Ghost in the Shell (1995) – Anime Film Review

Existential angst in the form of cyberpunk anime from Japan. A form of artificial intelligence has become self aware, and now it`s seeking a way to escape from cyberspace into the real world. Ironically, the special forces tracking it down are formerly human beings whose bodies and brains have been so enhanced with modern technology that it`s hard to say how much of their humanity is left. The film explores weighty issues like: What is identity? Can artificial intelligence have a soul? Consequently, it often feels closer in spirit to an art house film than to a typical science fiction thriller, despite the great action scenes. Unfortunately, the story occasionally sags under the weight of its philosophical speculation. Nevertheless, this is an exciting effort, with an interesting premise, a strong plot, and involving characters. It ranks among the best animated features ever from Japan, easily on par with the best that live-action science fiction has to offer.
GHOST IN THE SHELL (Bandai Visual Company, 1995). Directed by Mamoru Oshii. Screenplay by Kazunori Ito, from the comic by Masamune Shirow. Japanese Voices: Atsuko Tanaka, Akio Otsuka, tamio Oki, Iemasa Kayumi, Koichi Yamadera, Tessho Genda. English Voices: Mimi Woods, Steve Bulen, Richard Cansino, Richard Epcar, Christopher Joyce, William Knight.

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