Ghost in the Shell (1995) (Mondo X SteelBook Series #018) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Mamoru Oshii
Starring: Atsuko Tanaka, Iemasa Kayumi, Akio Ôtsuka
Rated: UR/Region A/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Where to get it: ANCHOR BAY
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.
While I’m not the world’s biggest Anime fan, there are a whole bunch of hardcore Anime fans who would consider Ghost in the Shell to be the Citizen Cain of the genre. And I will admit that the film is very influential to both its own genre and to others, especially sci-fi. One could make a good argument that Ghost in the Shell was the blueprint for such films as The Matrix. This very adult oriented anime packs a very violent and visually spectacular film that might be confusing in spots but is never dull. The characters are very well developed and it takes all things that might have helped give birth to the idea before it, adds very creative and smart concepts to it in order to make the film that we have here. If I were a bigger Anime fan I’d give it a five easily, but since I’m just a simple horror reviewer, I admit some confused me and as a result, some isn’t that easy to follow.
What we get is just fine for most. There are great animation sequences and there is really gnarly violence on screen for a good portion of the film. The movie was on Blu-ray before in a 1080i transfer, here with a slight upgrade to 1080p, we have a better look that adds to the overall enjoyment of a movie of this nature. There are some old specs here and there, but the never does looks bad. Overall a solid look for a very solid film that other’s more keen on the know-how will argue is more than solid. If you love this type of stuff, then this is the version you’ll want. I just wish there was some form of features on the disc. To spite that there is still a nice booklet that comes with the disc that is well worth reading.
– English and Japanese Audio
Quality of Transfer: 89%