That long-developing live-action remake of Ghost in the Shell has drawn plenty of ire for its primarily white cast, and reports that Paramount commissioned VFX tests to make Scarlett Johansson appear asian only made things worse. Sure, the film does have some asian cast members, but they’ve been largely relegated to supporting roles so far. Perhaps that will change with the addition of The Wolverine star Rila Fukushima — though it would be far more interesting if she were cast in the lead.
ghost in the shell
Progress on the Scarlett Johansson-led live-action adaptation of the popular anime Ghost in the Shell continues this week. More than a placeholder for the gap at the center of our collective being, capable of being filled only by a Lucy sequel, the projected sci-fi tentpole could give Johansson a second series obligation in the event that it connects with the public. And so in preparation for a shot at the franchise brass ring, the production has made moves to recruit the sleek-haired Michael Pitt, though the actor has yet to sign on any dotted line.
It doesn't seem possible that consumer-friendly virtual reality is on the verge of breaking through the shackles of science fiction and into the real world, but we're entering into a brave new world of immersive interactivity with the release of Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear and even Google Cardboard. While each of those VR platforms has its own strengths and weaknesses, that there are multiple manufacturers vying for your attention in the same space (with more like PlayStation VR, SteamVR and StarVR still to come) speaks volumes about how viable virtual reality has become in the last few years.
Aside from the potential gaming aspects, virtual reality presents some interesting opportunities for narrative immersion as well. We've already seen Star Wars take advantage of that a bit with its recent Jakku tour, but the landscape is wide open for the likes of movies and animation to give fans and viewers an even closer look at the worlds being created on screen. Such is the case with the upcoming Ghost in the Shell VR short, Ghost in the Shell Virtual Reality Diver. Set in the world of Ghost in the Shell: Arise, the short will be an on-rails experience that lets you tag along with Major Kusanagi through some select scenes curated for VR.
When it comes to the import figure scene, few companies are as prominent as Good Smile. The company's Figma and Nendoroid lines are perennial favorites, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise to anyone that's owned at least one figure from either line. Though the new showings at New York Comic Con were limited, what Good Smile did have on hand hinted at a very strong 2016 for the Figma and Nendoroid lines.
Gaming figures had the largest impact on Good Smile's booth, with new Nendoroids for Venom Snake and Marth being key stand outs. The Metal Gear Solid V star looks adorably deadly, but it's that Fulton device accessory that really sells it. Being able to attach it to any existing Nendoroid is a plus, and since Figma toys also have similar pegs in their backs, I wonder if it will work for them as well. Marth transitions to the chibi style rather well, which isn't surprising, the level of detail in his outfit is still impressive for the trimmed-down aesthetic.
The animated life of Ghost in the Shell is a complicated machine. You've got the original 1995 film adaptation of Masamune Shirow's landmark cyberpunk work, then there's the 2004 sequel, and then the 2008 remastered Ghost in the Shell 2.0. Of course, you've also got Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, the 2002 animated series, which also had a few feature-length chapters during its run. And let's not forget the most recent iteration, Ghost in the Shell: Arise, a complete re-imagining of Shirow's story, which took place before the original manga, but also had a movie release this year in Japan. People love their Major Kusanagi, no matter how convoluted her story becomes throughout all the various incarnations.
Though there hasn't been quite as many Ghost in the Shell video games, that hasn't stopped the franchise from being equally confusing. The original PlayStation One title, Ghost in the Shell (based on the first film) managed to survive just fine on its own, but two different games based on Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, which were both titled simply Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, arrived on two different systems and offered two different styles of play (one a third-person shooter, one a first-person shooter). For this latest attempt at bringing Ghost in the Shell to life as a video game, Nexon has again turned to Stand Alone Complex for inspiration. Unfortunately, it's also going to be a free-to-play, online multiplayer-only, squad-based FPS.
In a huge move for improving access to manga, Comixology has announced a partnership with publisher Kodansha to bring huge volumes of their manga library to its digital comics service. That means you have one less reason to say, "I don't read Manga"! With a whole range of amazing titles coming online, perhaps it's time to try out series like Noragami, The Seven Deadly Sins, or the blockbuster hit Attack on Titan and its various spin-offs.
Although cosplay has been present for decades within the comics, anime, and sci-fi/fantasy fandoms, social media has played an integral role in the thriving communities of costuming that exist, such as Cosplay.com and the Superhero Costuming Forum. Over the years, the cosplay community has evolved into a creative outlet for many fans to establish and showcase some impressive feats of homemade disguise, craftsmanship, and sartorial superheroics at conventions. In honor of the caped crusaders of the convention scene, ComicsAlliance has created Best Cosplay Ever (This Week), an ongoing collection of some of the most impeccable, creative, and clever costumes that we’ve discovered and assembled into a super-showcase of pure fan-devoted talent.
Even back before anime and manga exploded (or E X P L O D Ed, as the case may be) and became as widely available as they are today, Masaume Shirow's Ghost In The Shell and Mamoru Oshii's anime adaptation were considered to be true high points of the cyberpunk genre. It's one of the most well known franchises in the entirety of anime, producing multiple adaptations and influencing films like The Matrix.
Obviously, it's going to have a pretty dedicated fanbase, and now, a group of artists and filmmakers have gotten together to produce a live-action fan-film adaptation of the original Ghost In The Shell anime's title sequence, reproducing it shot-for-shot. Check out a video of the process behind the recreation below!
Considering how impressive its Figma and Nendoroid action figures have been over the past several years, I was surprised to hear that Toy Fair 2014 was Good Smile Company's first year at the show with a proper booth. The booth certainly didn't show the toymaker's freshman status, and was full of recent hits like GSC's popular Samus from Metroid Figma and Sonic the Hedgehog Nendoroid, plus a few all new reveals. Get a load of Ghost in the Shell's Major Motoko Kusanagi Figma, The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker Link Nendoroid, a massive titan statue from Attack on Titan, and more after the jump.