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‘Does Everyone Hate Real World?’: Ghost In The Shell: Arise Director Bemoans The Rise Of Isekai Anime




Renowned anime director Kazuchika Kise, known for directing Ghost in the Shell: Arise, voiced his concerns over the growing prevalence of isekai themes in anime in a recent interview.

In the interview Kise questioned the industry’s fascination with escapist narratives and the apparent decline in more grounded storytelling.

He found the trend particularly strange given the fantastical elements often involved, citing a recent anime with character reborn as vending machine as a prime example.

There are too many stories that make you think, ‘Does everyone hate the real world that much?’ It’s strange how there are so many stories revolving around reincarnation. Recently, there are even works where characters are reborn as vending machines… I was truly dumbfounded (laughs). When it comes to anime, it feels like there are fewer grounded stories nowadays.

When asked about what he considers a grounded story, Kise drew comparisons to Ghost in the Shell.

He acknowledged that while the series features fantasy elements such as cyberbrains and cyborg bodies, the conditions for these characters remain similar to those of normal humans, devoid of magic, monsters, or video game-like leveling systems.

He further criticized modern anime for incorporating game-like elements without logical in-universe explanations.

Recent anime works will show things like a level-up gauge that appears when characters tap the air, even though there’s no in-setting reason for them to have a personal interface like that. I may just be getting old, but it really makes me wonder: ‘What is going on here?’ It just doesn’t work for me.

Previously, light novel author Usagi Nakamura too had voiced her opinion on how isekai stories lacked originality, wondering if the authors who created them had no shame.

Kazuchika Kise is a Japanese director, animator, and character designer. He started working in the anime industry in 1989 with Patlabor: The Movie. In 2015, he made his directorial debut with Ghost in the Shell: Arise.

In 2013, Kise did the character designs with Clamp for Blood-C, which won the Reaper Award for best animation that year. In 2018, Kise designed the characters for Made in Abyss, which won anime of the year at the Crunchyroll Anime Awards in the same year.

Source: Ghost In The Shell

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