"Mokoto Kusanagi can be white" Yeah okay, I'll let you have that...(Rant)

kris40k

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Something Amyss said:
Wow. "Trans" is such a trigger word that bringing it up as a hypothetical demonstration can lead to a bunch of people focusing on it.

So here's the thing: if they can make the Major white or a man and it's fine, they can make her straight as well. I can't even make sense out of why this is a specific sticking point. Source material doesn't work, either.
Some fans like adaptations to be as close as possible to the source material; yes, source material does work despite your claims otherwise.

Hell, I'm still trying to not wrinkle my nose at the newer Arise series with the liberties they took with the Major's background and relationship to PSS9.
 

Rastrelly

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TS seems to be unaware that GitS as a franchise has no canon. And this is the reason no one cares.
 

Something Amyss

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Qizx said:
You used "trigger word" wrong. Which totally triggers me.
I used "trigger word" in the colloquial sense. The irony's not lost on me, but I felt like pointing out I didn't use it wrong.

They genderbend characters, they race swap characters, they do whatever with characters all the time. Personally I think changing a character just for "reasons" is stupid but it happens a lot and it doesn't impact the previous material.
I don't think this is about impacting previous materials. I think this is about the way things are homogenised for mass consumption. There is a dearth in minority characters in major US media. There are few major Asian characters, bisexuals, and cyborg-Americans in the media, and so taking characters who fit these criteria and removing those elements worsens the situation. Worse, because a lot of the time most people don't even notice. You make a white character black and people will flip their shit. You make black characters white? Less shit flipping, and suddenly the argument goes from "best actor for the job!" to "why do they have to force their politics on us?" Hell, people got upset with the Hunger Games for making black characters...black. And almost nobody was upset that District 12's champions were described as olive skinned but played by borderline Aryan posterchildren.

This supposed purism seems to be very selective. But I digress.

There's a serious lack of Asian roles, and we've historically given them to white people or just plain make them white. There are almost no prominent bisexual characters. Christ, the only one I can think of off the top of my head is Korra, and that caused a tantrum. Because, you know, politics or something.

Honestly, I'd think the mainstream would find this insulting, too. "look how we have to gentrify characters for you. We know that blacks and Asians and women and queers are too scary for you, so here's a nice, safe version for you."

And then I remind myself that I'm a minority, and what I think really doesn't matter.
 

Kameburger

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When did everyone all of a sudden become an expert in ghost in the shells. The anime was cool but not that freaking popular. It still had more of a cult vibe than anything else... Why is it that now everyone wants to strip this series down to its core to tell us why we're all going to be disappointed for one reason or another? I like the series it's pretty good. I like ScoJo, everyone freaked out over Ben affleck being cast as batman, yet he was the best part of that movie. Everyone freaked out over goku being white, ignoring the fact that the cast of dragon ball evolution could have been replaced with a pile of damp socks and no one would notice. They put a Hollywood budget behind a film based on a really cool Anime, let's just watch it and see.
 

bearlotz

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Angelblaze said:
....But she sure as hell isn't straight and that's why I'm peeved off.

A large majority of the people who saw tumblristas/sjws/people like myself who often have their arguments reduced down to not mattering by people who enjoy technicalities, have tried to say that the only reason we're upset is because a white female is playing a racially ambiguous but hinted Asian character but that's disingenuous of the actual argument being made here.

The actual argument being made here is that Scarlett Johansson is playing the character, meaning that they are appealing to a mass audience (as many have said). If we're going to claim that that is indeed the reason, then we have to consider the fact that they are not going to allow Mokoto to be as sexually ambiguous as she was in the anime, which is important.

In short: Mokoto has two physically female lovers named Ran and Kurutan who she has an explicit threesome with in the manga and who reappear in the anime on short occasions, these occasions being: One of them handing her a drink while in a skimpy maids outfit. One with Mokoto Kusanagi walking away from a bed in which the two of them are intimately physically intertwined. And lastly, and possibly most importantly, one where Mokoto undergoes a procedure in which someone legally connected to her needs to oversee. While she does have relationships with men on multiple occasions, very few of said relationships have as much staying power and consistent under-toning as the ones between her, Ran and Kurutan.

There are also multiple scenes, such as her suggesting to her fully male (with the exception of herself...maybe?) unit, that they all head to a nudie bar if a mission doesn't go well. (I don't doubt bi-nudie bars but how far are we going to stretch here, honestly?) And scenes hinting that she has short escapades with men (remember that blink and you'll miss it shot with the guy from Section 1/8?)

Now see, you can argue that Mokoto's sexuality doesn't matter -- but it does because it lends itself to the main theme of the series. That Mokoto herself doesn't have a soul/potential thing that makes her/him/them 'themselves'. By making her sexuality hard to pin down, you further enforce the idea that we have no idea if this woman is even a woman.

