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Ghost in the Shell Arise: Border 1 - Ghost Pain (2013)

In this prequel set one year after the fourth World War, cyborg and hacker extraordinaire Motoko Kusanagi from the military's 501st Secret Unit finds herself wrapped up in the investigation of a devastating bombing.


Shirow Masamune (manga) (as Masamune Shirow), Tow Ubukata (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Maaya Sakamoto ... Motoko Kusanagi (voice)
Ikkyu Juku Ikkyu Juku ... Daisuke Aramaki (voice)
Ken'ichirô Matsuda Ken'ichirô Matsuda ... Batou (voice)
Tarusuke Shingaki Tarusuke Shingaki ... Togusa (voice)
Yôji Ueda Yôji Ueda ... Paz (voice)
Miyuki Sawashiro ... Logicoma (voice)
Mayumi Asano Mayumi Asano ... Kurutsu (voice)
Takanori Hoshino Takanori Hoshino ... Raizô (voice)
Yasuhiro Mamiya Yasuhiro Mamiya ... Ibachi (voice)
Kenji Nojima Kenji Nojima ... Tsumugi (voice)
Atsushi Miyauchi Atsushi Miyauchi ... Mamuro (voice)
Kôji Ishii Kôji Ishii ... Kanzaki (voice)
Yôsuke Akimoto Yôsuke Akimoto ... Department of Defense Deputy Minister Jôgen (voice)
Tomo Muranaka Tomo Muranaka ... Amuri (voice)
Yuta Odagaki Yuta Odagaki ... Section 9 Member A (voice)


In this prequel set one year after the fourth World War, cyborg and hacker extraordinaire Motoko Kusanagi from the military's 501st Secret Unit finds herself wrapped up in the investigation of a devastating bombing.

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ova | based on manga | reboot | remake | See All (4) »


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Follows Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004) See more »

User Reviews

Major? I Hardly Recognize You!
9 November 2014 | by mzgothicgamrgrrrlSee all my reviews

I live and breathe Ghost in the Shell. Cliché expression I know, but I've no other way to explain my fascination with both the Manga and the Anime adaptations. So naturally, at the mention of a new franchise,a prequel no less, I leaped at the opportunity to see it, only to reel backwards at the result.

Now, don't get me wrong. For a TV series, the animation is beyond fantastic, and the colors especially are very well detailed. The use of darkness, alongside the foreboding shadowy atmosphere works really well at developing an alternate flavor to the preexisting franchise. The action scenes are very entertaining, and the accompanying musical score really helps to set the mood, settling you into a time of adept digital technology.

The vulnerability we witness in heroine, Major Motoko Kusangi, is something we have not encountered before, and really helps in not only sympathizing with her character, but in realizing that she is a younger, less powerful individual than we have previously encountered. Despite this, she continues to display the same level of determination, authority and compassion we have previously had the pleasure of viewing.

Although I questioned why Motoko was not of a lesser rank during this feature (in Shirow Masamune's original manga, Ghost in the Shell, it was mentioned she was once a Lieutenant), this question was made irrelevant by the sheer lengths Motoko was willing to go to find the truth about what happened to her superior, Lieutenant Colonel Mamuro, which brilliantly convinces us how much this man meant to her.

The inclusion of the Logicoma (the younger version of the Tachikoma) is additionally fun to watch, although our four legged friend perhaps deserved some further screen time, which is certainly made up for during the sequel, Ghost Whispers.

Furthermore, the story is filled with a great depth of intrigue that is fabulously built up, in which the creators feed us only slips of information as we attempt to solve the puzzle, having to wait until the final moments to successfully unravel the truth.

There is perhaps more of the story that could have been fleshed out, and additional background provided to characters, with Motoko been the primary focus of this episode, however this is not the reason behind why I felt disappointment with this feature. Despite the addendum that Motoko looks nothing like she has formerly, with a completely different hairdo, physique, outfit and voice, this I was willing to overlook in order to simply enjoy the episode.

Ghost Pain explores the back-story of not only Section 9, and how it began to be formed, but how the Major came to become fully cyborg. This endeavor is quite ambitious, and would have worked perfectly, if the feature had not decided to reinvent everything.

During Masamune's manga, Ghost in the Shell 2 Man-Machine Interface, Motoko reveals she underwent the procedure to become completely cyborg when she was just a child. In the first season of Stand Alone Complex (SAC), Kenji Kamiyama reveals the Major was 6 years of age when she experienced the surgery that transformed her into a cyborg, which is further detailed in SAC 2nd Gig, where the audience discovers Motoko suffered a massive ordeal, her human body been irreparably damaged, therefore requiring her mind to be transferred to that of a cyborg replacement. Moreover, the back-story regarding how Paz joined Section 9 (which was explored during SAC 2nd Gig) is also changed. Long story short, none of these are taken into account, this prequel subsequently telling a completely different and contradictory storyline, that long time fans of the series might have difficulty digesting.

If this is not enough, during the special features, located on the Ghost Whispers disc (the sequel to Ghost Pain), the director of both episodes notes how he has forgotten if Motoko's back-story was developed during SAC. If the man directing the project apparently hasn't done his research, and the same can probably be said for the writers, hence the lacking connection between this series and the previous, how are we, the audience, supposed to trust these developers with the continuation of a much loved franchise?

As a stand alone feature, Ghost Pain is an interesting edition to the series. When in contrast with what has come before, I personally think the creators should have done their homework. In watching the feature, it is obvious one of the driving influences was to reveal Motoko's humanity, a factor that could have been equally attempted if the writers had taken the time to view what had come before. If those at the helm of the project are willing to create a show that changes all that we have learned about Motoko's background, should we be willing to participate?

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Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]





Release Date:

22 June 2013 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Ghost in the Shell: Arise - Border 1: Ghost Pain See more »

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