The Japanese Internet Reacts To Scarlett Johansson In Ghost In The Shell 

The Japanese Internet Reacts To Scarlett Johansson In Ghost In The Shell 
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Last week, the world got its first look at Scarlett Johansson as Major Kusanagi in Hollywood’s upcoming Ghost in the Shell movie. The decision has been controversial in the West, and here is what some, certainly not all, of the folks online in Japan are saying.

The decision to cast Johansson as Motoko Kusanagi, an augmented-cybernetic Japanese woman, has led to whitewashing criticism. The movie’s producers even considered making the film’s white actors look more Asian via CG special effects. Yikes.

Via threads on Japan’s biggest bulletin board 2ch (here, here and here) and My Game News Flash, one of Japan’s biggest game blogs, below is a cross-section collection of some of the comments floating around Japanese cyberspace.

A couple of things to unpack. While My Game News Flash writes that there has largely been indifference in Japan to the decision to have a white actor play Kusanagi, do keep in mind, these comments should ultimately be seen as representative of the individuals who made them, so your mileage might vary. Another thing to keep in mind is that many Asian people living in Asia might have a different perspective on race issues than those living in the West. Also, opinions of the Japanese internet might not reflect society’s at large, but regardless, here we go.

“This is wrong lol”

“Seems authentic.”

“I can definitely say that the one thing they’re more true to than I thought they’d be is the hairstyle lol.”

“The gap between Japan and abroad is interesting. Japan: A white person is ok, right? Abroad: We won’t forgive white-washing, cast an Asian person.”

“Well, then, who as a Japanese person (an Asian) would be good?”

“Japanese people don’t really care, and that’s really depressing.”

“White people rule Hollywood.”

“I laughed at them casting a foreigner as a Japanese character.”

“She looks way too kind.”

“I’m not going to watch this, so whatever.”

“There aren’t high-level Japanese actresses, so this can’t be helped…”


“Twenty years earlier, this would have been Milla Jovovich.”

“I have no idea why people are complaining this much.”

“At this year’s Academy Awards, there was criticism that about all the white people, so perhaps this outrage is linked to that.”

“Well then, how about Rinko Kikuchi?”

“I hate Scarlett Johansson because she appeared in that movie that made fun of Japan. She’s ugly, but she might have a face that white people like.”

“Taylor Swift would have been better.”

“For the Japanese dub, please use a proper voice actress. Without fail.”

“Yep, this is a Hollywood film.”

“There would be controversy no matter who starred.”

“If it’s going to be an Asian in Hollywood, then it would be someone like Lucy Liu. Scarlett Johansson is fine.”

“I guess it’s that white people are taking work from Asian people.”

“It’s unfortunate but only natural because there aren’t many Japanese (actors) who can speak English.”

“Scarlett Johansson looks terrible with black hair. It doesn’t suit her at all.”

“Then, who would be better?”

Ko Shibasaki, perhaps. That’s the only one who came to mind.”

“I thought it was ok that they didn’t use a Japanese person.”

“The original manga is quietly saying, ‘Please make this anime only.'”

“Putting race on a cyborg…”

“A Japanese actor wouldn’t sell the film.”

“Don’t care too much about this image. My concern is the substance.”

“You know it’s going to end up totally different, so who cares about the casting.”

“I wasn’t even looking forward to this movie in the first place.”

“If only they had put Rinko Kikuchi as Motoko Kusanagi, there wouldn’t be any issue.”

“This stinks of a B movie.”

“Even though in the Attack on Titan manga, the characters were foreigners, the movie version was all Japanese people, so I’m not going to complain.”

[h/t @messofanego]

[Image: Paramount Pictures | Production I.G]


  • Ghost in the Shell is a juggernaut the likes of which is usually criticised in gaming.

    For example Final Fantasy, Resident Evil, Castlevania, Legend of Zelda, these are all games to us first and foremost but if/when they get/got the ‘Western’ treatment they were treated like the veritable cashcows the West sees them to be. It wasn’t the movies that made RE or FF (again, for example) crap, the games themselves dipped in quality.

    I don’t have high hopes for the movie. But, if it’s good and more importantly it strikes a chord with the mainstream, I could see there being a renewed interest in GiTS as a ‘product’.

