Ghost in the Shell

 Ghost in the Shell Anime Review

One more semester of college is over, and summer is here. Which means I now have time to devote to watching anime, and then writing about it.

To kick off the Summer 2010 season of Xbolt’s Anime Reviews, I selected Ghost in the Shell.

Ghost in the Shell came out in 1995, and was a defining film in the cyberpunk genre. Cyberpunk is a type of science fiction that focuses on computer technology and robotics, usually depicting an oppressive futuristic society in which virtual reality (or at least some sort of artificial reality) has largely supplanted physical reality. Cyberpunk typically includes elements of massive urban decay and partial environmental collapse, and often involves a lawless violent subculture.

In 2029, cyborgs are abundant. The plot follows Major Motoko Kusanagi, a cyborg officer from Section 9, a network security force in Tokyo. Section 9 is on a mission to arrest the Puppet Master, an elite hacker who can hack into cybernetic bodies, and implant false memories in order to get people to do what he wants. Because the villain has the ability to hack into the minds of his enemies, he must be stopped as soon as possible. But as the cops close in on their target, Motoko realizes that she and Puppet Master seem to have a lot in common.

A stunning feat of modern animation, Ghost in the Shell was one of the earliest anime films to cross the Pacific to non-anime fans. It had a large influence on a number of Western filmmakers, notably the Wachowski brothers, who created The Matrix. I had already seen The Matrix, and I could definitely draw connections between the two.

Overall, I liked Ghost in the Shell. If you’re into cyberpunk, you’ll probably like this film too.

Mamoru Oshii’s legendary anime film is now available in a stunning new Blu-ray edition remastered by Oshii himself. Look for Ghost in the Shell [Version 2.0] at Amazon.

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