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Worth a watch if you are a Ghost in the Shell fan
Story The story quite honestly feels like you have seen it before from Ghost in the Shell, not deviating from the ghost hacking concept that is present all throughout the franchise. However, despite staying in the "comfort zone" of the franchise it is still a fascinating universe being portrayed, and so it is still intriguing to follow Section 9 as they unravel a case even if the story concept isn't as unique as it once was when it was in the franchise. This particular movie felt as though it could fit right in with the Stand Alone Complex series as an episode that was stand alone from the over arching story. It is nothing new, but that isn't a bad thing because it can still tell an interesting and rewarding story which it does.
Art Production IG did a great job with the art in this series of movies combining vibrant colors and fluid animation that give this OVA series a unique and refreshing feel. It does a good job at making the world feel realistic, like the movements of the characters actually have weight and substance. I believe the cinematography could have been better when the show slows down to scenes of conversation between characters. Perhaps it was just the camera positioning in some of the shots, but they could have definitely made the more dialogue heavy and static scenes more interesting.
Sound The soundtrack is nothing to go crazy about, though it does fit the aesthetic of the Arise series quite well I believe. I can personally admire some of the music from a technical standing because I produce electronic music myself, but there aren't many memorable compositions in the soundtrack. The exception to this would be the opening theme which is an extremely soothing track with all kinds of interesting techniques and musical elements that feels like a breath of fresh air. Otherwise there are mainly standard songs that get the job done, but could be done better.
Characters These are the same characters of Section 9 that we have grown to enjoy from Ghost in the Shell and it comes as no surprise that the communication between them is entertaining, mainly Togusa, Batou, and the Major. The other characters don't get too much spotlight in this series which is a shame because we already know so much about these main characters that it would be nice to get some more development from the other characters in Section 9. That is more of a personal gripe that stems from how fond I am of the characters. There isn't much development of the characters in this series, it almost just seems shoved off for the last few minutes of each movie. Without any prior knowledge of the characters through previous iterations I would definitely have felt detached from the characters because of this lack of development.
Ghost in the Shell: Arise as a whole does not stand as tall as other Ghost in the Shells have but it stands with them at a comfortable level. It doesn't attempt anything new but it still has interesting cases for Section 9 to solve and I was on board for each one. It is a relaxing watch that won't make you think too hard but still keeps things seemingly complex with stories about ghost hacking and ghost dubbing. I enjoyed it, though I still much prefer the original movie and Stand Alone Complex over it.
Katanagatari is interesting because it's one of the better anime in recent time (that I have seen), one of the best anime from 2010 (that I have seen) and arguably the best work of NisiOisiN (that I have seen, even though this only includes two titles).
Now, Katanagatari is great, it's absolutely wonderful, but depending on your ability to immerse yourself in a story so much that you forget time this may or may not be for you. If you are like me with the attention span of a goldfish, initially the 50-minute long episodes might scare you off. If you are able to put up with it, however, you are in for a treat.
I will not summarize the series because frankly you can look at the anime description for that, that and I doubt I will make it that much more interesting. I will just go through why I like it.
First of all there are the characters, which I think are the main driving force behind this anime. They bounce off each other really well, providing good (but not ROFLOL hilarious) comedy and creating an overall likable character dynamic. The side characters are also fairly good, they do their thing, but for the most part you will not see them for more than one episode, so they do not matter too much. I will also give points to the incredibly forced romance. I like that Katanagatari doesn't even try to build it up naturally but instead approaches it like "Yeah, we're in love even though we've shared a whole of five minutes of screen time. Deal with it." The action scenes are short but very energetic and well directed. While they are very good, be warned if you are going into Katana thinking it will be 90% action; it will not. In fact, much of the anime is spent on dialogue. Think Bakemonogatari, just not quite the same bullet pace.
The sound track is excellent, and while I do not think it stands out per se the music tracks are used very efficiently, creating just the right mood every single time.
The art can be described as fairly minimalistic - it certainly does not stand out in terms of production values - but it gets its job done and does it well.
Overall, Katanagatari is great, you should definitely check it out if you like dialogue and good action scenes, but due to the length of the episodes you may or may not be able to marathon through it. Also: that last episode.