    Asian cinema and its most ardent fans are what Hollywood owe for some of its most recent windfalls – if you’re a white person who can’t see the issue that /other/ people have with this, then perhaps read up on why.

  • Technically speaking Scarlet Johansson isn’t playing the Major, she’s playing the Major’s cybernetic body. A fridge could play the role and the character would still be Japanese.

    Personally I always had a hard time picturing her as Asian. There are characters that are clearly Japanese but there’s also a lot who have heavy western influences in their designs. I liked it. Coupled with a lot of other little things it made it feel like the world had changed and grown, sometimes better, sometimes worse, sometimes just different, which in turn made the way you could relate to the more universal aspects deeper. You could ask the same questions and think about the same ideas even though you were both in different worlds.

    • I’m not so much bothered about her not being Japanese other than the fact it adds to the inference that the movie won’t feel Japanese, which is for me, a big part of what makes Ghost in the Shell that special.

      Also I worry the movie won’t have enough nude stealth-tech scenes.

      • Also I worry the movie won’t have enough nude stealth-tech scenes

        Exactly. I want this movie to make references to the source material and Masamune Shirow’s previous works…. Hentai.

        • Well… that… and perhaps the fact that Kusanagi’s nakedness goes hand in hand with her badass action scenes and helps along the themes of the disconnection of consciousness to one’s physical form.

          • I’m being serious bro. I’m not gonna pretend I don’t like da tiddies, but I seriously think it’s an important aspect of the film.

          • Text is hard when it comes to inflection.

            I got the impression that you were being serious, and I guess my reply seemed sarcastic. I agree with you though… I’d never thought about it much, my slow nod is me realising that you made a good point and that I agree *thumbs up*

  • My biggest problem with Scarlett being cast as the Major is she doesn’t have the face and expression for it. If it were an Arise movie with the younger looking Major then she’d fit but in that shot she makes me think more of Ramona Flowers than Motoko Kusanagi.

    • She doesn’t have the hair either. It needs to be purple and there needs to be a lot more of it. That an her outfit looks greenish instead of black but maybe that’s just lighting

      • As far as I can tell, this is based on the original Ghost in the Shell, not Stand Alone Complex. The Major’s hair is black and shorter in the original movie (and most of the manga covers too).

        • Ah fair enough. I thought the first movie was alright but I guess I think of the SAC major as her since that’s what I liked the most.

  • Using a well-known actor/actress for voice acting is only worth doing/only works when said person has a distinctive and recognizable voice, of which Johansson doesn’t.

      • Aye sorry it didn’t say that in the article.
        Also goes to show how unlike the main character she looks in the pic, or I would have picked up on this from there too.
        I’ll call it a draw.

  • no difference between this really and 99% of anime’s making their Asian characters look western (colourful hair/big eyes/pale skin), and 99% of movies making various different Asian race actors playing different Asian races (Chinese actor playing Japanese character etc)

    • As a westerner I can definitely say that the vast majority of anime characters don’t look Western either. You’re simply assuming that they look Western because their eyes are larger than typical Japanese eyes and their hair is not black. When Japanese artists are creating his characters they’re not thinking how supposedly Western they look. This is especially so now that the style has been normalised. There are countless anime and manga characters drawn that way who are very clearly and explicitly ethnically Japanese. I would have thought that the myth that Japanese anime design is somehow indicative of a secret longing to be Western would be well and truly debunked by now by the sheer weight of tangible evidence that is Japanese comics & animation.

      • It’s not about longing to be western, it’s about wanting Caucasian aesthetic traits. I don’t agree with it personally, but it’s well established throughout Asia that many women seek more Caucasian-looking features such as wider eyes, paler skin, lighter hair colour, etc. It’s not a myth and it’s certainly not debunked, cosmetic surgery statistics show the trend has been growing for the last decade.

    • You clearly have not read that article where viewers view “white” animated characters as their own ethnicity less given specific clues. Go google it, popular one is by kotaku but it’s analysed thoroughly everywhere. All characters in anime/manga are Japanese less stated otherwise.

