Aug 12, 2014
Po_and_Dong (All reviews)
Arise has been a little bit up and down so far, and the series has yet to get into the same league as the films and SAC, but the latest Arise episode succeeds at being its own thing while bringing in classic element from both previous iterations. Ghost in the Shell: Arise - Border:3 Ghost Tears is the first Arise episode to show what the other ones lacked, Section 9 back in action, and this certainly works in favor of this new episode. This is what you should expect from this movie: a SAC style plot with the most intricate storyline so far in Arise, SAC style action and operations starring all your favorite characters with their SAC personalities for the most part, for the first time since 2nd Gig the Major's romance, and some themes and references to the original film as well. Before I get into more detail, I have to say this was definitely my favorite of the Arise series so far, and I'm sure you will like this one if you enjoyed the last couple.

I can imagine Ghost Tears being a little bit controversial to the long term fans of Ghost in the Shell. The reason is because Ghost Tears features something that has never really been especially prevalent before, which is romance. Ghost Tears has a romance between the redesigned Major and an original character called Akira Hose. This romance is very direct, mature, and at times a little bit cheesy but definitely more prevalent then the extremely subtle romance in GiTS and the little bit in 2nd Gig. I don't think it was a bad romance at all actually, in fact its making Arise stand out in its own way. Sure its cool to see all this SAC stuff again, but if I want SAC I'll go watch SAC. By having some original flair, this anime is able to call itself a true new incarnation of Ghost in the Shell. Akira Hose himself, is a pretty interesting original character. This is the first time Arise has succeeded at doing this. Although he is in a somewhat similar role, Akira Hose is not quite Hideo Kuze, he is much less of an egoist, must less of an idealist, much less imposing, and much more charming. If Hideo Kuze is a rock, Akira Hose is the water. Now, Akira Hose isn't exactly character of the year. He has one motivation and basically makes a misshapen beeline to achieve his objective while getting sidetracked by his Major love interest. A little bit predictable but a good addition to the cast dynamic which had already largely borrowed from a 12 year old anime.

A little bit more specific will follow. Ghost Tear's plot revolves around a conspiracy involving an illegal weapons manufactor stationed in Japan sending weapons to a fictional arabic country so it can fight its arab spring and what not. Section 9 is called to investigate how they are smuggling these arms, what the arms are, and what the hell it has to do with the exploding dam across the road. Hell yeah, classic Section 9. So the plot had its own share of detail. It is more intricate than the first Arise, it has more plot twists, it does not sacrifice sense for suspense, and it was definitely better than the rather paper thin plot of Arise 2. I enjoyed it well, but that was just one part of this anime that made it a success. All members of Section 9 had their moments, not just Motoko. Batou wisecracks against the Major and gets hacked which was hilarious, and rips someones head off. Borma is still bald and Borma, he threw some innocent bomber to his grave in a action so swift and deadpan I wasn't sure if I should have cried or chuckled. Togusa's facial detail has somewhat gone down, but his personality has not. He uncovers most of the case in this episode, good going Togusa. Etc etc. So it was a pleasant surprise that characters got their due when they were neglected before.

Plot was good, characters were fun, and the action was nice. Arise also has a couple things that are more aligned with the original GiTS (and 2nd GiG to a degree.) For example, Motoko reveals her complex (surprise) about her cyborg body and how she feels alive with it. This is something we see in GiTS obviously, but not in SAC to much of degree. It was interesting, albeit not in the same league of depth GiTS goes to. I give them props for throwing in the Togusa's revolver joke too, that just kind of wrapped the references altogether.

Music was underwhelming and unmemorable for the third time consecutively. Intro and ending music aside, theres nothing you will remember from this movie I am sure. If One Minute Warning and Stamina Rose can get stuck in your head theres no reason Arise can't do the same.

The verdict is: it's good. I gave this episode a 7 not because there were any problems but just because it wasn't particularly outstanding in it succeeding categories. However, I am most definitely pleased with the anime I just watched, definitely the best Arise episode so far!