""Looking at her career so far, I think Scarlett Johansson is well cast," said Kodansha's Sam Yoshiba, director of the publisher's international business division. Kodansha originally published the manga in 1989. "She has the cyberpunk feel. And we never imagined it would be a Japanese actress in the first place." Yoshiba added that this film is "a chance for a Japanese property to be seen around the world." He also said that a recent trip to the film's New Zealand set left him impressed by the respect with which the filmmakers were showing the source material.
Outside Kodansha, the general reaction in Japan has been one of surprise. As THR notes, many overseas already assumed the role of Major Motoko Kusanagi would go to a white actress since the film is a Hollywood production. "If you want a Japanese cast, then a Japanese company should make the film in Japan," longtime manga fan Tetsuya Kataoka told THR. "