Based on the original Japanese anime, “Ghost in the Shell” turns the animated movie and series into a live action film. Though fans of the original movie and show should be excited, the movie wasn’t able to match the anime’s high ratings.
“Ghost in the Shell” once began as a movie in 1995 and then became adapted as an anime series in the 2000’s. The essential plot of the series translates well into the movie, but like many condensed series, almost everything is left out. Certain scenes and characters are dropped to conserve time, but background stories and other key elements are missing, too.
What strikes fans as most unsettling is the portrayal of Maj. Motoko Kusanagi as white rather than Asian. Scarlett Johansson does an outstanding job playing the cyborg agent. Her impassive facial expressions and tone of voice recreates the Major in an authentic and personal style. While everything about her looks like Major, Johansson just isn’t who fans wanted to see.
Despite the film’s setbacks, the visual display and cinematography was beautifully mastered. Dreamworks Animation worked on the production of this film, so I wasn’t too surprised at the bright and colorful images of the city and the technology that makes up Major.
The driving theme that affects Major’s decisions plays a huge role in the story. What defines life, and what are the core components of humanity?
Since her operation, Major has lost not only her memories, but any emotional connection towards another living being. Her quest for self-belonging and self-doubt intermix as she takes on two separate entities — the cyber-terrorist and her robotic agency.
When Major discovers the terrorist, he gives her more information than the agency did. Now with two sides balanced on each hand, she isn’t sure who to believe. Only the past can tell her the truth, but like the movie states, only her actions can define who she is.
Recently, it seems as if more Japanese animation series are being transformed into live action films. The anime “Attack on Titan” was released in 2015 as a two-part film with similar feedback from fans — good but not so great compared to the series.
Later this year, another popular anime is being released as an American live action film —“Death Note.” Come August 2017, the new film will be released on Netflix.
With hit anime series being progressively adapted into live action films, fans can only hope their fullest dreams will be realized by bringing their favorite animated series into reality.