The new Ghost in the Shell live-action movie has been a hard sell for fans of the original film and anime series practically since it was announced, but a new, remixed version of the theme song has led to even more eye-rolling.
Paramount Pictures and world-renowned DJ Steve Aoki debuted the new remix of the song on Twitter yesterday. It’s a dubstep-style take on Kenji Kawai’s score which was used in the opening sequence for the 1995 animated film. To say the song has become sacred among fans is something of an understatement — Kawai still incorporates the song into live performances.
In a press release, Aoki called it “a big day” for him, an anime fan and Ghost in the Shell diehard. Still, even with his self-proclaimed adoration and respect for the original film, anime series and manga by Masamune Shirow, the immediate response to the song was anything but positive.
Listen to the incomparable @SteveAoki's remix of the iconic theme from the 1995 #GhostInTheShell anime. pic.twitter.com/qWLckliz2A— Ghost In The Shell (@GhostInShell) March 5, 2017
It didn’t take long before fans were calling out the song for not being truthful to the tone of the original movie and calling out Paramount Pictures for trying to Westernize the project even more. Ghost in the Shell has come under fire previously for casting Scarlett Johansson in the role as the Major, with many within the industry calling out the studio for not giving the role to an Asian actor.
Similarly, fans called out Aoki’s remix as a blemish on the score Kawai created more than two decades ago.
@GhostInShell @steveaoki Boy, every time they release a new video, my heart sinks. Please stop, you're killing everything good about GITS— gavin (still FE hype (@gavinaruto) March 5, 2017
Please stop RTing Steven aoki's desecration of kenji kawai. Every time you do I remember it— pete (@yespete_) March 6, 2017
Kenji Kawai's original tune is far far better than this crap.— Raymond Nugraha (@raymond_nk) March 6, 2017
One of the biggest questions — and complaints — that arose from the debut of Aoki’s take on the track was why genre-projects had to feature electronic remixes of classic scores? For example, Aoki worked on an electronic-inspired soundtrack for Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, a fighting game from Bandai Namco available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC. Prior to that, Skrillex, another popular DJ in the dubstep and electronic scene, worked on the soundtrack for Syndicate in 2012. Skrillex even remixed Reptile’s Theme song from Mortal Kombat in 2011.
Alternatively, there was one group of music fans who were impressed with Aoki’s score — they just so happened not to be Ghost in the Shell diehards. When Aoki tweeted out the song to his own fans, which consists of more than 5.6 million followers on Twitter, the immediate reaction was overwhelmingly positive.
Other fans also brought up that it seems pretty unlikely the remixed version of the song will make it into the movie. Clint Mansell (Mass Effect 3, Requiem for a Dream) is scoring the film, and as others have pointed out, it seems weird to try and mix the two music styles.
Still, fans aren’t being subtle with their opinions on the new theme.
*Kenji Kawai screams in the distance* https://t.co/fsPTtxzO3p— Kemono Hazu (@Hazukari) March 5, 2017
The clip accompanying Aoki’s song does include some new footage, however, including more scenes of Johansson’s Major in action. Ghost in the Shell will be released on March 31.