Initial Review: Ghost in the Shell (1995)

ghost-in-the-shell-1995Questioning the idea of what it means to be alive is an interesting thing to ask, and that is the idea behind Ghost in the Shell. First off, the movie is set in a futuristic sci-fi setting in which androids and bio-nano enhancement technologies exist. Most people have undergone some sort of operation in which their brain has been enhanced artificially by some sort of computing device. Our main character, Motoko Kusanagi however, has a  full android body. The body is referred to as a Shell, and the mind/soul is referred to as a Ghost, hence, Ghost in the Shell. While I haven’t seen the film enough times to make super crazy in depth and detailed interpretations of this, what I can say is that one of the key ideas is to question what a “soul” or “mind” is; I used both of these words to refer to what a Ghost is, or at least my interpretation of it, and I would also like to discuss this wordage. The idea is that the thing that makes something unique, or individual, are the memories that that thing possess, the part of the mind that is intangible and unable to be known by anything else, and that is really what a Ghost is (again, my interpretation on a first watch). The very essence of a person, their memories, is their soul and that is what a Ghost is, a person’s past experiences, memories, and ideas. This idea is then used to state that anything with this so called Ghost, must therefore be sentient and alive, because if something has a soula Ghostit must be alive. This idea is put into practice when a cybernetic body is able to create its own Ghost, and claims itself to be a sentient and, therefore, living being. That is the idea of the film, to question the idea of what “life” is, and what the term can and should be applied to. While I did enjoy the philosophical ideas of the film, I also didn’t feel moved or enlightened after having watched it. It is without a doubt good, but I also don’t feel as if it were anything more than that. The film explores some very interesting concepts, and is certainly worth the watch, even if its just to say that you’ve seen it, seeing that it is fairly influential, but it isn’t anything that will make you have an epiphany (or maybe it didn’t have that impact on me because its a question I’ve already pondered myself to a significant degree). The franchise itself is absolutely massive, and I plan on indulging myself in it more. I really appreciate the film, but I also think that it wasn’t anything more than good, and so I give the movie a:

7 out of 10.              Update

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12 thoughts on “Initial Review: Ghost in the Shell (1995)

  1. I remember when I first saw this I wasn’t all that interested but I was fairly new to anime back then (that wasn’t the Sailor Moon type anime) so I’ve been meaning to revisit it now and see if I find it a bit more intriguing. Will have to get around to that soon. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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