The skillful blending of drawn animation and computer-generated imagery excited anime fans when this science fiction mystery was released in 1995: many enthusiasts believe Ghost suggests what the future of anime will be, at least in the short term. The film is set in the not-too-distant future, when an unnamed government uses lifelike cyborgs or "enhanced" humans for undercover work. One of the key cyborgs is The Major, Motoko Kusanagi, who resembles a cross between The Terminator and a Playboy centerfold. She finds herself caught up in a tangled web of espionage and counterespionage as she searches for the mysterious superhacker known as "The Puppet Master."
Mamoru Oshii directs with a staccato rhythm, alternating sequences of rapid-fire action (car chases, gun battles, explosions) with static dialogue scenes that allow the characters to sort out the vaguely mystical and rather convoluted plot. Kusanagi’s final quote from I Corinthians suggests that electronic evolution may compliment and eventually supplant organic evolution. The minor nudity, profanity, and considerable violence would earn Ghost in the Shell at least a PG rating. —Charles Solomon
About Ghost in the Shell (1995)
Starring: Steve Blum, Kôichi Yamadera, Shigeru Chiba, Richard Epcar, Richard Cansino, William Knight, Takashi Matsuyama, Steve Bulen, Tamio Ôki, Dorothy Elias-Fahn, Akio Ôtsuka, Tesshô Genda, Stephen Apostolina, Shinji Ogawa, Gloria Oldman, Milton James, Stephen Davis, Atsuko Tanaka, Toni Burke, Tom Carlton, George Celik, Gina Connell, Meg Hamilton, Christopher Joyce, Joan Mason, Gilbert Navarro, Iemasa Kayumi, Leo Gray, Namaki Masakazu, Mitsuru Miyamoto
Director: Mamoru Oshii
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