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Title (English) Ghost in the Shell
Title (Japanese) Kokaku Kidoutai

book cover

Fantasy Novel

Notes Movie, 1995, 1hr 15 mins.
Classification -
Review GHOST IN THE SHELL. (Manga Video, 1hr 15m) Cinema tour Dec '95
video in April '96.
This very new anime is a big budget joint production between
our Manga Entertainment Limited, Bandai Visual, and Kodansha.
It's adapted from a manga by the famous Masamune Shirow
(Appleseed, Dominion,Orion), who is to manga what Kim Stanley
Robinson is to SF. So the result was, to put it mildly,
eagerly awaited. Briefly, it is about special forces personnel
who are so heavily augmented as to be part, or almost
entirely, cyborg. The year is 2029. A dangerous computer
criminal, the 'Puppet Master' , named for his ability to hack
into and control the minds of innocent victims,and suspected
of stock market manipulation, illegal data gathering and
terrorist acts, has surfaced in Japan. Section 9, a covert
secret service group, is called in to capture the criminal,
only to discover that the trail leads to their own
government's Foreign Ministry.
The result, at a cost of some 2.5 million - is impressive,
with highly realistic animation likely to appeal to the
uncommitted viewers, a wealth of striking effects and a
thrilling music sound track. SF fans should appreciate the
serious SF content, and there is some heavyweight
philosophising, and art-oriented scenes, as well as frequent
passages of violent action. The main problem with the movie
in that in trying to appeal to various tastes the makers have
produced one in which the various elements do not sit entirely
easily together. It is also addressing the same question as
ARMITAGE III - what is a human being? But ARMITAGE III does it
more simply and to greater effect. The plot is also too
cynical and labyrinthine for its own good. For all that, it's
one of the most exciting and impressive animated movies to
appear to date. The one anime movie every one had heard of is
AKIRA. With all the money and expectations riding on this new
movie, in future it may well be AKIRA and GHOST IN THE SHELL
that every one has heard of.
By the way, the 'ghost' is, more or less. a soul, without the
religious connotations.
Verdict: Pawn your CDs so you can get to see this.
TV Showing See the whole series for free? This series may be syndicated to regional cable, satellite or terrestial TV stations. For Europe click here.
Date 1995
Production Manga/Bandai/Kodansha
References & Help Look up the latest data on this title at:
Richard Llewellyn's Animated Divots, or
Anime News Network (see Encyclopedia section) ,
or in "The Anime Encyclopedia" (Clements & McCarthy, Stone Bridge Press, 2001).
Help & further information.



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