a critiQal film review Ghost in the Shell (1995)

Plot: In the near future, cyborgs (half human, half robot), are a reality - as are sentient robots. One of these robots, Major, is working for the top secret Section 9 when they discover an ambassador’s aide that has been “hacked”, i.e., someone has broken into her brain. It looks to be the work of the mysterious “Puppetmaster”.

424 words (Est. Reading Time 2m 7s)
  • ...a welcome addition to any anime collection.

After seeing two amazing anime films, in Akira and Metropolis (2002), and a pretty good one (Blood: The Last Vampire), I was definitely interested in more films from the same genre.

After hearing good things about Ghost in the Shell, I was quick to pick this one up at the local Blockbuster®. Would it be the best so far, or would it just not match up to the others?

The characters are all well animated, and are drawn with great character and style. The voices were decently chosen, and there didn’t seem to be any glaring errors. The style of the animation was a little similar to Akira or Metropolis (2002), but not as stylized. The animation definitely kept you involved in the story, flowing smoothly along.

The one large problem was the film’s desire to lecture. The characters occasionally had long speaking parts, which could have worked better if they had broken them up a bit. It gets a little boring listening to a long lecture, while the film is frozen on one picture. Of course, they needed to get a lot in, but they could have made the lectures a bit more animated, rather then just on one scene.

The plot was definitely interesting. The sci-fi aspect of cyborgs is intriguing right from the start, of course. Then when they start talking about “ghosts” inside of people, it keeps your interest. The idea that people’s brains can be hacked is somewhat original, and definitely something to keep your attention. The good use of unreal, yet not too fantastic, weaponry is also well-used.

Whatever is in the film fits well into the world it has created. Cyborgs being a large part of everyday life is something to think about, since it’s been a thought of so many films, from Blade Runner (1982) to this one.

It makes you wonder if this could be an accurate prediction of some not too far off future, or if cyborgs will remain just in the realm of sci-fi. It’s interesting thoughts like this that will keep you engrossed throughout.

With a good plot, well-voiced characters, and some pretty decent animation, Ghost in the Shell is a welcome addition to any anime collection.

If you haven’t checked out any anime yet, now I’ve got four for you: Akira, Metropolis (2002), Blood: The Last Vampire, and Ghost in the Shell. Check them all out today – I’m sure you’ll want them to be part of your DVD collection, as I do.

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