      • Your last sentence isn’t even close to true. A lot of manga and anime are set either outside Japan or in fictional settings based on non-Japanese cultures. There isn’t a single ethnic Japanese character in Fullmetal Alchemist, for example, but the ethnicity of the characters is never touched on except for the people from Xing. Similar story for Attack of Titan, very few Japanese characters. In both cases it’s the names that are the main clue, not appearance or anything else.

        • Full metal alchemist would clearly be a case of “stated otherwise” as is any other works where the wolrd isn’t set on earth/Japan. My comment was more targeted towards the idea that anime characters don’t “look” Japanese when the rest of the setting pretty much indicates it as such.

          • I think the better take away from it is that ethnicity of any kind isn’t usually added to anime characters unless it’s necessary. They’re not Japanese or German or English, they’re just people. No need to add something that isn’t there until it’s needed for story reasons.

          • Except that isn’t how it works? In any other medium the ethnicity or background of a character is assumed based off certain physical attributes in the context of the setting. What we’re arguing here is that when people look at anime characters they assume they aren’t Japanese because they don’t supposedly look Japanese, even though its been well reported that manga/anime creators create their stuff with the Japanese audience in mind. When the Japanese look at manga/anime characters, in their mind, those characters are Japanese regardless of whatever weird hair, eye colour etc of those characters, less given some other clue to state otherwise such as a setting that clearly isn’t Japan etc.

            Ethnicity isn’t added in most cases because the default is assumed, which is Japanese.

          • You may well make that assumption but that’s your personal prerogative. I don’t make any assumptions about the ethnicity of animated characters where it’s not otherwise stated and most people I know don’t either. And that’s part of its beauty, that irrelevant factors like that don’t distract from the intent of the work, to tell an interesting story.

            “All characters in anime/manga are Japanese less stated otherwise” is simply a false statement, not to mention indefensible. Characters in anime/manga have no ethnicity unless one is stated or can be strongly inferred. In many cases (if not most), no such inference can be made.

          • So you’re telling me that for stories where the setting is Japan, which is the good majority of works, the characters in those settings have no ethnicity unless they go out of their way to imply it? The idea that characters in anime/manga don’t have an ethnicity less stated or strongly inferred? I’m now trying to figure out whether we are even watching and talking about the same stuff.

          • @lf1mtank I don’t agree that a ‘good majority’ of works are set in Japan. Many of the top rated series of all time are set in fictional fantasy, supernatural or sci-fi settings, from the aforementioned Fullmetal Alchemist and Attack on Titan to Naruto, One Piece, Cowboy Bebop, Kino no Tabi, Moribito, Battleship Yamato, Berserk, Trigun, Gungrave, etc. Others like Black Lagoon, Monster, Baccano, Hellsing, Soul Eater, Gunslinger Girl have a real world setting but nothing to do with Japan.

            Even out of Studio Ghibli films (from all directors), about half of them are set in fictional worlds, including the majority of Miyazaki’s films.

            We could debate whether the Japanese setting is a majority of manga/anime until the cows come home but it’s based as much on speculation as it is research and experience, and it’s not relevant at the end of the day. You made a blanket statement of fact based on assumptions you personally make that is unsupported by evidence, and that’s what I commented on.

          • lol, seems we capped out the thread >_<. Anyway, all the titles you named basically fall under “less stated otherwise” with clear hints that the setting isn’t Japan (although I’d argue the world of Naruto being a Japan analogue but let’s leave that to another day). I didn’t exactly make a blanket statement without a qualifier. Once again, I said what I said to point out that just because a character doesn’t look Japanese, doesn’t mean they aren’t. Just because people attribute coloured hair and eyes to someone of X ethnicity like they’re used to doing in other media usually does not apply with anime/manga. That is well based on evidence on countless works in the industry.

            Ichigo from Bleach is Japanese, the Sailor Senshi are Japanese, kids from Digimon are Japanese, Shiro from Fate Stay is Japanese, Madoka from Puella Magi is Japanese, Rock from Black Lagoon is Japanese (rest of the casts’ ethnicity is given in other details), Yugi from Yugioh is Japanese, Hanamichi from Slam Dunk is Japanese (and just about the cast of any other sports series). Just to go on the other spectrum, the main cast in Magi are likely Arab and those from the Kou Empire Chinese. These are all characters (and countless others) with features people on the internet, like the user my original comment responded to, as signs characters in anime/manga are drawn as being “western” when this is not the case. It all goes back to this very article and the suitability of the Major being portrayed by Scarlett and the character of the Major herself, someone who doesn’t “look” Japanese.

