Last night at TIFF (The Toronto International Film Festival) I went and saw a showing of the movie Ghost in the Shell directed by Mamoru Oshii. The special thing about this showing was that the movie was being introduced by the director himself. So I decided to talk about my experience and thought of the movie in a special anime review.
The Facts are These:
In the year 2029, the line between humanity and cybernetics has become blurry, with this leads to the problem of brain hacking and a notorious brain hacker “The Puppertmaster.” It is up to the cybernetically enhanced group Section 9 lead by Major Motoko Kusanagi.
Ghost in the shell was an enjoyable movie, I had not put much effort into going to see an anime movie before this one, but I can say that I enjoyed the movie thoroughly. The theatre was nice and big enough for the crowd, with people still at the counter asking if the were extra tickets. Though one disappointing thing is they did not use the original subtitles from the movie, but instead used some fan subs that weren’t as accurate. Meeting Mamoru Oshii in person was an experience in of itself. He was funny though very wise about the medium and film in general. The scenery and setting in the movie were as he describe similar to Hong Kong but different. It matched the world they were trying to make similar to our own, but with extra parts in there or things being taken away. The theme of rebirth and how technology and humanity are naturally progressing together is evident through the major and how she changes. She discusses in the movie how she his a shell of what she was and does not know if she was ever human. Though by the end of the movie she is torn and broken to nothing to be changed into a new being in the form if a child’s body.
Here is Mamoru Oshii’s introduction to the movie.
Behind the Scenes:
The movie is based on the manga series of the same name by Masamune Shirow. Masamune has also wrought the manga Appleseed and Dominion, both receiving an anime adaptation. The movie was written by Kazunori Ito who has wrought screenplays for several movies include Digital Monster X-Evolution. Mamoru Oshii has made several renown movie such as Sky Crawlers, The Ghost in the Shell movies and the Patlabor movies, with the screenplays for both Patlabor movies being written by Kazunori Ito. The studio behind the movie is Production I.G. which is responsible for all of the Ghost in the Shell animated features and several other franchises, for example the Blood franchise and the Patlabor franchise. Here is the 1995 English trailer.
A Brief View of the World:
The world of ghost in the shell is set in a futuristic world where cybernetics and humanity are merging. The city is of a futuristic Hong Kong with extras features being added to make it seem different from modern Hong Kong. The advancement of cybernetics in the movie allows people to completely change their way of life and how that affects the world. Cybernetics has gone as far as changing the way one can define life in the sense that someone may become completely cybernetic and live the rest of their days without change in appearance or thoughts, even those thoughts can be manipulated.
The movie was extremely enjoyable and the experience of meeting the director itself made it ten times more exciting. Though I was unable to get my copy of the movie signed and was not aware there was a discussion with him taking place before this, I still had an experience that I will not soon forget.
This movie is definitely rewatchable with the runtime being around 90 minutes it will keep you glued to the screen wondering how this will all end for both sides.
8/10 – It Is Amazing!
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence – for the thought provoking sequel.
Akira – For another movie that changed the way anime was viewed in north america.
I do not own any of the above used pictures and/or video they belong to their original creators, Mamor Oshii, Production I.G, and Manga Entertainment.