Just so we're clear:

Mokoto could be: A trans male character in a female body, hinted at by his sexual escapades with women. A bisexual wo/man. An omnisexual wo/man. A pan wo/man. A white wo/man. Whoever.

Mokoto can't be: Completely and utterly straight.

And that's what annoys me. Because just like my well documented issue with freedom of speech/sexualization on the internet, I know that everyone's going to go to bat to say that the specific parts of the character they like (in this case, the potential for Mokoto to be white) but no one's going to stand up and defend the expressions of the character they don't like (in this case, Mokoto's bisexuality if it gets removed). Which is why 'well Mokoto could be white' feels like an excuse -- its disingenuous and made up on the spot, only right because of technicality. Not honestly made for the sake of the character. And if she 'can be white' then she sure as fucking hell 'can't be straight'.


TL;DR: I'm not mad that Scarlett Johansson is playing the character. I'm mad because they're appealing to the broad audience through Scarlett Johansson and that may mean removing what makes the Major unique, the fact that she's potentially a trans or bi/omni/pan sexual character and most definitely NOT straight.

TL;DR2: This is become Wol, sexualization and the freedom of speech argument all over again. If those of you that actually care about what you claim you care about are telling the truth, then I expect to see you rioting when and if they make Mokoto straight/sexually gray. If not then I might actually get so pissed I wander up and down the countryside killing white-straight fuckboys with a spoon.
I mostly agree with the overall point here. Motoko's sexuality is integral to her characterization no matter how it's used (major theme of "what does it mean to be human when your body is just hardware and your mind can be tampered with can be demonstrated by having her either withdraw from the physical world and viewing it with detachment as just physics playing out, or she can indulge with great flexibility of preference to emphasize viewing this side of existence as just a game with a great variety of pieces). She's decided that there is no functional difference between her existence as a brain piloting an artificial body and that of an unmodified human beyond the body's exact composition, so either extent of her sexual politics in different portrayals can be used to help drive that point home.

Though honestly, if this turns out to be the biggest stumbling block for the movie I would be very much surprised.
 

HybridChangeling

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Dang I forgot about that stuff, but if it's there it's there. Selective canon is just self inserting yourself as the creator rather then a character.

I saw the casting news and I decided I didn't need to worry about that movie anymore. There is maybe 1 or 2 good American movies based on Japanese works of fiction. For some reason, our style of moviemaking does not translate to theirs well. (Perhaps it is because were turning what could be considered something made very.. I don't want to say "creative" so I will say "heavily-auteur" in to something that 300 million+ people would in theory enjoy.) 2 movies later, we still have only faintly got the Godzilla formula down.

Some thing's just don't work I guess, and it doesn't bother me that they keep trying, because they only hurt themselves. I would never buy a ticket to go see an anime movie made American simply for the reason of logical precedent. As for homogenizing problems in movies, I feel the casting and the writers directors have some substantial credit in that. Certain directors are prone to putting the majority in the hero roles and the minority in the villain/comic relief/bit role. (Go watch Transformers or a Tim Burton movie.) Other directors do the opposite, but they are far and few between.

For all angry fans of this, and the new Ghostbuster's, and every other show/movie "destroyed" by the mass market "machine", go and watch your favorite show or movie. As bad as this movie will be, or even a little good, people will take notice to the original, and more fans will pop up. Bad publicity is still publicity in some forms. In example, I never wanted to watch Dragonball Z until I saw that horrid remake and had so many questions I felt like I had to figure them out and watch the show. It's a pretty good show.
 

Erttheking

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Zhukov said:
Wait, they're making her straight for broad appeal?

Because if I was trying to sell movie tickets I would not be inclined to remove the part where a cyborg played by Scarlett Johansson has a threesome with two other women.
This is America. We've yet to have much, if any, homosexuality in our films. Hell, Game of Thrones and Walking Dead are taking fairly radical steps by having guys kissing other guys on screen and not having them being openly villainous. When you get down to it, large amounts of America are extremely against this kind of thing, and films want to cast as wide a net as possible. I honestly cannot remember the last time there was a gay woman in an American film. Oh there's been teasing here and there, but nothing that actually shows the woman as a lesbian. I get the feeling that films want to excite guys by showing some sexually titillating scenes with two women, but make it clear that said women still want a good hard dick. Cuz ya know. As hot as lesbians are to guys, they want nothing to do with guys sexually, and that ruins the sexual fantasy a bit.

Or maybe I'm just being bitter and ranting. Take it as you will.
 

Lightknight

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You think a person's gender identity and sexual orientation make them unique? You might as well say a person's race makes them unique. I don't follow how being gay makes the character a more interesting character. Isn't the goal to normalize the idea that people can be gay rather than continuing to perpetuate it as an obscure unicorn "condition"?