  • they made the enitre cast of the attack on titan live action movie japanese when in the anime there is literally one asian character in the whole thing

    • No, by Pilou Asbæk. Euron Greyjoy in Game of Thrones. Far, far worse casting decision than Johansson and I’m surprised more people aren’t complaining about it.

  • Honestly, this is probably about as good as we could hope it to be.
    By picking an A-lister like scarlet we at least know this will have budget and effort behind it, unlike the dragonball movie which was pretty much sent out to die.
    Yeah it sucks that they dont have a Japanese star in the main role but the reality is there just aren’t any asian actors in hollywood right now who fit in the A-list category and if they dont put an A-lister out front you can bet your ass this thing would have been sent out to die as another japanese cartoon adaptation like dragon ball.
    Between having a japanese cast in low budget movie and having a western cast who can at least nominally look the part in a high budget movie, I’d rather the latter, because ghost in the shell is one of those movies that NEEDS a lot of high budget CGI and effects to capture it well.

    • unlike the dragonball movie which was pretty much sent out to die.

      A lack of A-list actors wasn’t even remotely the cause of that movies problems.

      • Your missing the point, A-list stars themselves dont make a movie better most of the time, the PRESENCE of A-list stars can however, becuase they cost a lot of money to get, so you need a lot of money, BUT you can also convince people to give you a lot of money and with a lot of people’s money behind it, you can bet they’d be giving the script more than a casual once over glance and hiring a director with a better track record than the final destination movies.
        Basically what I was saying was this: If hollywood is adapting a hugely popular franchise, and the biggest name actor in the cast is Chow Yun-Fat? Then nobody was taking it serious enough for it to ever have had much chance of being good.

        • I heartfully disagree. Throwing stars at a film may encourage the creators to make it better but it’s just not a given. It’s not cause, it’s correlation. I don’t want this to be the ‘solution’ to failing projects. All it tells me is that they care about making money. They’re allowed to, but it’s no use to me. I like to hear, “we’re doing this to enhance the actual story” not “we’re doing this to get bums in seats”

          Everyone’s coming into the thread to remind everyone of the fact that it’s all big business. We know! It’s just so irrelevant to our opinions on what we like or not.

          • You may not be worried about getting bums in seats, but that’s because it’s not your money paying for production… If you don’t like the way something is being made, don’t go watch it. Simple!

  • If they made Motoko Japanese… would do they do the same for the rest of the cast? Are there even that many high-profile, English speaking Japanese in Hollywood? Japan being the setting for GitS is not very relevant as the story is about what is to be human and whether transhumanism will blur the distinction. Nationalism means very little in the massively interconnected world of GitS.

    • Having the main character fit is more important than all the rest. Matoko doesn’t have to be Japanese, but a lot of the argument is that the feeling of GitS comes from that very Japanese interpretation of cyberpunk and the philosophies of the digital age.

      • Not sure that the interpretation being Japanese is thaaat relevant, especially for people seeing the story for the first time. People who really like it will always check the source material. Sure, by making Motoko Japanese, they’ll have given the original story a bit of lip service, but that would come to the cost of becoming more of a gamble financially. GitS is going to be, for most people in the West, a completely new and unknown franchise. You don’t do those without a big name attached if you ever hope people to see it in mass.

        • I don’t think she’ll be a bad choice except that going non-japanese tells me they’re not interested in the Japanese vibe, which I cherish in this story. I don’t care about financial gambles and needing star-power and all that gaff that’s holding modern film back. I acknowledge it, but I don’t have to like it. As for western audience first-timers: I want them to be exposed to the same exotic cultural influences that I was. I’m western. I didn’t need the original anime to be remade in Disney style to be watchable for my western tastes, and I don’t think it’s too much to expect of modern audiences to not be so afraid of something foreign (or in this case, looks foreign because it would then just be hollywood using Japanese setting and actors).

          I feel like I could say the same thing about Mad Max Fury Road. Although then you’d be right because the stars of that weren’t Australian. I’m sure fans of that were anxious too before its release. I can only hope that GitS will also allay my fears.

