Ghost In The Shell (1995)
Directed by: Mamoru Oshii
The year is 2029. The world has changed technologically. Cybernetic body parts and even cyborgs and androids are commonplace. The “normal” human being is now considered a rarity. It is not only body parts that are being replaced, the most important adaptation is a cyberbrain; modified brains with which you can plug yourself in to other equipment, people and the net itself.
On the edge of Asia is the corporate conglomerate nation-state of Japan. This nation-state is run by a central government which has different Public Security Sections. Section 9 is the intelligence service under direct authority of the Minister of Internal Affairs.
Led by Aramaki Daisuke, Major Kusanagi Motoko and her team handle the dirty work. When Major Kusanagi and her team are tasked to apprehend the notorious hacker The Puppet Master, a hunt ensues between not only The Puppet Master, but also other Public Security Sections.
Based on the manga of the same name by Masamune Shirow, the movie follows its source material quite faithfully, even though Masamune Shirow did not cooperate with the movie. The same rings true for its sequels. Director Mamoru Oshii obviously did alter the character of Major Kusanagi.
With Ghost in the Shell Mamuro Oshii made one of the most iconic Cyberpunk anime’s, probably only preceded by Akira and Metropolis. There probably isn’t a fan of anime who hasn’t heard of Ghost in the Shell.
Ghost in the Shell, like its source material, revolves around the theme Existentialism. Is there even a modicum of “life”, when the majority of the population is either artificially enhanced or are complete cyborgs. To what extent does a cybernetic brain have its own mind or ghost and to what extent is it just a program? Do cyborgs evolve, or are they just controlled by their programming? It addresses not only technology, but also life itself and to what extent life and mankind are more than just its ingredients.
Ghost in the Shell premiered for the first time on the Tokyo International Film Festival, something that doesn’t occur often.
For the making of this movie a new technology DGA (Digitally Generated Animation) was used. DGA is a combination of Cell Animation, CG and audio, which has been input digitally as date. The Thermo-optical Camouflage used by Major Kusanagi is an example of being created just by software.
The city in which Ghost in the Shell is set, is based on Shanghai. According to Oshii the city of Shanghai is the example of futuristic Asia.