Anime Reporter turns now to the cybernetic world of police investigation for Ghost in the Shell: Arise- Borders 3 &4. For anyone unfamiliar with Arise, they’re a series of OVAs in the Ghost in the Shell series and it’s certainly possible to jump right into 3 and 4 without having watched 1 and 2.
Both Border 3 and 4 follow Motoko Kusanagi and her elite team dealing with terrorist threats in a world where most people are walking around with computers in their brains or with entire cybernetic bodies. This is a world where being hacked can mean losing control of your own body. This makes things complicated where crime is concerned and the person who pulled a trigger can’t always be assumed to be the same as the person who committed a murder.
Both of these OVAs deal with high-level terrorist plots as the focuses of their investigations, but the overall feeling is that of a police procedural. While the setting is sci-fi, both hour-long OVAs are pretty much just exploring the evidence of who’s behind it all. There’s moderate character development, but as OVAs, everything does also largely resume an approximation of the status quo.
There’s action, there’s mystery, there’s roboticality (not a word, but I’m using it anyway) and there’s this series’ knack for sliding somewhat philosophical quandaries somewhere into the mix. If you’re familiar with Ghost in the Shell, then you probably know not to expect a tremendous amount of humour or light-heartedness but as far as this series goes, Border 3 & 4 are worthy additions to one of anime’s most influential hits.
Ghost in the Shell: Arise- Borders 3&4 are coming to the UK and Ireland on DVD and Bluray from Monday, November 30th 2015 courtesy of the marvellous Manga UK. If you already appreciate this series, then you have no reason not to check these instalments out!