Motoko Kusanagi
Ghost in the Shell Ghost in the Shell

Motoko Kusanagi

Comparision of the voice over actors who have been the voice of Motoko Kusanagi with sound clips and images.
Franchise: Ghost in the Shell

Created by Pokejedservo on May 3 2010
Special thanks to Jackson_H for additional sound clips.
Ghost in the Shell (1996)
Motoko KusanagiMimi Woods
Mimi Woods
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2004)
Motoko KusanagiAndrea Kwan
Andrea Kwan
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2004)
Motoko KusanagiAlison Matthews
Alison Matthews
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2004)
Motoko KusanagiMary Elizabeth McGlynn
Mary Elizabeth McGlynn
Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie (2015)
Motoko KusanagiElizabeth Maxwell
Elizabeth Maxwell


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8000 Saiyans
said at 3:50 PM on Wed Oct 18 2017
 1 Shout Out!
Mary Elizabeth McGlynn is amazing in this role.
said at 9:20 PM on Wed Sep 20 2017
 2 Shout Outs!
Mary Elizabeth McGlynn is easily the best English Motoko Kusanagi, if not better than Atsuko Tanaka.

Elizabeth Maxwell sounds pretty good too, and I like Mimi Woods more than most people.

As for the other 2 they don't really do it for me.
8000 Saiyans
said at 6:06 AM on Mon Nov 6 2017
@darknessflamegeass I think Mary and Atsuko are equal in this role to me.
said at 11:59 PM on Fri Apr 28 2017
 2 Shout Outs!
While Mary Elizabeth McGlynn is the most distinctive in the role as Motoko Kusanagi really capturing the character's nature...I would also say Elizabeth Maxwell really humanized the role as PurpleWarrior13 put it, so she'd be my second favorite of the group.

The other three didn't really leave much of an impression on particular, Mimi Woods, who was a bit too flat and lifeless at times & while Andrea Kwan's take has more energy, the quality of the audio recording makes her take reverb a bit too much.

As for Alison Mathews' take, I felt it was okay, but a bit too low at times.
said at 7:59 PM on Sun May 15 2016
 3 Shout Outs!
I really, really like Elizabeth in this role. She humanizes the character, while still reminding us that she's a cyborg. Her acting's also pretty good even if her voice alone isn't quite as distinctive as Mary's.

Also, I really want to hear how Alison's voice sounded without that weird tin-sounding recording filter common in Ocean dubs at the time. Her delivery is quite good, but her voice sounds really distorted.
said at 9:44 AM on Mon May 9 2016
 2 Shout Outs!
Mary Elizabeth McGlynn gets my vote.

Alison Matthews is a decent sound-a-like but I think she went a bit too deep with that.

Elizabeth Maxwell, sort of a younger MEMG sound-a-like, which I don't mind at all.

BONUS: I know this might never happen in a million yeas, but I think Susan Eisenberg would make a fantastic Motoko. Jennifer Hale or Vanessa Marshall would be my next best choices.
said at 8:01 PM on Fri Sep 9 2016
@Troodon2 I was thinking Claudia Black, actually. Though I agree with Susan.

Jen or Vanessa probably for a younger version (as Elizabeth is doing), their voices are pretty light versus Mary/the Japanese lady.
EPA Deane
said at 3:24 PM on Tue Nov 8 2016
@huzaifa_ahmed I would be interested in Mae Whitman trying the role of Motoko. I think she might bring a unique touch to the role and it would be a good opertunity for her to try something outside of her type casting.
said at 4:19 PM on Sat Apr 15 2017
@EPA Deane I accidentally shouted, but looking at in a new light, I suppose should could make for a good, young Motoko at least, in the same vein as Elizabeth Maxwell.
8000 Saiyans
said at 3:50 PM on Wed Oct 18 2017
@EPA Deane I think she'd work better for the young Motoko.
said at 9:23 AM on Mon Dec 1 2014
Mary is just amazing. Mimi I can accept because she was the original. Mary's interpretation is like Mimi with the addition of a bit more emotion, that wistful longing that comes to the Major when, for example, remembering the time she crushed her doll.

Who does the voice in Solid State Society? (haven't watched it yet...)
said at 8:43 PM on Thu May 5 2016
@xeno "Mimi I can accept because she was the original"

Much as I love the dubs...Atsuko Tanaka?
said at 3:32 AM on Sun Oct 5 2014
After watching a video by Mepheandjunk on SAC, it got me thinking about the Major again, particularly her in the movie.

