It’s an exciting time for Ghost In The Shell. With the live-action film coming out not too long, it’s great to see Ghost In The Shell’s revival. With the new anime adaptation coming out on Netflix and the return of the Stand Alone Complex universe, it’s a welcome treat for those that arguably find the universe to be the definitive version.
However, with every new iteration comes changes like how the anime is now going to utilize 3D animation. Whether that’s up to fans’ taste is up to interpretation, however, it does lead to some hoping that aspects of the previous animes would be maintained while others are changed. Here are the 5 things from the original anime, both the show and film, that should come back and 5 things that are better left behind.
10 BRING BACK: Philosophy
This is one of the most fundamental aspects of not just Stand Alone Complex, but for the Ghost In The Shell franchise. Ever since the original manga, the main themes about humanity and posthumanism have been a direct factor to fan enjoyment for decades now.
Not having that philosophy and focusing more on the action would be a serious detriment to the enjoyment of the show. However, this must also be balanced out to not be strictly a philosophical lecture. So far every adaptation has done a good job in this department, let that keep going.
9 DON’T BRING BACK: Different Interpretations of The Characters
Depending on the viewer, their first Ghost In The Shell could be the recent live-action movie. Others might be the original anime from the ’90s or the Arise anime. But since this is supposedly a sequel to the Stand Alone Complex universe, it would be for the best if it stays within that characterization.
Having a series that doesn’t retcon itself would be a great way for fans to not find anything jarring aside from the 3D art style which may or may not detract fans. Regardless, so long as the characters maintain their characterization from Stand Alone Complex, it will bring in fans both old and new.
8 BRING BACK: The Musical Tone
Unfortunately for many fans around the world, Origa, the singer for Stand Alone Complex’s soundtrack, passed away. Her work will be greatly missed by many around the world, but viewers thankfully have Yoko Konno whose works blessed both Stand Alone Complex and Cowboy Bebop.
Although it isn’t fully confirmed whether or not she is doing the music for the sequel of Stand Alone Complex, the hope at least is that it is able to maintain the feel of the series that preceded it.
7 DON’T BRING BACK: The Puppeteer
The Puppet Master has always been the big bad since the original manga. Often appearing in some form or another in almost every adaptation that came from the manga. Stand Alone Complex itself did its own version of the Puppet Master in the film Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex-Solid State Society.
While the show has since resolved that, please, let it stay that way. Puppet Master is a great character, no doubt, but his impact could lose its deeper meaning if he came back in any way shape or form.
6 BRING BACK: The Quasi-Realism
Similar to the musical tone and the different interpretations of the characters, one of the best things about Ghost In The Shell is the down to earth approach it has with its themes. This along with a form of quasi-realism, allows the adaptations to maintain resonance with its audience.
As such, it’s important to maintain that without it jumping the shark. Again, so far none of the adaptations has done anything that would go insane with the sci-fi elements. But it is exactly that, which must be maintained.
5 DON’T BRING BACK: The Pacing
This is not just in reference to the original film but, to some extent, Stand Alone Complex as well. The pacing of the original Ghost In The Shell is deliberate because it allows strong build-up to occur for both the themes and climax. This can be argued in a similar case with Stand Alone Complex, given how each episode builds itself up in order to reach a crescendo.
However, since this is coming from Netflix, the pacing might have to be changed for the platform. Regardless of how minor it is, it’s important for maintaining a wider audience.
4 BRING BACK: The Chemistry of Section 9
This is something that is accomplished across every adaptation. Section 9 is always prominent cast members regardless of what version you watch them from. As such, keeping and maintaining their chemistry would be a good thing.
Of course, the majority of adaptations primarily focus on the Major, Batou and Togusa. One of the cool things that the new anime could do is if they give more focus on the rest of Section 9. Allow them to stand on their own as characters rather than just be used as assets with the main three.
3 DON’T BRING BACK: Callbacks To The Original
Ghost In The Shell is one of the most revolutionary anime of all time and as such, there have been many callbacks to it. Whether it’s the Puppet Master case, the tank battle that is shown in two different movies or even the philosophy about humanity in the age of cybernetics, any revival of the franchise is bound to honor its roots with a homage or two.
While there is nothing wrong with this practice, it’s still important that the new series is able to stand on its own. This should be the case regardless of it being a sequel to the Stand Alone Complex or just as a part of the Ghost In The Shell mythos in general.
2 BRING BACK: The Episodic Nature
One of the biggest strengths that Stand Alone Complex had was that it knew what it was. As such, every crime that was shown with each episode was built up in order to eventually hit the climax once the Laughing Man became more prominent.
Although the pacing slightly suffered it still achieved what it had to. Since the new series is still within an episodic format, this should still be taken to account. This is one of the factors that might help the show achieve a similar kind of success as its predecessors.
1 DON’T BRING BACK: The Tone Of The Original Film
This is more to do with the original anime film rather than Stand Alone Complex, specifically. Simply put, the somber tone of the original film, while great in its own right, would not sit well within the Stand Alone Complex universe – especially since the tone of the Stand Alone Complex is a mixture of both the manga and the anime film.
If the new series were to change to lean more towards one or the other, it might not feel like Stand Alone Complex despite being presented as a sequel.
Major Motoko Kusanagi is set to return with a new anime, but what traditions should she maintain and leave in the past?