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Ghost in the Shell README: 1995-2017 Hardcover – November 7, 2017
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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Like encyclopedias dedicated to exploring the Star Wars or Star Trek universe, or Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, this is a comprehensive compendium covering the franchise's various incarnations from it's beginning to current times (1995-2017). It is a lovingly compiled book with fantastic art and an exhaustive explorations of all things Ghost in the Shell. The may not be the best introduction to the GitS universe as it is ideally suited for the fan who is in to all of the minutia. It is a solid, well printed hardcover that would make a great gift.
The book is organized by series (or film) and by date. The nice thing is that each series is discussed independently so there won't be spoilers if you haven't seen each film or series. The interviews with the creators do have some spoilers, but are really interesting and worth reading once you've seen the majority of the content.
The book has many stills and glossy photos, artwork, concept art, and just tons of information. They list the dates they worked on and released each film and series, who the voice actors were (the Japanese actors that is), and a lot of character background.
I consider myself a superfan of this series since the original film is what opened my eyes to adult anime (not shonen anime, which I still enjoy, don't get me wrong!). This is a book which is very nice, but would have cause me to drool over if it was published back in the mid 2000s (after GitS 2nd Gig). Nowadays a lot of the information here is online, but the concept art and glossy photos are really a joy to look at.
Highly recommended for any casual to serious fan of Ghost in the Shell (the anime films and series that is). And if you haven't watched them, then you really should. And start with the original 1995 film and watch it subbed, not dubbed. It is truly a film that changed the world's view of anime.
This book hard cover and is oversized. The artwork alone makes it worthy of a place on the coffee table but there is so much more.
For those who are unaware, Ghost in the Shell originated with the Japanese manga published in 1989 under the name of Mobile Armored Riot Police: The Ghost in the Shell, written and illustrated by Shirow Masamune. The work so captured public attention that it has become a major franchise that has spun off multiple animated movies and even a live action movie in 2017. This book covers everything (to some extent) but mostly focuses on the manga and anime.
There are detailed sketches and finished artwork of all of the characters and machinery as well as indepth discussions of the story lines. This is a cosplayer's dream book because the sketches are so clear and precise.
I'm not sure how much interest this book would hold for people not familiar with GitS but for even casual fans, it's a feast for the eyes as well as a beautiful look at this classic story.
Overall, its a nice book in pictorial form, starting with the original anime Ghost in the Shell released in 1995, followed by with TV shows, such as the immensely popular Stand Alone Complex. It then explore the films Ghost in the Shell and Innocence in detail, exploring the characters, weapons, and various details. Followed, again with the same set up for the TV shows.
Ultimately, while the new film seems to be a tangential selling point, only a few pages are dedicated to it. The bulk of the book is an homage to why the series ultimately became a Hollywood film. Because as the anime stands, its a great film and show. As director of the film remarked, "The Hollywood version made me reflect anew on the virtues of traditional animation." For the Ghost in the Shell fan of the anime kind, this is something you will definitely want to grab to deepen your knowledge of its mythology.