Yah - actually I had considered that- and I'm with your logic. The other exceptions would definitely be Cheif Aramaki, and the director - another possible exception could be Ishikawa. He's more heavily augmented than Togusa, but less-so than Batou, Borma, Pazu, or Saito. It's weird though, I guess in the original comic and the 1.5 shorts (which are excellent) I thought of her as physically Japanese. Especially considering she was full-cyborg since childhood, I pictured her body choices as being generally non-descript Japan-centric so she would fit in to general society as she developed and for her profession. Then in the animated film, she seemed more indeterminate / ambiguous as to her ethnicity, partly atributed to the character design. Her childhood/past was never a part of the animated film either. There is this neat moment in the film (NOT A SPOILER SO IT'S OK), about mid-way, when she sees a completely random person with what is implied as being a body mold identical to her own. And in GitS SAC I definitely though of her as unambiguously Japanese, largely based on style and character design.Kurt Cristal said:I agree and disagree here. Consider for a moment that Motoko is 95% cyborg, meaning her body was sculpted. Even if she is racially Japanese, its up to her what 'shell' of a body she chooses to put her brain into. In this sense, Motoko can be 100% japanese mentally, and just happen to have Scarlett Johansson's body. Same goes for the rest of the cast, they're all cyberized to some degree so as far as this specific adaptation, really, the characters can be whatever race they feel like, with the exception of Togusa, who's minimally cyberized AND definitively Japanese.vagabondwillsmile said:One thing I will say on the issue of race in asian comics and animation being adapted by Hollywood and its almost inevitable (and stupid) white-washing: It IS common for many characters in any given work to have hair colors and skin tones to indicate indeterminate race. So, often, they could just as easily - in live action - be played by people of asian, anglo-saxon, latin, hebrew, middle-eastern, mixed, etc. ethnicities (of course it doesn't work if culture and ethnicity is central to the message of the story though, which is part of why the live-action dump of Nickalodeon's Avataar was such a shit-show...). Kiki's Dilivery Service from Miyazaki could very well be in a place like Amsterdam and played entirely by European actors. BUT there ARE often indicators in Asian stories that would lead to the characters being thought of as specifically Japanese, Korean, Chinese, etc. Character names, locations, cultural idiosyncrasies, etc. can all indicate a character's implied ethnicity and culture regardless of cell color used to represent their skin. Certainly, this is the case with GitS. The appearance is of indeterminate race/ethnicity/culture. BUT we all know they are Japanese. And out of respect to the nation and culture of origine it would be nice for Hollywood to cast accordingly! If Speilberg was truly a fan, he would understand this! White-washing does a disservice to the source material.fix-the-spade said:Cans of whitewash still experiencing strong sales in Hollywood...
However, if it must be whitewashed they could do a lot worse than casting The Black Widow as Major Kusanagi, begs the question who will play Batou and Togusa, I always pictured Batou as European simply because he looks European, but Togusa not so much.
I can't help but think that Hollywood will shy away from the heavier themes in GitS and that the film will suffer from it.
And yeah - the GitS film was actually plenty watered-down from the manga anyway. They won't even touch the heavy stuff in the film or manga, and certainly not the manga's comedy (ex. the pranks the squad pulls, the funny tachikomas, Kusanagi telling off her superiors and making them punch themselves via hack, body swaps...). The Hollywood adaptation, considering Hollywood's track record with these things, is bound to be token, Hollywood action cyber-shclock, and will probably try to out-mood the GitS animated film, which is... pretty damn dark and moody.
As for fans of the series, anyone else with me on this next bit? I'd like to see the main villain be an adaptation of Kazundo Gouda. He villains it up to 11 by appearance alone and I'd love to see a live adaptation include him.
And it just occured to me as I was writing, that in the second comic series, she has a whole stock of bodies that she uses sometimes directly, sometimes as extensions, for different purposes. And these bodies have different features, body types/sizes, and even skin colors indicating a range of physical origins from possibly Irish to possibly Black. But as that story takes place long after the Pupeteer case and her epiphany, as her persona/psyche became more diverse - so did her activities, needs, and body choices.
So much of GitS thematically is about identity, life, definitions, and all the ambiguity thereof, that to cast Johansson isn't a terrible choice. And because of those themes this story kind of does fall into exception to the rule territory (though not to the same extent as Kiki's Delivery Service - in Holland or the foothills of the Alps). It's just dissappointing that, where this could go either way, this is the way it went. It's predictable. Right or wrong aside, given the choice we all know the choice Hollywood will make. But again that's just my personal feeling. These questions of race, appropriation, and source are just so complex. But I'm enjoying this discussion.
But here is a REALLY tough question though:: if her full-cyberization was to be interpreted as her character being totally ambiguous physically, would we all cry foul much harder and louder if an acterss of a certain other specific race was cast to play her? Would we back-track and say, "She deffinitely isn't this!"? If so, what does that say about our leniency in one direction and maybe not in another when the logic behind that leniency can be applied equally accross the board. I will admit, I would still object. And I don't know what that says about me; but I can acknowledge it.
And yes, Gouda is BAMF villain James Bond style for sure, and I would be so down for that.