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bladerunner2005's Ghost in the Shell Tv Review

Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell tv Review

Story & Characters

I know there's already tons of reviews for GITS out there. I also know that another one won't sway you one way or the other. But I thought I'd take the time to place this film at a spot in my entertainment landscape all its own.

Normally, anime doesn't cross into mainstream entertainment in the US. It's relegated to the fanboyish, nerdy crowd and occasionally gets outside to go for a hike. It's a shame, because behind all the cell art, boobies, and subtitling are usually some pretty progressive themes. GITS takes a stab at modern religious beliefs and jumps around the techno map enough to get you all fuzzy inside. It's also a comfortable story to see play out. Good vs. evil from typically unkown sources. Computers, driving mankind into submissive paths, stealth outfits, and huge flying machines. Since there's no giant mecha stomping around, all the heavy metal comes at you in scaled down fashion. Kinda like Robocop.

The best scene IMO, is the high speed machine gunning that takes out the car speeding towards our assailant. The digging in to the foothold on the ground is a nice touch.

My only complaint was that the film didn't last longer.

Rating: 8

Art

Masamune Shirow's characters were dealt a retooled blow for the film, which let me down at first. But I soon grew to appreciate the artistic license taken by the studio and let that angst go.

The coloring was dark, leaving viewers more plugged in to the story, rather than being shocked in and out of alert stages with bold swings of red and blue flashing around the screen. FutureTechnoDramas like GITS can always be relied upon to deliver theme with color, and for that, I'm greatful.

The opening theme song is mentally refreshing to hear. When you view the film, listening to the opening title sequence, it's hard to imagine Motoko being a whole lot more ready for the day than being reborn. The music in this sequence patiently glides along with her rebirth. An eastern theme I'm sure, but even we US folks can appreciate a good rebirth every now and then.

Rating: 7

Sound

Raindrops, muffled underwater sounds, music, machine gun fire, radio transmission loss, and static all play a part in presenting good themed anime. When the time is right, that is. An historical piece would have to rely on areas of nostalgia to sell the story, whereas a futuristic, but plausible future, story must deliver sensory intrigue, calling upon other centers of the brain.

This is probably the only anime DVD I own where I like the english language version better than the Japanese w/ subtitles. I don't really know why, but the voices fit well into the characters. Especially Batou's. He's big, and the voice actor made a good, big voice, but not a John Wayne voice.

Finally, the often un-noticed part of any good soundtrack. Silence. You can tell a lot of story by just shutting up and doing you thing, without advertisting or giving the audience a play-by-play every second of the film. The drama builds as we expect the character to leap out with some words of wisdom or folly. But if they constantly speak, what the say gets lost in their own words.

Rating: 8

Presentation

I can't say GITS as a movie is truly original. It takes many areas of content from other shows. Blade Runner was more original, written and directed far before GITS. I compare these two stories for a couple of reasons.

First, in GITS, as in BR, you see a character forced to interact with his/her environment because of duty, policy, and default skill. They have no way out, so they might as well kick some ass before they get kicked. Fallibility is present in both Motoko's and Deckard's written character, and we see it show up regularly.

Second, they're hunting. What makes a good police drama is how you get to follow the good guy down a dark path towards an eventual resolution. You don't know what, but you know that the story was written to HAVE a resolution. It's not the paperwork driven daily grind. It's the cool stuff we all think cops do all the time. The reality of this life choice is much different. But in entertainment, the geeked up story has to capture the immagination of its audience.

Finally, it's worth noting that there wasn't any light moments in GITS. No laughing or making fun. The dark, passionate story unfolds without any breaks, so there isn't much humor available to interject into the story by the audience. You get what you get.

Go watch it again. You'll see what I mean.

Rating: 8

Final Verdict

7.83 (good)

Reviewed by bladerunner2005, Jul 22, 2005

Comments

  1. BGHughes Banned Member Jul 22, 2005

    well it is a nice review, i dont like the show but i dont hate it either this just sumss up how i feel bout it to

  2. patlabor Jul 25, 2005

    Thanks for good review. It's spiritual story. If you look for action, it's ok.

  3. VsPeC Jul 27, 2005

    Quite an difficult anime to understand if Japanese isn't your native language. It's an anime that uses alot of idioms and proverbs from many cultures around the world so unless you have a core knowledge of what alot of these mean oftentime it will leave you guessing.

  4. chibazen Aug 09, 2005

    Along with a Akira it's still the best bet when looking for future themed anime - simply stunning

  5. rvz Jan 24, 2006

    With GITS, the anime and the show could be a good example of manga's stuff to the public who doesn't know this "art".

  6. Sanisa Feb 24, 2010

    Thanks for the review! Nice ^__^

  7. UberDog Mar 23, 2015

    A simple review but can't argue against the ratings all the same.

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