First Impressions: Ghost in the Shell: Arise – Alternative Architecture

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Based off the movie series Ghost in the Shell: Arise, this anime series Alternate Architecture looks to bring the four titles to a ten episode series with new content and amazing action.

e1gitsarisealternativearchitecture01Synopsis
Ex-major Motoko Kusanagi of Section 501 is part of a secret group looking to bring down an elite hacker called Fire-Starter. After a contract is signed between Kuzan Water Company and the Japanese giant Harimadara, unrest begins to arise in the streets over the oppression of the Qhardistan people.

While Section 501 sits in waiting for the first move, suddenly police begin opening fire upon the protesters and each other in what seems like a large-scale ghost hacking. Except, with no technology allowing over 100 people to be controlled simultaneously, it’s assumed to be a self destructing Stuxnet-type virus.

After Section 501 traces the virus to the Harimadara speaker, Kusanagi enters the press party and kills the speaker who is in the process of shouting against cyberbrain tech and prosthetics that have shattered Qhardistan.

While Kusanagi makes her stealth escape in camouflage, her communication lines are hacked into by someone claiming that she cannot stop Fire-Starter. A hack e1gitsarisealternativearchitecture07that is traced to a girl standing in the midst of the protestor and police corpses. As they approach the girl, she’s nearly killed by a sniper that quickly escapes from Section 501’s sight.

After the dust settles, Kusanagi meets with the head of Section 9, Daisuke Aramaki to debrief on the situation. While he questions Kusanagi’s actions and killing of the speaker, he also doesn’t explain why he didn’t cut her off before she made her move.

Colonel Hozumi of army intelligence breaks up the meeting by requesting the hacker girl, Emma Tsuda, be handed over to them. However Aramaki questions their motives. Even though they claim it’s to investigate the cyber-virus, Aramaki leaves the hacker in Kusanagi’s hands in order to escort her to Unit 501.

During the escort, Kusanagi ends up in a rather heated debate with Emma over real memories or fabricated ones. A discussion that matches the speculation of brain washing virus use to mold her into the terrorist she is.

e1gitsarisealternativearchitecture09Frustrated with Emma’s claims of Kusanagi’s memories being fabricated, Kusanagi forces a direct dive while still on course to Unit 501. Shockingly, Kusanagi finds her actions immediately backfire when she’s hacked and nearly shoots herself in the head with her gun. Just before the dive is pulled, she catches a glimpse of a man inside Emma. Two ghosts in one cyberbrain.

Thoughts
Alternate Architecture definitely kicks things off on all cylinders.  Being from a movie series, it definitely supplies the full theatrical qualities we can expect.  Which makes this series even more exciting.  It just looks good and the action is top-notch.

Of course, similar to most of the GitS franchises, it often becomes hard to follow with the technobabble.  Even still, even without a few back-steps, it’s decently easy to follow the main plot lines that make up what’s going on.  Though a quick e1gitsarisealternativearchitecture11rewatch can unravel the deeper points that make GitS so intriguing.

I’m excited to see this series hitting the simulcast, mainly because I missed all of the movie releases and it will be interesting to see what extra content they provide in the closing 2 episodes.

I think what makes GitS so special is its ability to create a believable futuristic world, without pushing the bounds to the point of unbelievable fantasy.  Which is still present here.  Cybernetic implants are a big deal, and to assume it’s not controllable in some way would be false.  Taking that to a level of a mass killing or memory altering is just fascinating.  I can’t wait to see where they take it from here.

This show is streaming on Funimation.com!

Episode 1: Ghost Stands Alone, Part 1

THUMBS UP!

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Great!

Pros:

  • Great visuals
  • Amazing action
  • Great story concepts

Cons:

  • Bit hard to follow
  • Heavy technobabble

Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.