Monday, April 28, 2008

Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell began as a cyberpunk manga comic created by Masamune Shirow, first published in 1989. A sequel, Ghost in the Shell 2: Man/Machine Interface, was released in 2002.

It has since been adapted into three films - Ghost in the Shell, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Solid State Society and two television series - Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig

It is an action-thriller based in the near future, centred around Motoko Kusanagi, a cyborg member of a covert operations section of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission specialising in tackling technology-related crime.

As well as being a well-paced, action-packed adventure, Ghost in the Shell looks at the ethical and philosophical implications of the merging of humanity and technology, artificial intelligence and the internet.

After watching a lot of anime, I've got used to ignoring the lip-sync atrocities that come from dubbing English onto Japanese, however the English dub is better than most and the script is intelligent and witty.

If you're going to start somewhere, I'd begin with the 'Stand Alone Complex' television series, worth it just for the 'Tachikoma' robots, an experiment with collective AI learning that is both thoughtful and hilarious.

The makers of the Matrix trilogy have acknowledged the influence of Ghost in the Shell, and DreamWorks have recently acquired the rights to produce a live action film.


soraneko said...

After you REALLY get into it, you find that watching animé subtitles is a even more fun, and the literal translations are amusing :)

brett jordan said...

I struggle with this one... I don't mind reading subtitles, and I accept that they are often much closer to the original meaning... however, I find listening to dialogue a lot more relaxing, and easier to accomplish when 'multi-tasking', whether that be eating a meal, or checking my email.