Other than that, I don't follow this series or whatever it is so I'm not invested either way. I just think it is somewhat discriminatory to elevate one orientation or gender identity over another where interest is concerned.

If it is genuinely a core part of the character for some reason, then I'd understand frustration at it being changed. But people are saying that there's multiple variations on the character already.
 

Verrik

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All these people, arguing and debating over the casting and how the character is represented and here I am, just laughing lol. Regardless of who plays Mokoto Kusanagi or what sexual orientation they give to her or whatever, I'm betting that this movie is gonna suck either way, because anime very very rarely ever translates well into live-action.
 

Addendum_Forthcoming

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Either/or it's still going to be kind of weird. You'd think in a world that can digitise thought that sex kind of loses all meaning. For an organization that basically tricks out most of its members in hyper-advanced robotic bodies designed for combat superiority, sexual organs seems like a design flaw. Like modifying an AFV just so that you can put designer hubcaps on the wheels.

I remember an episode of the series where they put a brain in a tank. The functionality of human bodies mimicking flesh and blood at that point kind of seems redundant.

Which is something I've found weird about GITS as it's not really cyberpunk. It tries but fails. Cyberpunk assumes a moral argument about humanism in a world where life is cheap, and the definition between man and machine is blurring. In GiTS there is nothing to define the struggle, no attempt to make an argument of the divide, or highlight the weakness. So I've never been a fan for that reason. Thr original Deus Ex did humanism and the machine well. Shadowrun does humanism and the machine well. Robocop did humanism and the machine well.

GiTS... it feels like posthumanity handled badly and it hasn't aged well because of it.
 

kris40k

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PaulH said:
Either/or it's still going to be kind of weird. You'd think in a world that can digitise thought that sex kind of loses all meaning. For an organization that basically tricks out most of its members in hyper-advanced robotic bodies designed for combat superiority, sexual organs seems like a design flaw. Like modifying an AFV just so that you can put designer hubcaps on the wheels.

I remember an episode of the series where they put a brain in a tank. The functionality of human bodies mimicking flesh and blood at that point kind of seems redundant.

Which is something I've found weird about GITS as it's not really cyberpunk. It tries but fails. Cyberpunk assumes a moral argument about humanism in a world where life is cheap, and the definition between man and machine is blurring. In GiTS there is nothing to define the struggle, no attempt to make an argument of the divide, or highlight the weakness. So I've never been a fan for that reason. Thr original Deus Ex did humanism and the machine well. Shadowrun does humanism and the machine well. Robocop did humanism and the machine well.

GiTS... it feels like posthumanity handled badly and it hasn't aged well because of it.
Quick question before the rest...what GitS TV series, movies, manga series, etc. have you watched/read? I see you have seen at least one episode of SAC as you are describing episode 2 "Runaway Evidence ? TESTATION"
 

Addendum_Forthcoming

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kris40k said:
Quick question before the rest...what GitS TV series, movies, manga series, etc. have you watched/read? I see you have seen at least one episode of SAC as you are describing episode 2 "Runaway Evidence ? TESTATION"
I've seen the two movies and caught a few episodes of the tv series on ... well, tv.

(Edit) I'll give you an example of the problem that I have. Deckard from Blade Runner ... what makes him human is the assumption of his humanity. Being observed as if to be human, which ultimately he loses (I know, whole lot of speculation that is capable at the end but most agree that he was a replicant) ... the whole premise of 'other' and the divide was purely based on one's capacity to observe the human condition and what it meant, and that the divide between what was human and replicant was meaningless for the audience. The audience sees Deckard as human, until it is suddenly apparent he was never human. What makes one human is merely the assumption of one's humanity, and to be observed as human in the eyes of other.

Similar in Shadowrun, it's making the argument that blue is no longer blue. By choosing to give up your eyes for cybernetic ones, you purposefully reduce the sensation that you have to the outside world. You know 'blue' as if a machine. Ultimately making you less human, where you think unlike a human ... as you give up more of yourself to a factory-grade idea of senses. One that is as shallow as its design specs. Once that human sense of one's self and world is lost, it is permanently gone. What I really enjoyed is that there was a point where you as a functioning ego could cross, and that you ceased functioning because of it. Literally breaking down because you effectively killed yourself as an autonomous entity. A being that creates oneself no longer, and thus simply ends. A really thoughtful, nuanced take on the use of cybernetics and the fragility of one's metahumanity.

