Ghost in the Shell 95

Finished my rewatch of GitS 95. My rating did not change, it is still a 7/10.

Ghost in the Shell is quite the franchise. It has tons of installments, one of the most popular ones being the movie from 1995 simply titled 'Ghost in the Shell.' Produced by studio Production I.G and directed by Mamoru Oshii, this movie is known as being some of the best anime has to offer in terms of sci-fi. Oshii himself is known as being a masterful director, but just how good is this movie? I decided to rewatch it because I felt like a lot of what the movie tried to convey was lost on me during my inital viewing, and so I wanted to try and understand it better. The question is then, did I manage to do that?

But first, a quick plot synopsis. Usually, I prefer writing my own, but sometimes, especially if it's a bit of a difficult plot, I think copying is fine.

"In the year 2029, Niihama City has become a technologically advanced metropolis. Due to great improvements in cybernetics, its citizens are able to replace their limbs with robotic parts. The world is now more interconnected than ever before, and the city's Public Security Section 9 is responsible for combating corruption, terrorism, and other dangerous threats following this shift towards globalization. The strong-willed Major Motoko Kusanagi of Section 9 spearheads a case involving a mysterious hacker known only as the "Puppet Master," who leaves a trail of victims stripped of their memories. Like many in this futuristic world, the Puppet Master's body is almost entirely robotic, giving them incredible power. As Motoko and her subordinates follow the enigmatic criminal's trail, other parties—including Section 6—start to get involved, forcing her to confront the extremely complicated nature of the case. Pondering about various philosophical questions, such as her own life's meaning, Motoko soon realizes that the one who will provide these answers is none other than the Puppet Master themself."

Sort of, it's a bit complicated. It was a lot easier for me to follow the plot this time around, most likely just because I paid attention, however, it was made significantly more difficult because of one certain dialouge scene, which I will come back to later. During this viewing of the movie, I had also watched the first season of Standalone Complex, a TV anime with the same cast, but set separate in terms of the canon. This is something I hadn't when I watched it initially. To be frank, this improved my viewing experience a lot, no doubt about it, as the movie itself does a very subpar job of introducing you to the various main characters and who they are. Sure, you get a general idea, but nothing that really in depth, which I found to be quite detrimental to the overall quality of the work, especially considering that this was the first piece of Ghost in the Shell made in animation, and it was also my first exposure to the franchise. I don't mean to be just negative when it comes to the way the movie handles characterization though, there are tons of small tidbits that give you some hint into what each character thinks and such. For example, one of the characters, Togusa, uses an old revolver as a weapon, even though he could be using a newer weapon. Small things like that are all over the movie, and it's really great.

I love the cityscapes and the doors, all aspects of the production are great. The dialouge itself varies from fairly engaging, to "what are they even talking about?" The movie struck a good balance between this during the elevator scenes, and the scene where the Major is diving. I liked these a lot, because I actually understood what they were talking about, and I found the concepts the characters discussed interesting. At its best, the dialouge was like a mix of "the writer is clearly trying to convey something here" and "I can totally see these characters discussing this." At its worst, the dialouge is confusing and pretentious. During the climax of the movie, there's a long dialogue scene, where two characters are just talking, and I barely understood what they were even talking about, and this is very specific to that exact scene. The movie has plenty of just characters discussing various things, but it always felt like I understood what was being discussed. During this scene however, I just had a confused look in my face the entire time. And it's fairly long scene too.

In closing, I think Ghost in the Shell 95 is a movie that every anime fan needs to watch, because it really is a visual spectacle, not to mention that it, along with Evangelion, City Hunter, Sailor Moon, and so many more, really encapsulate the height of aesthethic at that time. It has a runtime of less than 90 minutes too, so I highly reccomend this movie. From beautiful cityscapes, to subtle pieces of characterization, and extremely fluid animation, are there any reasons *not* to check out this movie?