'Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045' Preview: Will the new series step up to franchise standards or crash and burn
In terms of story and philosophical themes, 'SAC_2045' does sound like it might be exactly what fans of the franchise want. However, there's also the artwork to be taken into account
Netflix is all set to release a brand new addition to the iconic 'Ghost in the Shell' franchise. 'Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045' is a new 3D CGI animated series that continues the story of the franchise with new technologies and world-ending threats. Directed by Shinji Aramaki and franchise veteran Kenji Kamiyama, 'SAC_2045' looks like it might just be a worthy addition to the franchise. It features the return of beloved franchise characters Major Motoko Kusanagi (Atsuko Tanaka), Akio Ohtsuka as Batou, Kōichi Yamadera as Togusa, Yutaka Nakano as Ishikawa, Toru Ohkawa as Saito and more.
It is set in 2045 and draws inspiration from Ray Kurzweil's 'The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology', which predicts that human and machine intelligence would merge into a Singularity by that year. It looks like the show will present an interesting perspective on the future of the human race, a theme that's been predominant in the franchise as a whole. The series will also be introducing some interesting new villains, the so-called "post-humans" who threaten the delicate global balance.
In terms of story and philosophical themes, 'SAC_2045' does sound like it might be exactly what fans of the franchise want. However, there's also the artwork to be taken into account.
This isn't the first time 'Ghost in the Shell' has played around with 3D animation but Netflix does have a pretty shaky track record with CG-animated shows (we're looking at you 'Saint Seiya'). That said, we've seen the art for the show in trailers and it looks like it does work pretty well for the series. There's a lot of expectations riding on 'SAC_2045'. Whether it can live up to them or not is something we'll have to wait and see.
Here's the official synopsis for the new ONA series: "In 2045, the world has been thrown into a state of systematic 'sustainable war', but the threat of human extinction at the hands of AI hasn't yet pervaded the public consciousness. Former members of Public Security Section 9, including full-body cyborg Major Motoko Kusanagi, are working as hired mercenaries when mysterious beings known as 'post-humans' begin to emerge. The world’s superpowers are trying to come to grips with the threat, and so Section 9 is reorganized."
'Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045' will drop on Netflix on April 23.