          • The problem is that there’s a reason why things are mainstream in a culture and it’s that culture shapes both products and minds in a correlating cycle. You, me and anybody else who once for one reason or another watched the original GitS or any other anime, we are the cultural outliers. That doesn’t make us special or anything, simply different in the same way that introverts are different from extroverts. The big majority of people of a given culture won’t care for foreign narrative (sans filters) simply because it doesn’t speak in their cultural language, in their expected tropes or learned motifs (and they are not intrinsically bad or dumb because it).

            People like you and me who’d appreciate the exotic elements of GitS or any other manga/anime will find those narratives, especially nowadays that anime is easily available in the West. For everybody else, placing a cultural filter on it will actually allow them to experience this great story that otherwise they would not feel inclined to seek. And it will also give financial returns to the companies gambling on its success which will translate into future similar projects and the more of these projects that exist and become popular in our culture, the higher “risk” the producers and creators will feel allowed to take, including fidelity to the original, foreign source. (See: Superhero movies).

          • I’m having trouble coming to agreement. Deadpool is a good example of doing well regardless of budget, (yeah it did have one A-list star). They struggled to get that financial backing that this hollywood homogenisation is meant to provide by lowering risk and when they finally got a trickle they had to make do. But since they really cared about doing it right, instead of ‘translating’; it was good and the audiences responded well. Sure that’s not a foreign property but it speaks volumes to me about making good movies first, and thinking about money profits second. A pipe-dream I know.

            For the audiences, I’ve come to the time in my life where if people need a filter to experience something then they should just not bother. I mean how is it good in this day and age that to ‘filter’ a story for modern western audiences means to change ethnicities white people, or set everything in USA. I don’t even care that much about racial issues in stories but if internationality needs to be stripped from international stories to be even remotely appealing then just don’t bother telling it. Change it all then and just slap ‘inspired by’ in the credits. Worked for the Magnificent Seven.

            (by filter I obviously don’t mean translation. Audiences can’t be expected to speak another language)

          • The Deadpool example is perfect given that I mentioned superhero films. Deadpool is a rather risky movie that could be made (i.e. the powers that be decided that there was a decent chance of getting a return of their investment) only because someone, some day, long ago, made a superhero movie that was very little about superhero stuff and very much about the escapades of a highly likeable character played by a celebrity, the character itself, more celebrity than hero (Iron Man). That movie was as relatable a superhero movie could be to non-comic fans and had to make several concessions removing the more fantastic elements of its original creation. (Like the be-ringed, mystical Chinese villainous wizard.) Little by little, since then, they have upped the fanservice and the more general audience, now invested in the stories, lap the stuff up like the best comic geeks.

            You say that you have “come to a time in your life” where you think this way. But the fact that you reached this point doesn’t mean the rest of the world needs to hurry up and catch up with you! Each person will have their own path (and some will never really walk it) until they start caring for this kind of things. Until then, a filter of relatability in these stories will keep making them the point of entry for the non-initiated.

          • Nah. I know that’s how things went and how things may go, since is business is business. I just don’t care. Iron man was good to begin with. Casting RDJ as Stark was a good choice pretty much universally appraised. I hope for the same with GitS, but I’m just too cynical for it and the excuse that, ‘maybe it’ll be enough to capture the hearts of the masses so that one day they’ll make the real one’ just doesn’t cut it. Iron Man was good enough first go and I want the same lessons to be taken from it and applied to new creations. (And the choices surrounding the Mandarin in IM3 were heavily criticised.)

            I said ‘time of my life’ not to mean everyone else needed to get on my level. I meant as in that naivety of accepting the typical usual excuses for making strange decisions is over. Every person who needs a cultural filter doesn’t have to be forced out of it, in fact I believe that creators need to trust that their audience can decide for themselves if they need it. Treat the audience with enough respect, that if they’re telling a Japanese story, that they know there is indeed a whole ‘nother country out there called Japan and that it’s the same but different, and filled with people just like them, but different.