GiTS doesn't do that. It tries, but it never gets there. It's not brave enough to make a cogent metaphysical argument for humanity and what the divide is from the machine. It really doesn't do its core premise very well. It's adequate as a story, but I kind of cringe when people call it cyberpunk. Frankly, Hollywood might have a better shot at creating a far better cyberpunk story with an actual cogent philosophy. I'm still not holding my breath, I think it will be garbage.
 

Therumancer

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As I've said before, I'm against ethnicity swapping and so on. Makoto should be played by a Japanese actress and is bi-sexual, vastly preferring other women. I'm undecided if I'll see this yet, but I think casting Scarlet Johanssen in the role is a mistake despite her being one of the current "it" girls in Hollywood.
 

Gengisgame

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Verrik said:
All these people, arguing and debating over the casting and how the character is represented and here I am, just laughing lol. Regardless of who plays Mokoto Kusanagi or what sexual orientation they give to her or whatever, I'm betting that this movie is gonna suck either way, because anime very very rarely ever translates well into live-action.
Edge of Tomorrow was a very entertaining film and very well received.

If anything Scarletts casting is a sign that it's likely to be good since anime flops tended to have actors with little or fading fame, this seems like something they would put a lot of effort into, aim for that Inception money.
 

Lunar Templar

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I ...

don't care.

She's a Cyborg, with the only 'biological' part of the body being her god damned brain, plus 99.999999% of the time she's called 'The Major', her actual name is very rarely used, to the point where I wouldn't be surprised if some people didn't even know here name was Makoto, so this silliness of 'she should be played by an Asian actress' doesn't really apply since I'm pretty sure GitS is intended to be more ethnically neutral then other anime out there.

Besides, name me an Asian actress with the same 'star power' needed to get peoples butts in the seats as Scarlet, you can't because there isn't one. Which is unfortunate, and a topic for a whole other thread, but in this case given the nature of the anime and character in question. Totally moot.

Also, you all should be looking at this as a good thing instead of whining about it, I mean, you really think they'd hire some one like her if they didn't want it to be a success?
 

Lightknight

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Oooh, this is the main character from Ghost in the Shell. Scarlet is a weird choice in my opinion but I don't really like her acting in these kinds of roles. I've always found it baffling when they make her some ass kicking super spy or whatever. But that's my opinion and she is clearly popular in this kind of role since they keep casting her in it. I basically feel like Hollywood just picks any actress they want and just figure the action scenes a double does will make them look tough. At least with the Major it doesn't really matter if the actress has a fighter's physique since it's a shell anyways.

The race and orientation bit is just silly. Not only is the character's shell ethnic/racially-neutral and could be literally anything, but we also don't know anything about the orientation of the character. Even if she's depicted as straight, who cares? Being gay or whatever doesn't make you a more interesting person. It's just one possible permutation of humanity that is already being depicted the hell out of in Hollywood (not that that's bad, the goal is normalization anyways, it's just incredibly common now). It's almost as trite as a motorcyclist taking off their helmet to reveal that it's a girl. At this point I'd almost be surprised if the black leathered opaque helmeted biker was a guy... We get it, girls can do things too, guys can be in love with guys, girls can be in love with girls and some guys/girls feel like they were born in the wrong bodies. It isn't shocking anymore, it's just life.
 

CaitSeith

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Angelblaze said:
The actual argument being made here is that Scarlett Johansson is playing the character, meaning that they are appealing to a mass audience (as many have said). If we're going to claim that that is indeed the reason, then we have to consider the fact that they are not going to allow Mokoto to be as sexually ambiguous as she was in the anime
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Stop right there. That's not a fact, but an assumption at best. There have been movies in the past where they kept the character's bisexuality from the original material (I'm not talking about Ghost in the Shell, but other stuff), while played by a mass appealing actress. Does something make Scarlett Johansson incapable of playing such role? Because I don't think so. I would keep the pitchforks down until your suspicions are confirmed by something more than hypothesis.
 
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What indication do you have that they're going to make the Major straight? I think that all the things you mention are important aspects to the character, and they help define her as a cyborg, but it seems like you're jumping the gun on something that still could very well be in the adaptation.

To those people who say that there's no problem casting Scarlet Johansson because they're just casting her because of her star power, welcome to one of the ways that disparities like this keep facilitating themselves. In the wake of the white Oscars controversy, they did some evaluation on which ethnicities were most underrepresented based on population, and Asian actors are by far the most. If the vast majority of the actors with star power are white, and you keep casting actors just on the sole basis of star power (Even when the character is another race) then the majority of actors with star power will remain white.

The Lunatic said:
People kick up a fuss if a black character is replaced by a white actor, yet anyone who complains about a white character being played by a black actor is labeled racist.

I don't really get it myself. It just seems like a big double standard.
Don't you know it. I've always thought it's hypocritical how white countries on average give more food and care packages to black countries than vice versa. No one ever points out this double standard either