|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Koukaku Kidoutai 2.0
Ghost in the Shell 2.0 is a 2008 reproduction of the 1990s cyberpunk anime film of the same name directed by Mamoru Oshii and created by Masamune Shirow. I’ll be approaching this review on providing my thoughts of this reproduction and providing fresh thoughts on the film after having last seen the original 1995 film back in the 2000s.|
Far as the reproduction element of this film goes, it largely feels like a gimmick to me for the most part. While enhancing most of the original visuals for digital film, some key scenes in the film are animated in 3DCG and a few scenes with digital computer displays and vehicles get the CG animation treatment as well. This works better for the digital displays, as the 3DCG animated scenes and altering of vehicles into CG is quite jarring when considering much of the film otherwise retains the hand-drawn animation of the original film, which amazingly still holds up well today between the lifelike character designs, detailed scenery, and beautifully animated action scenes. The other major change is the Puppet Master’s voice now being done by a female seiyuu, though this is largely inconsequential.
As far as my thoughts of the 1990s film adaptation of Ghost in the Shell go, I’ll admit I have my issues with this compared to later adaptations of the series. But before I dabble into the cons, I guess I’ll go into what I enjoyed with the film. The film does a solid job establishing its advanced future setting with many of its major characters having varying degrees of cybernetic enhancements, some advanced as such where they are cyborgs like main heroine Motoko Kusanagi. This creates some interesting exploration on to what degree the characters could still regard themselves as human and whether or not they can trust their own memories, especially as cybernetic-enhanced brains are vulnerable to hackers.
Ghost in the Shell mainly stumbles with its story and characters as the film is trying to be a bit too grand with what it wants to do within its 80+ minute runtime. The plot involving the hacking attacks of the Puppet Master escalates into a political conspiracy which while ripe with storytelling potential for a TV series, this film adaptation doesn’t have the time to properly explore and build things up with it. Also in a departure from the manga and later anime adaptations of Ghost in the Shell, the characters are far more moody here, particularly Motoko as she will usually philosophize about her humanity and finds herself drawn to the Puppet Master. This may be my personal leanings for Stand Alone Complex coming in, but I’m more a fan of that title’s versions of the characters compared to this film. Also with the lack of time to devote proper focus on exploring its characters, it’s rather difficult to connect with the members of Section 9 for this film.
In short, I guess my feelings for the 1995 Ghost in the Shell film haven’t changed much since I seen it years ago. While having an excellent visual presentation that still holds up well today, its premise is better suited for a longer media format that could take its time to develop the title’s complex story, themes, and characters that was best shown with the 2000s Stand Alone Complex TV series. I’d actually implore you to look into that series if you are looking for more to dabble into with the Ghost in the Shell franchise.
Last updated Friday, August 11 2023. Created Friday, August 11 2023.
|Manga Entertainment (R1 Licensing Company)||http://www.manga.com/|