Ghost in the Shell (1995) / Animation-Sci Fi

MPAA Rated: R for bloody violence, nudity, and language
Running Time: 83 min.

Cast (English dub): Mimi Woods, Richard George, William Frederick, Abe Lasser
Director: Mamoru Oshii
Screenplay: Kazunori Ito (based on the comic book by Masamune Shirow)
Review published February 10, 2000

Yes, it's gorgeous animation.  Yes, it's stylish direction.  But what makes Ghost in the Shell stand out is that it's just damn good sci-fi.  If you are a Blade Runner fan looking for another fix in the cyberpunk experience, Ghost in the Shell is just what you'll need.  Set in the year 2029, where human existence is interconnected with technology and the world has become one big network, hacking becomes the crime du jour.  Section 9 is the bureau designated to crack down on the hackers and they have their hands full fighting the world's hacking kingpin, dubbed The Puppet Master.  

Ghost in the Shell is eye candy to be sure, but it's also intelligently written and conceived, and should please cyberheads to no end with it's atmosphere and concepts fleshed out on the screen.  Elements of many sci-fi staples abound, including the aforementioned Blade Runner, RoboCop, and Predator.  However, this is entertaining on its own terms, and is influential in the world of anime in it's own right, with scores of imitators following suit.  Though clearly of limited appeal, Ghost in the Shell is a must see for anime-niacs, sci-fi junkies, and anyone looking for a very intelligent diversion in the video store. 

Qwipster's rating::

2000 Vince Leo