Ghost In The Shell (1995)
Gōsuto in za sheru / Kōkaku kidōtai (Ghost in the Shell / Mobile Armored Riot Police)
Directed by Mamoru Oshii
Based on Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow
Starring Voice Actors: Atsuko Tanaka, Akio Ōtsuka, Iemasa Kayumi
Running time: 82 minutes
Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Ghost in the Shell follows the hunt of the public security agency Section 9 for a mysterious hacker known as the Puppet Master. With the assistance of her team, Motoko Kusanagi tracks and finds their suspect, only to be drawn into a complex sequence of political intrigue and a cover-up as to the identity and goals of the Puppet Master.
So this was an “alternate” Blind Spot choice of mine (I guess I need to kick one of the main ones off the list now). I decided to watch this because a) the live-action American remake was out recently and b) I noticed the running time of only 82 minutes! Okay – the running time was the biggest reason. Why are so many “worthy” films at least 2.5 hours long? I’m too busy!
I’m glad I did finally get around to watching this. I really enjoyed it. I do want to see the Scarlett Johansson one at some point too just to see how they recreated certain scenes but know that it will of course pale greatly in comparison to the original. I’d be interested to hear from those of you who’ve seen both and from fans of the original.
I’m not going to write a lot about this film as I don’t have much knowledge when it comes to Japanese anime (other than my beloved Studio Ghibli). It’s a genre I’m becoming more & more interested in and want to explore by at least watching some of the most well known stuff. I watched Akira as a Blind Spot choice last year (I decided to dive in at the deep end!). Akira isn’t quite like anything I’d seen before and I loved it (it was my favorite of my twelve 2016 Blind Spot films).
I think Ghost In The Shell is fantastic too and I can understand why it’s so popular but, unfortunately, I wasn’t as blown away as I was with Akira. I think a lot of that is probably thanks to me seeing things like The Matrix and even Ex Machina before seeing Ghost, meaning that Ghost feels almost dated now even though it came beforehand and clearly had a big influence on a lot of later films.
Okay – I don’t think “dated” is at all the right word to use… The animation is beautiful and the story is probably even more relevant now than in 1995. I think anyone who enjoys this type of science fiction would definitely like this film if they haven’t seen it. I suppose it’s just that the themes in Ghost In The Shell have been explored in loads of entertainment over the years (and especially in the years that followed its release), meaning that it doesn’t feel quite as original in 2017 as it will have 22 years ago. But it’s still a damn good science fiction anime & worthy of its status as a classic in this genre. There’s a lot of iconic imagery & an amazing musical montage (I’ve included a clip of this below). I’m happy to say that Ghost In The Shell was well worth my time & a worthy addition to my list of Blind Spot movies.
My Rating: 8/10
Oh, and I love this Mondo poster created by artist Martin Ansin…
Sweet! Glad you liked it! 🙂
I don’t think many people are aware of how many of the western sci-fi films GITS influenced, which hopefully the live action version may rectify if it encourages people to seek out this seminal ancestor!
Word of warning though – “GITS 2: Innocence” is stunning to look at but utterly baffling story wise; conversely the “GITS:Stand Alone Complex” TV series and spin-off films are a lot of fun with different character designs for the Major. If you do ever check them out, I’m sure you’ll love the Tachikoma robots! 😛
Baffling story in number 2? I’ll skip that, then – it was hard enough to follow along with this one. 😉 This may be the most “talky” anime I’ve ever seen… Hehe – it took me ages to finally watch this so I don’t know when/if I’d get around to spin-offs & a TV series. 😉 I did like this a lot, though, and it’s one I’d probably watch again in the future & appreciate even more. 🙂
If you really want to see a “talky” anime check out the Monogatari franchise! On second thoughts, don’t…. 😛
Haha! No, I do think I’ll skip that. 😉 Some talking is fine! But harder to keep up when reading. 😉
I’m glad you liked it! A lot of the animation, especially in that video you shared, was composited from real images of Hong Kong. It gives the anime a really gritty feeling. I love the layouts and background in this, especially when Major chases a suspect and fights him in that water-plain area. It’s so beautiful. Great review!
Thanks! 🙂 I really did enjoy this one. Ah, that’s interesting – my favorite bits were seeing the gorgeous visuals of the city. Those parts looked so real. That fight is definitely one of the biggest highlights. A lot of iconic scenes in this film – I hope more people check it out. : )
I saw this recently for the first time as well, and while I recognize it as a significant piece of science fiction (like Blade Runner), I found the story a bit too convoluted and bogged down in philosophical jargon. I think I liked certain iconic scenes (like the invisible smackdown and the tank shootout) way more than the product as a whole. I’ll be curious to see how the live-action version compares as well.
Ohh. Missed this comment on Ghost in the Shell! Love discussing movies like these. And I do agree with you. I preferred moments & scenes to the overall story. There was too much “story” (which sounds stupid but you know what I mean). The visuals sold this. And that montage scene. Beautiful. It’s one that did go up in my estimation when I thought about it a bit more, though. The iconic scenes really do stand out. : )
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It doesn’t feel original, but… it is! Such a great movie, it was nice to read about it on your blog!
I’ve added a link to your post below the review I wrote on my blog, I hope you don’t mind! :–)
That’s great – Thanks!! 🙂 I like hearing from another fan of this one. I could do with rewatching this. I’ve watched a lot more anime since seeing this and this one really is fantastic.