When the “Ghost in the Shell” live-action movie debuts in Japan, the original voice cast of the anime feature will reprise their roles in the language dub.
According to the Japanese-language site Natalie, Atsuko Tanaka will return to voice Scarlett Johansson’s character, the Major, along with Akio Otsuka as Batou and Koichi Yamadera as Togusa. Otsuka voiced Batou in the 1995 original anime and its sequel “Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence,” and “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.” Tanaka voiced Motoko Kusanagi in the anime and in “Stand Alone Complex.”
“It’s been a while since they’ve played these characters,” Mamoru Oshii, the director of the anime said when asked whether fans would be confused by hearing the voice actors return to the characters after so many years away. “I definitely want them to deliver performances they see fit. They’re all pros, so there’s nothing to worry about, and I can only say that this is something to look forward to.”
English-Language films arriving in Japan receive both dubbed and subtitled releases. However, ticket buyers have grown weary of popular celebrities being brought in to provide voiceover work for the dubs. The move to bring in familiar voice actors appears to be in direct response to the trend.
“Ghost in the Shell” is a live-action adaptation of the 1995 anime film by the same name, which itself was an adaptation of a manga by Masamune Shirow. The film follows Johansson’s character, the Major, a police officer imbued with super-strength and athleticism by a cybernetic body called a “ghost.”
With the help of her policing unit, Section 9, the Major tracks a cyberterrorist who is hijacking ghosts. In Shirow’s manga series, the Major not only combats various lethal robots, but also contemplates the nature of her existence, living primarily through a cyborg body that is comprised of only the most basic organic components.
Debuting in theaters on March 31, “Ghost in the Shell” is a production of Paramount Pictures directed by Rupert Sanders and starring Scarlett Johansson as the Major, Michael Pitt as Kuze, Pilou Asbæk as Dr. Ouelet, Takeshi Kitano as Daisuke Aramaki and Chris Obi as Ambassador Kiyoshi.
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