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, Doug Stone, Kirk Thornton, Kôichi Yamadera, Peter Spellos, Richard Epcar, Michael Sorich, William Knight, Richard Cansino, Simon Prescott, Shigeru Chiba, Skip Stellrecht, Akio Ôtsuka, Lia Sargent, Tom Wyner, Takashi Matsuyama, Stephen Apostolina, Christopher Joyce, Joe Romersa, Kevin Seymour, John Snyder, Tamio Ôki, Steve Bulen, Kazuhiro Yamaji, Tesshô Genda, Maaya Sakamoto, Dorothy Elias-Fahn, Gilbert Navarro, Shinji Ogawa, Gloria Oldman
Director: Mamoru Oshii
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