If ever there was a series where the word 'reboot' could actually apply, Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie would be it (oh, the pun we could have with this if only there was time....THE PUN!). Is this a successful upgrade? Or should it be thrown on the junkheap never to be spoken of again?
Let's find out!
Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie takes place after the events of Ghost in the Shell: Arise (which yes, you should probably watch before seeing the movie, but if you don't you should still be able to pick up what they're putting down).
Ghost in the Shell is set in the not-so-distant future of 2027, where people just aren't what they used to be....In that, a lot of them aren't really 'people' anymore, they're cyborgs. Just like with anything this has it's positives and negatives. The upside includes things like superhuman strength, having a private chatroom in your own head and I assume being able to watch Youtube at work without your boss knowing about it.
The downsides include questioning your humanity, governments trying to own you and keeping up with the latest technology being a very real matter of life and death.
Within this world there is one cyborg that stands out amongst all others, Major Motoko Kusanagi. She leads her squad, Public Security Section 9, as they take on contracts from the government to do what others can't.
Never heard of Kusanagi before now?
Let me explain real quick. Before Erza Scarlett, before Mikasa Ackerman, there was Major Motoko Kusanagi and in a fight between all three.... She would be the definitive champion.
Will newcomers to the franchise enjoy the movie?
But getting into the Ghost in the Shell franchise can be daunting.
This new movie offers a chance for newcomers to plug and play, so to speak. Just be aware that, as with every Ghost in the Shell offering, this is a movie that requires you to pay attention the whole time.
There will be points where you don't understand what's going on. That's part of it. It's not going to hold your hand and explain everything all at once. As far as Ghost in the Shell storylines go though, the new movie isn't so fast paced that you'll be lost for long.
Will the die-hard fans love it?
Ghost in the Shell is up there with Studio Ghibli in the world of anime: it's iconic. There are going to be fans of the original, that simply won't be happy with the new stuff because the originals got it right the first time anyway.
And besides, how many times can you remake THAT jump scene?
Lots of times actually....
Mostly though, I think long-time fans will feel relieved by how close it is to the original in the ways that count. The music contributions of Cornelius (who you may know from contributions with Salyu X Salyu, who also does the opening theme for Ghost in the Shell: Arise) are huge in setting up the melancholy mood.
Stylistically, this film is not a dramatic departure from the original. The fine lines and use of light against dark that are synonymous with Ghost in the Shell are still very much present within the movie. The character designs aren't identical, but they're also not so different that you can't recognise a familiar face.
On the otherhand, I know at least one Ghost in the Shell fan who's not that fond of the fact that these guys speak-
Personally, they're my mechanical spirit animals and I want one.
It can't be easy to create the re-imagining of a story that blew so many minds when it first arrived with it's storyline, characters and technology. But, I think this new movie proves that it can be done as long as you're not too eager to stamp your own mark, that you trample on everything that made it great to begin with. I think they've made this movie accessible and enjoyable for old and new fans alike.
It might be a fresh shell, but the Ghost of this franchise is very much alive.
8 out of 10 electronic sheep.
Have you seen the new movie yet? What did YOU think?
<3 Kitty Em