfully, the hard-boiled design for Togusa received a nice transition when from the anime to the live-stage.
Beyond setting up a pretty impressive take on what the members of Section 9 look like before the events of Stand Alone Complex, most fans had not been too kind to it for the one fact that it changed the entire voice cast and altered the looks of certain characters too drastically. However, it is because ARISE picked up a new generation of fans and appeased older fans who aren’t too hardcore that it could even inspire this live-stage performance.
Let’s hope this will flush away any Hollywood plans has for Ghost in the Shell with Scarlett Johansson and pick an all Asian cast instead.
All copyrighted images lifted from: https://twitter.com/kokaku_a_stage
Anime artwork copyright: Shirow Masamune, Production I.G., KODANSHA