The crappy Americanized remake/live action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell has hit theatres with a thud. So today’s Sunday Matinee is the original animated movie from 1995.
Based on Masamune Shirow’s 1989 comic book, the 1995 animated movie was a streamlined adaptation of it following the adventures of Major Motoko Kusanagi and her squad of troubleshooting specialists of Section 9.
For those unfamiliar with the source material or the movie, the story follows the Major and she and her team try and track down a mysterious hacker called the Puppet Master. It’s the future and most people are now cyborgs and most people are augmented in some way. The Puppet Master is hacking into people and taking over their bodies and forcing them to do stuff for it. The Major and her team try to find out who the Puppet Master is.
When the original movie hit theatres it blew people away. The movie is primarily hand drawn animation and the action and city scenes are phenomenal. The movie does condense the comic and the result has the story feeling a little light on character development but it’s still a great movie. The movie spawned a sequel Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence and then a prequel TV series that’s even more brilliant, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.
The animation in Stand Alone Complex isn’t as detailed or refined but the stories are amazing. Using J.D. Salinger’s stories Catcher in the Rye and The Laughing Man as plot points the series follows the Major and Section 9 as they try and catch a mysterious hacker called The Laughing Man. There are episodes the borrow and pay homage to stuff like Jean-Luc Godard’s À bout de souffle. The series is excellent and way smarter than you’d think an animated TV series would be.