Ghost in the Shell
It’s 2029 and we’re in Hong Kong. The Puppet Master is a hacker who seems to have no trouble what so ever to get into any database he wants and he’s attracted the attention of Section 9, a police corps which consists of cyborgs who seem to be vulnerable to the hacker as he can gain access to their mind.
During the investigation, the officers discover that The Puppet Master is in fact a former secret experiment from the Foreign Affairs department which was designed to spy on both other countries and people in the home country. Due to the fact that the software can enter any database in the world, it has gained so much information that it creates its own identity and declares its right of existence. While trying to get to The Puppet Master and destroy the entity, Major Matoko Kusanagi – head of the section 9 agents who are after the program – starts to wonder about her own humanity as she has lost that almost completely as her body is replaced by a titanium alloy and her superbrain is filled with gadgets which give her access to the biggest networks.
Ghost in the Shell isn’t an easy movie and will have you watch it several times if you really want to understand the storyline. Still, as with most Manga movies, there’s plenty of action to make the average viewer appreciate it. The animations are great and much like “Akira”, this is a classic in its genre with a very high filosophic meaning behind it.
Sound and Vision:
With an aspect ration of 1.85:1 and anamorphic image, the movie can be seen on widescreen TV’s without black tiers on top and below. The graphics are splendid and the fact that details in shadows are not shows is the choice of the director who uses this technique as a stylistic choice.
You can listen to the movie in both the original Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0) or the new English track which is in Dolby Digital 5.1. As we all like 5.1 more than 2.0 I’m happy to say that the sound effects are really harmonic with the movie and that the use of the different surround channels is perfect.
We start off with a 29 minutes “Making Of” which is in Japanese without subtitles. Pretty stupid if you ask me as almost no-one will understand anything from what is said. There’s some background information on the characters of the film along with a filmography on the director Mamoru Oshii which lasts 6 minutes without sound. 29 minutes is what you can spend on production notes and also you can check out a presentation which lays the bonds between manga movies and sci-fi. Last there’s the usual trailer of the movie.
Ghost in the Shell is a classic Manga movie which can compete with “Akira”. Too bad that most of the extra’s are without sound and poor in quality. Only for Manga-fans.