For me, the film is the pinnacle of this series and it hasn't really come near since. The director made the interesting choice to show the Major not only in a androgynous way, but also where you can't tell if she's a robot or human at all. And the film does not give you the answer to that question, instead letting you decide.

Thinking on that, now Mimi's portrayal makes much more sense to me. Is it a good performance? When you consider everything, yes. It was the right way to go for what the film was going for. Robotic, but still human. If I was casting, I think I would have gone for something closer to a female version of Corey Burton's Brainiac, but still, it is in line with what the Ghost in the Shell movie was meant to do.

Since then, the shows have not really tried to capture that as much, making it more obvious she's a woman with the skimpier clothing, lipstick and what-not. The question of is she human or machine is still in there a bit, but it clashes with her look and now her more human voice. It's kind of like having a dark serious character wear pink. They just don't mesh and it becomes too distracting.

I still like Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, she is the Major to me, but I would like to see something close to her being portrayed as a female Brainiac in the future.
said at 9:47 PM on Fri Jul 24 2015
@Fairfieldfencer I totally understand and agree with what you're saying in terms of Mimi's performance. It makes sense that someone who's not entirely sure of how human they are would speak in the tone she does.

However....I still don't enjoy it. It's not a matter of the performance being fitting, it's definitely fitting, it's a matter of it being interesting to listen to. There's so much of Motoko just monologuing in that deadpan voice in the film that it makes it hard to invest in her as a character.

Honestly, that's why I think the film, despite putting forth a lot of interesting ideas and having gorgeous art and animation that still holds up today, is kind of overrated, and why I'm enjoying the series far more even though I've only seen a couple episodes. As a piece of thought-provoking art, the movie is great, but as a piece of entertainment, it's honestly just straight-up BORING for the most part. Sure, the opening roof jump and chasing the hacker are awesome, but then the story loses all sense of momentum until it picks up again in the battle against the spider-tank at the end of the film, with lots of scenes of people just.....standing around talking about life (which is especially bad for Motoko since she's so emotionless in the first place). Now, in a live-action film, you MIGHT be able to get away with that, since even in a scene where people are just talking, their facial expressions and body language help convey some emotion and at least a little sense of movement. But in anime, when characters aren't moving, they make it a still frame with only the mouths animated, which multiplies the boring factor of the scene by a whole lot.

I like Ghost in the Shell as a thought piece, I love to see reviewers and analysts pick it apart and show me its beautiful inner workings, but in terms of being engaged or entertained by, not really much at all. And Motoko's characterization (and therefore, the direction of the actress playing her) is core to that.
said at 4:32 PM on Sun Sep 6 2015
@BlueScarabGuy I honestly have to agree with you. It's kind of like going to a museum. It's interesting, I can appreciate it, but there are more fun activities out there.

It had some great performances in there and those actors have been kept on, but the cast was only half good.
said at 4:16 PM on Wed Aug 13 2014
Let's hope elizabeth maxwell could do good with Motoko like Mary did
said at 10:36 AM on Mon Sep 16 2013
I like all of them, but my vote definitely goes to Mary.
said at 11:26 PM on Fri Nov 30 2012
nn..close between Matthews and McGlynn for me. Matthews's voice is definately the sexyness to look for, but acting and best overall to McGlynn.
said at 6:31 PM on Sat Jun 23 2012
 1 Shout Out!
Mary Elizabeth McGlynn is so damn good that it puts the others to shame truthfully they aren't up to par with Mary but Alison Matthews & Andrea Kwan are decent in the role as well.
said at 3:30 PM on Wed May 2 2012
 1 Shout Out!
Giving this one to Mary Elizabeth McGlynn.
said at 3:09 AM on Fri Apr 27 2012
 2 Shout Outs!
Definitely Mary.

Mimi Woods sounded awful. Too robotic. It's almost like she's sleepwalking through the role.
said at 10:53 PM on Wed Nov 23 2011
1. Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (She was fantastic in every way!)

2. Andrea Kwan (Also very good!)

3. Alison Matthews (decent, but she was awkward in some areas, specifically with breathing.)

4. Mimi Woods (All around bad acting)
said at 12:00 AM on Thu Aug 30 2012
@PurpleWarrior13 After watching the entire movie, Mimi Woods actually isn't as bad as that clip makes it out to be. She sounds a little too robotic at times, but her voice was definitely interesting to listen to. Mary's voice in the series was more fitting though, since it was a nice balance.
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Who do you think has been the best from these Motoko Kusanagi voice actors?
Mimi Woods
Mary Elizabeth McGlynn
Alison Matthews
Andrea Kwan
Elizabeth Maxwell