Ghost In The Shell: Arise - Pyrophoric Cult (Japan 2015)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 11/15/15

When the "Ghost In The Shell: Arise" OAV got repackaged into a TV series, they added two new episodes which introduce the "Pyromorphic Cult" story arc and serve as a prequel to "Ghost In The Shell: The New Movie" (2015). A cyber-terrorist known as Pyromaniac is using the Fire-Starter virus for some obscure political agenda that involves both the government and the military. The Americans are interested in capturing Pyromaniac and containing Fire-Starter, so they enlist Major Kusanagi and her team to help with the operation. Kusanagi is none too happy about the situation, and plans to beat the Americans to the prize by snatching it away from them. The entire operation turns out to be an elaborate ruse, which culminates in a violent showdown at an American military base.

If you enjoyed the previous episodes of "Arise," you'll probably enjoy this one, too. It contains a fair amount of anti-American sentiment and Kusanagi is even more hostile and temperamental than usual. The action sequences are nicely realized, and the Logicomas are absolutely wonderful. The disc also contains a collection of humorous "Section 9" skits that feature super-deformed versions of the characters. Unfortunately, these aren't subtitled, but it's obvious that they're very silly. The super-deformed version of Motoko Kusanagi is adorably irritable, and seeing her break the fourth wall is hilarious.