[pullquote cite=”” type=”left, right”][amazon text=Amazon&template=carousel&chan=That Film Guy&asin=B00009PAFF][/pullquote] Ghost in the Shell has become one of the most popular animes of all time, and also one of the most culturally significant. Although a box office flop, the film has become a massive cult hit, with it being many people’s introduction to anime. An adaptation of the manga of the same name by Masamune Shirow, Ghost in the Shell is dark, gothic, and a joy to watch.
Set in 2029 when the entire world is interconnected via a virtual cyberspace, a female body is assembled at the corporation Megatech without authorization. The government division Section 9 gets the body to find out why it was built and uncovers that while the body is completely robotic and has no brain cells, there are indications that there is a soul, or a ‘ghost’, inside it.
The storyline is complex and deep about a lost soul inside a robot’s body, and the animation is truly brilliant. Being credited as one of the first anime films to blend computer and cell animation, it’s a marvel of animation work. Unfortunately, there are some scenes of over the top gore and violence that seem really out of place and suck you out of the film.
It’s always a difficult job adapting an 8 volume manga series into an 82 minute film, and this is were the film starts to show its weaknesses. For a film with a relatively short running time, it’s remarkably slow-paced. Scenes tend to drag beyond the time when it feels comfortable to end. This doesn’t really detract from the overall experience though, as Ghost in the Shell is a very good film, and is almost, but not quite as good as Akira.