          • (Replying at your message below since seems we reached the end of the thread branch)

            You say that accepting excuses for cultural filters is naive but I think that thinking they are not necessary is more naive (not meaning offence here). Is a total misunderstanding of basic human nature that sounds too optimistic too be true, even if me saying so sounds terribly cynical. You may feel that the filters and excuses are disrespectful of your intelligence and cultural sophistication and I’m entirely sure that’s true for you and perhaps for the people you surround yourself with. However, that may have given you the idea that everybody is secretly enlightened, silently begging the entertainment creators to give them the chance to show how urbane they are by presenting cultural artifacts in their raw, original klingon. For sure, there are people like that, but the majority? Nowhere near.

            If you, as a filmmaker, decide to recreate this foreign narrative with as much fidelity to the original as possible, you are going to make very happy a comparatively small group: the one who already knew and enjoyed that original! You’d be literally preaching to the choir while making very little money indeed. Sure, they will be a handful of additional people, the already adventurous, the bored with money to spare, the ones dragged in by their friends, etc. but it wouldn’t be a blockbuster. Maybe you’d rather have the obscure, cult-classic film that hits all your expectations, but I’d rather have the blockbuster. As I said before, that will translate into franchising and a trend. And once you have a trend, once the majority of people have been “educated”, then we can start expecting and demanding fidelity.

            You say that we need to learn the lessons from Iron Man and that’s precisely it: Start close to the common denominator and then start ramping up the fidelity. People who would have never gone to see a movie about an obscure comic book character like Ant-man or Deadpool are now going in mass. Not only that, they have also started consuming the original materials and can appreciate and expect to see more of the particular language and elements of comics in their entertainment. It may not be a purist or quick enough way for you, but it works, it really does.

          • No. We’re not agreeing on this. It’s pretty clear I believe in the complete opposite of what you’re saying. (but the conversation is still interesting.)

            Tell me if I’m misinterpreting, but it sounds like since you know (as we all know) that human nature keeps people in the comfort-zones that the only thing worth doing is appealing to that. You say that they’re not ‘dumb’ per say, but they are collectively so lets target that. These filters are not disrespectful to my intelligence, it’s disrespectful to theirs. I think everyone is smart enough to enjoy a non-filtered movie and if they themselves can’t see the appeal then they can wilfully excuse themselves as, also human nature, we won’t all enjoy the same things – period. There’s more than enough content out there and into the future that IMO we can all afford to not just consume the same things as everyone else.

            you are going to make very happy a comparatively small group
            Good I’m not trying to be exclusionary, but we just don’t need to make everything for everyone all. the. time. Something for everybody is something for nobody. I’ve already said how I’m not that worried about the GitS movie, just concerned that they’re going to be changing this or removing that of the things that make it unique until it’s the same crap we’ve all seen hollywood make over and over and over again. I do not care about the money they want to make, as an end-consumer I never will. I used the examples of Deadpool above because it was not expecting to make money.

            Maybe you’d rather have the obscure, cult-classic film that hits all your expectations, but I’d rather have the blockbuster
            You’re right. I’m a big Transformers fan, so guess what I got.

            You say that we need to learn the lessons from Iron Man and that’s precisely it: Start close to the common denominator and then start ramping up the fidelity.
            That’s not the lesson I was talking about. The lessons I were going for was about doing the IP justice (flexible term I know). But like as in, be respectful to the source material, figure out what makes the setting, the vibe, the characters really gel together and make it great. Why do the fans that already like it, like it? Iron Man did all of that. RDJ was good casting choice, the story of Iron Man was presented well, the special-effects worked wonders, the themes of patriotism and technological fervour were apt. In fact, I’d say that this worked so well for the ‘lowest common denominator’ says more about Iron Man than hollywood film-making ability.

          • Fair enough. I cannot say that I’m trying to convince you, but the discourse is interesting indeed and I do think that we are approaching the point of agreeing to disagree. A few points, though:

            I am not intending to say that the masses are not smart enough to like or appreciate a film that keeps its foreign elements. I argue that they are unwilling. We have limited time in our days (and lives), limited money, limited attention span. The more relatable or immediately attractive a thing is, the better chances it has of being picked by us, either consciously or not. So you say, that’s fine, not everything is for everybody, and I cannot really argue with that.

