Review: Stage Play - Ghost in the Shell Arise: Ghost is Alive – Memory and Proof of Life


Memory and Proof of Life

  • Episodes : 1 (Stage Play)
  • Genre : Sci-fi
  • Airing Date : November 5th, 2015 – November 15th, 2015
  • Producers : Ubukata Tow (Supervisor), Oku Shutraro (Director), Fujisaki Junichi (Screen Play), Okumura Sennosuke (Producer)

Stage Play - Ghost in the Shell Arise: Ghost is Alive Preview / Plot (No Spoilers)

The story is set before the formation of Public Security Section 9. The team that Motoko assembled – being 1 member short of the government’s requirement and treated as an unofficial organization – accepted a job from Public Security’s Aramaki. Several repeated disturbing incidents are occurring around a certain water enterprise, lead by Thied of the Kuzan Republic. That’s when...


Who does Stage Play - Ghost in the Shell Arise: Ghost is Alive cater to?

If you’re the type of person who’s not into theatre, but will go to see a movie a few times a year, I’d like to recommend that you see this release. The acoustics are on par with or better than what you’d experience at a movie theatre, and the live actors perform in front of stunning 3D backgrounds (though they seem like foreground at some points). After seeing the whole thing, you’ll no doubt be struck with that feeling of satisfaction you get when the credits start rolling after a great movie – something any movie-goers out there are sure to know.

Also, if you’ve seen the anime version of Arise, you won’t have to rely on your memory of the setting, nor will you need to have seen other Ghost in the Shell installments to wrap your head around the characters. Because of this, I feel that you have more freedom to appreciate the actual actors performing on the stage before you. Even those who haven’t indulged in the Ghost in the Shell manga, anime(s), or movie(s) should still be able to enjoy the performance, but I really must highly recommend that any fans of the series go see it.


What's so appealing about this piece of work.

First, I’d like to say that this performance is the first in Japan to utilise 3D backgrounds on-stage. So, before seeing it, I was really wondering how the 3D images would be used in the play itself. But that didn’t seem to be on my mind once I was drawn in by the unique, refreshing actors, the powerful atmosphere created by the music score, and the smooth scene transitions (this last one – I was nearly brought to tears by how smooth the scenes changed, despite it being a stage play). You’re truly absorbed into the world of Ghost in the Shell within the first 10 minutes, via the actors, music, and wonderful backdrop.

It goes without saying that the 3D effects were pivotal. Part of what made it so great was perhaps the fact that such effects didn’t illicit the uncanny feeling you’d usually expect them to. While the production staff’s skills go without saying, the theme of Ghost in the Shell matches well with the 3D images used, and I feel that this worked to take advantage of the ups and downs the viewers feel at various points in the play. The 3D images that entrenched the Ghost in the Shell feeling (in other words, those small windows that show up in 3D at such times as when they're using voice-only communication) really get you more involved in the experience.

Stage Play - Ghost in the Shell Arise: Ghost is Alive Trailer

Stage Play - Ghost in the Shell Arise: Ghost is Alive Main Characters List

Motoko Kusanagi


Actress :Kaede Aono

As a Wizard-class hacker, she’s a cyborg whose entire body is prosthetic. She is obsessed in being as human, and so she meticulously keeps her prosthetic body as human as possible. At a glance, she is calm and collected, but she can also lose her level-headedness when she gives in to passion.



Actor :Ren Yagami

He’s a quick-tempered cyborg with a hearty build who used to be a ranger. When it comes to hand-to-hand combat, he’s nearly unmatched. Of the entire team, he probably has the most love for machines. He has great faith in Motoko.



Actor :Kentarou Kanesaki

With hardly any prosthetic parts, he is almost entirely a flesh-and-blood human, with ties to the police. In Arise, he was a member of the police who suggested he be merged in with Motoko’s team. He’s an all-around family-oriented nice guy.

Contains Spoilers


Stage Play - Ghost in the Shell Arise: Ghost is Alive Review

Highlight 1. Battle


Throughout the play, there are numerous battle scenes. What you see in these pictures are the battles between Togusa/Hose, Ishikawa/Motoko, and Batou/Motoko, respectively. But there are of course many other action scenes, each one overflowing with crazy moves that have to be seen for one’s self. Playing Motoko was Aono Kaede, who was recently in the stage play High Kick Angels, and she certainly made full use of her high kick in this play!


Her explosive roundhouse kick is about to be unleashed!

Highlight 2. Optical Camouflage


While Thied and the cabinet minister are in a certain large room discussing the exportation of arms to Kaldis, their guard is hacked by the fire starter virus and goes on a rampage. That’s when the optical camouflaged Motoko makes her appearance! Using the full power of 3D, the way they pull off the optical camouflage in the play is incredibly awesome! The images show the moments right after the guard goes off the rails and Motoko unveils herself. By all means, go check this out for yourself in theatres if possible.

Highlight 3. The Final Dance


At the end of the musical program, every single character comes out and dances for you! Motoko’s dance is quite attractive, and the men’s dances are all really cool. It’ll make you breathe a sigh of satisfaction.

To all those fortunate Ghost in the Shell fans in Japan, you will not regret seeing this stage play that’s the first in Japan to use 3D images. This performance will continue to be shown until November 15th, 2015. For those who have yet to watch it, you can buy your tickets by following this link (, so please go and treat yourself! It is being held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre in Ikebukuro.(

Kurutsu and Ema




Saito, Ibachi and Paz


Thied and Togusa


Togusa, Aramaki and Kusanagi


Saito, Ishikawa, Batou and Kusanagi


Photos by Kari Stern

William “Ui” Chan


Author: William “Ui” Chan

Hey there! I'm the resident Canadian at Honey's Anime! My specialty is linguistics, so I've put that to use in learning Japanese. I'm still not really sure what I want to do with my life, but I'd say that bringing great content to this site is pretty fun right now! Oh, and if you ever see me in person, I may not look it, but I am actually half Chinese... No, I didn't just add 'chan' as a cute nickname!

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