Ghost in the Shell, Japanese (animated) movie (1995)

In a few weeks time, the live action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell will make it’s appearance in the movie theatre. Steeped in controversy, because of the “whitewashing” of it’s principal character, there has been a lot of debate amongst anime fans of whether or not this movie will be any good. Honestly, I am not going to adress that issue, as I think there has been enough talk about it. I do have to say that I am quietly optimistic for it. The trailers that have been released for it are seriously awesome, and Scarlett Johansson really looks the part in her role as the Major. Ofcourse throughout movie history there have been so many good trailers for a film that in the the end turned out to be utter rubbish, that this really does not say much. Still I am keeping my fingers crossed for it, and am looking forward to the end result. One would almost forget that the original Ghost in the Shell animated movie, is now 22 years old. With the live action adapatation lurking on the horizon, I thought it would be the perfect time for me to revisit this classic movie.

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Ghost in the Shell takes place in the year 2029. Humanity has changed a lot and has become dependant on cybernetic bodies that can access a vast network that pretty much connects the entire world. In this very dark and bleak world, Major Motoko Kusanagi, a female cyborg together with her partner Batou are part of an organisation called Section 9. Section 9 is entrusted with the public security, and receive numerous missions to take out those who threaten the safety of humanity. When a mysterious hacker known only as the Puppet Master makes an appearance, Motoko is entrusted with the case. Just who is the Puppet Master, and what does he want? Kusanagi is about to find out the answers to these questions, and the truth might be more incredible than she first expects it to be. It all comes down to one thing in the end: what makes someone human?

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Ghost in the Shell is an animated master piece that everyone who even remotely likes Anime should see at least once in his or her life. Even though this movie is now 22 years old, it has not become dated even one bit. The animation is still absolutely breathtaking. Crisp visuals, with amazing backgrounds make this a movie that you want to watch over and over again, if only to spot things you might have missed the other times. The storyline in the movie, might not be for everyone. It is multilayered, and has so many different aspects to it that makes it at times hard to follow. Even repeated viewings might not answer every question you might have. But that is also part of it’s appeal, as this is a complex puzzle, that is a lot of fun to figure out.

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The heart of this movie though is the character of Major Motoko Kusanagi. She has been and always shall be my alltime favorite anime character. I just love the way how she can both be seriously badass, and incredibly vulnerable at the same time, as she struggles with trying to find her own humanity. And it is a very fascinating struggle to watch. This review would not be complete without mentioning the absolutely amazing soundtrack by the hand of master composer Kenji Kawai. The haunting opening theme sets the tone for the movie, and still sends shivers down my spine every time I hear it. The music is a very important aspect of this film, and the movie is not the same without it.

After all these years it was an absolute joy to revisit this classic anime movie. It is a film that still impresses, and one that I highly recommend. Sure it isn’t perfect, but it comes pretty close to it.

I give Ghost in the Shell a 9 out of 10 score.

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22 thoughts on “Ghost in the Shell, Japanese (animated) movie (1995)”

  1. I really need to get into this franchise. I’ve been wanting to watch Stand Alone Complex forever.

    Great review! Kusanagi sounds like a great character. Old anime series/films that hold up even today really are nice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stand alone complex is highly enjoyable. It was a great follow up to the movie, and honestly I at times found it even better. Kusanagi is awesome, you will really like her a lot. I hope the live action version will do her justice, but I guess we have to wait and see for that 😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “After all these years it was an absolute joy to revisit this classic anime movie.”

    It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who rewatched this recently and still really enjoyed it

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Of course I’ve been hearing a lot about the live action movie coming up. But I really need to give the anime a try sometime as I do think the story sounds interesting. I hope you end up enjoying the live action version πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ghost in the Shell is a movie I hope I’ll end up appreciating more over time. I like the Stand Alone Complex series a great deal and a fair bit more than the original movie. The characters and universe as a whole I’m quite enthralled with however I’ve never felt the movie was as provocative or complex as many make it out to be. Maybe I’m not tapping into the movie correctly but more likely, I’ve just been down the sci-fi road too many times to think of the concepts in an exceptional way. I hope I can revisit it in the future and come away with more than I once did.

    I’m tentatively interested in the upcoming film though I don’t have high hopes for it – either as an individual movie or as an adaptation of GitS. We’ll see though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember seeing the movie for the first time, and remember not appreciating it much either. After a few times rewatching it, it all fell into place and I ended up enjoying it a lot. I agree though, I found the series better at times as well. The story was a little less complex and easier to follow. From what I understand about the live action movie it is supposed to be (loosely) based on the second season of the series. I’m cautiously optimistic for it, as for what I have seen of it so far looks to capture the spirit of the movie pretty well. But yeah, we just have to wait and see😊 Thank you for your comment πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post! I watched Stand Alone Complex a few years about and have been contemplating watching this movie for awhile, especially after hearing about the live action adaptation. This review has just convinced me seeing the original movie first is a must. Now I’ll be sure to binge watch the original movie and (of course) Stand Alone Complex before seeing the new adaptation 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for the kind words, appreciate it. Yes the original film is very cool. The series that followed it, amazingly was at times even better 😊 Hope you will enjoy it, looking forward to what you will think of the film πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You are very welcome. Thank you for all the likes, and the follow. I have just started following your blog too, and it looks awesome. Am in the middle of checking it out, so expect more likes heading your way in the coming days πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

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