Ghost in the Shell Franchise Overview and Ghost in the Shell(2017) Review

Alright Ghost in the Shell(2017) it was pretty good, amazing no. I’m not the most hardcore fan of GITS, but I am a fan. Nostalgia played a big part in my love for the series, in dark and lonely nights I spent my time watching Anime on Adult Swim/Toonami and the Stand Alone Complex series was one of those. I was fascinated by it’s world, the characters and the dilemmas they were put through, even it’s technobabble that the GITS series is known for. Despite not understanding those parts much, those moments are still etched into my mind and are some of the most memorable parts in the series. I especially enjoyed it’s amazing action scenes, the adorable Tachikomas, the OST and those OPs. I for sure admired Motoko Kusanagi, that cool, independent and badass lady, that didn’t take crap from others and made sure her presence was prevalent throughout the series.

It’s been years since I’ve experienced the SAC Anime series, but I would love to rewatch them some time. Eventually, I ventured off to give the original GITS movie a shot, at first I wasn’t exactly impressed after watching the SAC series. At the time I was an Shounen/Action junkie(still am), so I expected there to be more action in the movie, especially coming from the TV series and I was left a little disappointed(funny eh?), but I still found it good. By the time the new live-action movie adaptation was announced, the trailers were coming out and the release of the movie was finally revealed, I decided that it wouldn’t be bad to revisit the original movie again. Considering I was a fan of the SAC series and the new movie was coming out, I might as well invest money into buying the Blu-ray of the movie. My second watch was definitely a more enjoyable one, this time going in with a more intellectual approach, but man did I love the effort that was put into every detail of the movie! From it’s stellar animation and action choreography, the haunting OST and the existential questioning of the Major(A much more robotic one). I feel that the movie was near perfect, with minor flaws, just that it might come off being a bit confusing.

After watching the original movie again and being able to appreciate it even farther, my excitement level for a live-action movie adaptation that could actually turn out decent raised. With my mom finding interest in the film, I got even more excited, because I would be able to experience that excitement with her. The reviews came out and of course I’m bummed, but it didn’t end up with downright terrible reception, my mom and I had to watch it still. Now this wasn’t a bad film nor a bad GITS film. The world design was immersive and futuristic, great for a Cyberpunk Sci-Fi setting. The cinematography was on point, with some great CG visuals and nice live-action reenactments of the 1995 film’s awesome set-pieces some SAC stuff in there too, but not as good imo still well done tho. The plot was decent, especially the bits with Motoko’s past ahem I mean Mira Killian, Major Mira Killian’s past and the antagonist Kuze. Speaking of the Major, Scarlett Johansson was a great role for the Major and I honestly had no problem with her being the Major, although I’ll admit that the casting is a bit odd. Whoever played the main Section 9 cast, played their roles well, Batou being just a little bit more of a hardass, Aramaki seeming a lot more like a Yakuza character thanks to Takeshi Kitano and Togusa was just normal family man Togusa. I thought there could have been more focus put on to Togusa’s humanistic features to bounce off the Major, but Togusa was decently represented. I didn’t even recognize the others Borma, Ishikawa and Saito, due to their small roles, but they’re in the movie lol. Overall, I think they did a decent job portraying the characters, especially Johansson’s Major. I do love how the production team went with their own approach, with some elements trumping even the original movie. Yes I do adore how they sprinkled in the original movie’s opening theme too, which is respectful to the source material. I didn’t exactly find the original score too memorable tho, but it fits. After leaving the theater, I asked my mom what she thought of it and she said that “it was alright, I didn’t watch the Anime/Cartoon, so I can’t really say that I didn’t like it.” “can’t compare it to the original movie.” My mom gave the movie a 8/10 and I had a hard time deciding what I should rate it, I generally rate things based off my enjoyment, my taste and what I want and got out of it. I told my mom that there was something I felt that was missing, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. It’s what most people have been saying, but it seemed like there wasn’t enough soul put into it. Yes, there was effort, but I feel that the movie could have been even greater. Maybe it was the reused scenes that take place in the movie that could have been new interesting scenes? Someway to make the audience feel more of a emotional connection to what’s going on? The comparisons that fans will make between the quality of the original movie and this reimagining? A more interesting and emotional plot? A better sense of identity for the movie? I would definitely agree that the movie seems a bit like a hollow shell one without a soul, Ghost in the Shell(2017). 7/10


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