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Ghost in the Shell (1996)

Atsuko Tanaka , Iemasa Kayumi , Mamoru Oshii  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (536 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Atsuko Tanaka, Iemasa Kayumi, Akio ‘tsuka, KŰichi Yamadera, Tamio ‘ki
  • Directors: Mamoru Oshii
  • Writers: Kazunori ItŰ, Masamune Shirow
  • Producers: Andy Frain, Hiroshi Yamazaki, Ken Iyadomi, Ken Matsumoto, Laurence Guinness
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Palm Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: March 31, 1998
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (536 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304493681
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,316 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ghost in the Shell" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Documentary "The Making of Ghost in the Shell"
  • Complete movie production report

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

DVD. Japanimation. Hit animated feature film by Mamoru Osh ii. In Engl & Japanese w/ subtitled. Bio, mking-of spec. & promo trailer.

Amazon.com

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


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
249 of 263 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning March 1, 2000
By A Customer
Format:DVD
I've read a few reviews comparing 'Ghost in the Shell' to 'The Matrix'. Personally I don't think it's an accurate comparison at all. Think 'Blade Runner' here. It has the same kind of atmosphere that made BR such a cult movie and it deals with the same subject. Compared to most other animes out there, GITS may seem a little dull, but if you're the kind who likes to have some brain activity when watching an anime, then you'll probably like this. One other thing that caught my attention is that, like 'Blade Runner', it flows along like water. You could easily start watching it and find yourself loosing track of time. It is short tough, only 82 min. It's a shame really, because with the vast amount of sub-plots present in Masamune Shirow's original work they could easily make an anime with well over 2hrs. That aside, the animation is some of the best you will ever see. Kusanagi's battle with the tank at the end comes to mind. Very sleek. The music is also very peculiar. It's kinda of a cross between ambient, electronica and new age. It's not for everyone be warned. Unlike normal music scores, Kenji Kawai's score does not bring the action to life, quite on the contrary. It's always present very softly in the background to the point of you forgetting about it. It creates a sense of detachment, or contemplation that, in my opinion, works great for this kind of movie, however I can see why some people would disagree. All in all, this one is a true classic to be ranked along the side of Akira. Get it!
Image Quality: Very good for the most part. The anime's dark atmosphere and dull colours transfer well to DVD.
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82 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intellectual, existential action anime March 6, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
An existential action anime? That's what Ghost In The Shell, a.k.a. Kokakukidotai (Shell Mobile Force) is, with animation sporting top-of-the-line computer imagery in the Bladerunner-like metropolis of Newport, but that's secondary compared to the underlying intellectual theme.
Major Kusanagi Motoko is a skillfully trained cyborg assassin in Newport's Section 9, who's taking out a diplomat illegally trying to give immunity to a listed programmer, demonstrates her training, including an amazing moment when she dives off a building, picks off her target, and via a thermoptic camouflage (i.e. portable cloaking device), vanishes from sight.
She and the members of her team, consisting of the mostly human Togusa, Ichikawa, and Batou, a burly no-nonsense blond cyborg with electronic eye implants, are trying to track down the Puppet Master. The Puppet Master is a master hacker who hacks into people's brains and uses them for his dirty work, presumably to carry out espionage or terrorism, leaving his puppets no memory of their infiltration. One of his puppets keeps using a public computer to try to infiltrate the brain of his wife, who is divorcing him and wants custody of their child. When he's picked up, he is told by Section 9 that his wife, child, and divorce are all false memories imprinted by the Puppet Master, causing further distress to the man when he is told the fake memories can't be erased.
However, there are two conflicts going on. One is Kusanagi's mission to hunt down the Puppet Master. The other and the one with a deeper meaning is the search for her identity within the scheme of a whole, or rather, something beyond her individual self, highlighted by her words taken from the Book of Corinthians: "For now we through a glass, darkly.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really a unique film for the genre. August 10, 1999
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Ghost in the Shell has a very cranial plot, so those viewers who think anime is nothing more than flying guts and warped tentacles might as well crawl back into their sewer, because they're not going to like it. On the other hand, anyone who has seen and appreciated 2001 or Royal Space Force: Wings of Onneamis will love Ghost in the Shell. The movie is much more complex than it actually appears, and has a fascinating plot surrounding the destination of the human soul in the future, although the more memorable images are of rampant gunfire and Motoko Kusanagi's omnipresent bare breasts. The animation is excellent in both its computer and cel forms, although the character design is very original - and very worthwhile. Ghost in the Shell surpasses Akira as a vehicle for the popular display of anime largely because of its more charismatic cast and its fascinating plot. Akira dealt with similar subject matter, had a longer running time, and had the same high-quality animation that Ghost in the Shell has, but Ghost is better because it can be widely appreciated not for its spectacle but for its intelligence. Both Akira and Ghost in the Shell had important messages in them. Unfortunately Akira's violence has become a myth in its own right instead of incidental. Some people will fault Ghost in the Shell for not going to the same extremes. They should stick to Akira. In short, if you want beautiful, intelligent and original anime, Ghost in the Shell is for you. It is the showcase that Manga Video promoted, but not in the way they think it is. Still, you don't want to miss it.
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Anime is Dead!
I partly agree with J.O. Booker. I wasn't part of the original "scene", though I was exposed to it before it went mainstream in the West. His sentiment is common to all niche cultures that make it to the spotlight (an excellent example that comes to mind is the Norwegian black metal... Read More
Mar 28, 2010 by sentinel |  See all 18 posts
What DVD or DVD set of "Ghost in the Shell" would you recommend for a...
Try the original movie, then do SAC. 2nd Gig is the sequel to SAC.
Mar 17, 2008 by Scott Saxon |  See all 10 posts
Is there a difference?
The original series did have two openings, this is common for longer series, to change opening animations and theme songs. usually half way through, or in the case of Eureka Seven, every 13 episodes. Adult swim just used the later opening theme for the whole series. Adult swim tends to do that,... Read More
Mar 17, 2008 by Scott Saxon |  See all 2 posts
Shedding some light on the influences on Ghost in the Shell Be the first to reply
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