Ghost in the Shell
25th Anniversary Edition
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2029 A female government cyber agent and the Internal Bureau of Investigations are hot on the trail of The Puppet Master - a computer virus capable of invading cybernetic brains and altering its victim's memory. Created by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and codenamed Project 2501, this 'hacker' is actually a prototype virtual agent which has now defied its makers by seeking asylum within a new host body outside of the electronic net. Now the two agencies must maneuver against each another in a violent, high-tech race to capture the omnipresent entity. Ghost in the Shell took the world by storm exhibiting a new dimension of anime with unprecedented and mesmerizing cinematic expression. Seamlessly merging traditional cel animation with the latest computer graphic imagery, this stunning sci-fi spectacle broke through the boundaries of mainstream animation with detailed artistic expression and a uniquely intelligent story line. The film has gone on to inspire a generation of filmmakers and has become the most revered anime feature of all time. Veteran anime writer/director/producer Mamoru Oshii, working in conjunction with the animators at Production I.G. (Blood: The Last Vampire, Kaidohmaru, Kill Bill) brought to life Masamune Shirow's vision. This excellent cyberpunk thriller was co-produced by Manga Entertainment and enjoyed both critical and popular success at the U.S. box office and was the first Japanese animated film to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Top Video Sales Chart.
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Like mentioned in bonjanqi's review here, the subtitles are not good with misspellings, errors, and numerous lines with awkward phrasing.
What hasn't been mentioned though is that the 5.1 English audio is also badly screwed up. It's missing numerous sound effects, it's very attenuated, and the LFE is muted. The English audio on the previous DVD releases are of much better quality than this with the sound effects in tact. There are forum posts elsewhere with the same complaints such as on The Fandom Post and Blu-ray forums.
To make matters worse, instead of acknowledging the problems and standing behind their product, Anchor Bay are trying to hide and ignore it by deleting posts that mention it off their social media pages like their Facebook. After waiting years for a proper Blu-ray of the original version of Ghost In the Shell to come out in America and for it to get a poor release by a publisher that doesn't care is extremely disappointing.
Unfortunately, the set still has serious flaws, so I subtracted two stars. For one, the subtitles are shamefully bad for such a high-profile release. There are serious timing issues, grammar and spelling errors all over the place, and a generally stiff and unnatural tone, as if the person writing the titles didn't speak English very well. At one point they even mess up the gender of a minor character. (FYI, it's a later reference to the programmer seeking asylum in the opening scene. They call him "she." Twice!) A few errors are understandable, but there are so many in this version that they start to distract from the story. Unpaid fansubbers have gotten it right in the past, so how can a publisher fail so badly?
Secondly, there are no extras apart from a couple of brief essays in the insert booklet. For a "25th Anniversary Edition," that seems pretty cheap.
To sum it all up, if you haven't purchased this film before, this is definitely the best version available in the United States. However, it's far from a definitive release. This may be the best we'll ever get, but if you hate spending money on sub-standard releases, you may want to avoid this one anyway.
However.....the subtitles, must have been done by someone independent of the audio because they have NOTHING in common with what is being said. In fact some of the sentences don't even make sense. All your base are belong to us style. So if you can live without subtitles, and want an HD video version, this might be for you. I got it for $10 so I can't complain! If you are watching it in Japanese and want English subs you might want to stay away from this one....as once again the subtitles are so bad I HAD to comment on them. They have literally nothing to do with the lines you remembered and straight out don't make sense.
" So why the nickname?"
"The nickname puppetmaster comes from the ghost hacking."
"Well if he is so skilled, how come he is using an outdated HA3 virus?"
" Think about it a minute. You have to figure he's either covering his tracks or decoying us. Even though a new technique would be harder for us to trace it might also arouse suspicion about colonel Malases role in this affair"
"this is his first visit to Japan."
"Why does such a badass use an old HA-3?"
"The new types are certainly harder to be detected or to be traced.
But, under the circumstances, people will suspect the former military leader Mares."
So..... this is just ONE example, the text's make no sense and are completely different from what is spoken.
Side note: if you're fluent in Japanese and don't need the subs, rating is four stars, as the other issues are not that bad.
As mentioned in numerous comments, the subtitles are horrible. It seems that the translators had to work with just lines of text and never saw the movie. If you know a bit about Japanese language, you know that everything depends on context, and when you don't have context, it leads to bad translations, such as several "she" instead of "he", "we" instead of "I", etc. as the movie can be a bit complex, it can make it very hard for someone who never saw the movie to understand it.
The picture quality is okay, but for some reason is not true 1920x1080, there is a black frame all around the picture! I never saw that on a bluray before. As mentioned by others, it is the original version of the movie, not the new one with the cgi.
Japanese audio is decent, but at times seems to be outta sync (but it may be the movie, not the bluray).
Overall, if you saw the movie already and want to have s bluray (and don't have anything else), go for it. If you're new to GitS and don't mind a tiny drop in quality (really really tiny), and you can find it, go for the dvd instead, it'll have better subs. If you have the dvd already, this bluray is unnecessary.
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The story is very compelling and the recent movie follows very closely
to this classic.