Courtesy of Funimation, the Mamoru Oshii directed Ghost in the Shell anime movie from 1995 will be briefly coming back to movie theaters at the start of February.
Launched in select U.S. theaters on February 7th and 8th, if you are at all a fan of the movie then you really need to see this on the big screen.
The choice of Mamoru Oshii and his team back in the 90’s to adapt Masamune Shirow’s manga of Ghost in the Shell was definitely an interesting one.
However, after intricate and subtle films like Patlabor 2, having the same team come up with a modern tale of cyberpunk intrigue made a good deal of sense.
Due to the nature of film, much of the exposition in the manga had to be skipped, specifically that of the artificially intelligent Fuchikomas. This was because the main thrust of Ghost in the Shell’s narrative was about Motoko Kutanagi proving her own humanity.
In the manga, Shirow could take his time with this, whereas Oshii and his team had a strict time limit. Removing the Fuchikomas meant that the film could introduce artificial intelligence as something “new” and use it to juxtapose the Major’s own journey.
In any case, this was and still is a truly great film. After 20 years, it stands up incredibly well, not only in terms of its animation and beautiful score by Kenji Kawai but also with the deftness and depth of its narrative.
If you are interested in picking up this movie on Blu-ray, then I can highly recommend the original release. The version 2.0 “upgrade” is a bit of a mixed bag if I am honest, as it has some very wonky CG in places.
I am glad Funimation are re-releasing this movie though, especially before the upcoming live action version. That way people will at least have a decent cinematic frame of reference.
The first Ghost in the Shell anime movie will be shown in select theaters in the U.S. on February 7th and 8th. The subbed version of the film will be shown on the 7th, whereas the English dubbed version is on the 8th. If you are in the UK, the movie is being shown this month in a variety of theaters (the trailer below is for the UK theatrical re-release in case you are wondering).
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