            However… (and this may be what biases my argument) I kind of want this story to be experienced by many others. Hell, I’m myself not looking forward /that/ much to it. I already saw the movie a couple times and enjoyed it, so I don’t need to be catered for any further. Whether super-loyal to the original story or not, chances are that it will be an inferior version at least by a certain degree, anyway. However, what excites me is thinking about all the people who have never seen the movie and now are going to see it (even if their conscious or unconscious motivation was to see Scarlet Johanson). Hoping that regardless of quality of adaptation, they’ll get the gist of its fairly compelling premise and they start asking for more so I can point them in the direction of the anime movie, or even better, the much superior (IMO) TV series. Hoping that is successful enough that in a few years we are getting a Psycho Pass movie or a Monster TV series and more and more people get into anime and manga and become better educated about it, and it finally stops being a pastime stereotypically associated with children, manchildren, and perverts.

            Nevertheless, by explaining that you are a Transformers fan, you automatically won this argument. Ouch, man, I’m sorry and I can see where you are coming from here.

          • Well then we do agree on something: we do both want the best of what can happen for everyone.

  • “I hate Scarlett Johansson because she appeared in that movie that made fun of Japan. She’s ugly, but she might have a face that white people like.” I’m very confused as to what this comment was referring to, was it meant to be sarcastic? They weren’t referring to Lost in Translation as the film that made fun of japan were they, (I hope not, that film made Japan look incredible)? Is the commenter serious about the ugly comment or so involved in their own perspective that the possibility of a different perspective is intrisically tied to race? I’m just very confused about everything.

    • “she has a face that white people like” is such a grossly racist thing to say lol. I had a good lol at it.

      Scarjo <3

    • I wouldn’t get bogged down by it.

      Also remember than when English is your second language, sometimes easier sentence structure trumps context.

      “I’ve never like Scarlet Johansson, nor her work. I don’t find her attractive but perhaps she appeals better to western audiences”

      Or maybe they are just a troll, a genderless, ageless and nationless profession.

  • I feel like this shouldn’t be a big issue – Hollywood is adapting this movie and they can do what they seem fit – in fact, for me the whole GiTS movie seems like an exciting opportunity to open the US up to more influence from Japanese films and anime.

    Though, I feel like the less-controversial way of doing this would be to go the way of Edge of Tomorrow – don’t use the original names of characters and don’t name it directly after its source material – a looser adaptation would allow for more creative freedom and create less controversy about it not being strictly ‘Japanese’ any more.

  • It’s Hollywood. They have to make a movie that will appeal to audiences in general not just existing fans. Scarjo is that appeal. Remember they want to make money out of this.

    But personally they could hire a 7 foot Swedish man. But as long as the movie works who cares.

    • But personally they could hire a 7 foot Swedish man. But as long as the movie works who cares.

      Incidentally, I hope they get exactly that for Batou!

      • My first thought was actually:
        Scarlett Johansen. Decent choice

        I never even stopped to think about ethnicity, not because I am a white male, but because of the role she is acting.

        Plus let us all be reminded(painfully) of what happened to dragonball evolution and keep our expectations low so as not to be disappointed again

    • So do Marvel and DC fans when there favs get re-imagined.

      Who could’ve guessed that fans are invested huh?

      • I’m gonna need a source on that mate. I’m pretty with it when it comes to dc/marvel cast choices. The only one I remember maybe hearing about once was the human torch cast to a black guy and occaisional bickering about who plays spiderman best …

        That Vs the new weeaboo shitstorm this movie has created:

        “Whaa, they cast a white woman to play a supposed asian cartoon character, the movie is doomed”
        Like, get over it guys.

        • It’s more like “waah, Hollywood has an endless history of pretending that every race except causacians doesn’t exist unless they are being used as villains or the butt of jokes”, which is actually a solid argument.

          This isn’t about nerds getting mad that they don’t get a sexy 3D waifu. It’s people of practically every non-white race seeing the 30 millionth example of culture being appropriated and repackaged as white people food.

  • I agree with the comments in the article, especially about having Ko Shibasaki as the actress.

  • Of course, there are intolerant japanese people… and they can be a pain in the ass crying over silly stuff (just for fun). to begin with, the anime/manga drawings made the character with huuuge eyes, so, we can all assume that a japanese woman could not have those eyes (insult not intended) plus, the protagonist wasn’t even born, it was made. so, stop talking about this nonsense, and just swallow dry this mangoe >..

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