Rating 2/5 – I gave the Ghost in the Shell movie a rating based on how beautiful it looked. This Ghost in the Shell movie is top to bottom gorgeous. The Ghost in the Shell movie features a bold and imaginative visual landscape that’s a feast for they eyes. The Ghost in the Shell movie has breathtaking action set pieces lift right from the anime. Scarlet Johansson running around in an all white unitard for most of the movie? Gorgeous. So, what happened? How did the Ghost in the Shell movie become the equivalent of watching pretty paint drying? Because make no mistake, the Ghost in the Shell movie is a visual work of art. Ghost in the Shell is also boring as fuck.
Ghost in the Shell Anime
Any fandom has levels of “popular” and anime, especially Ghost in the Shell, was no different. Akira is considered the #1 Anime in America. Ghost in the Shell comes a really close second. Ghost in the Shell is a classic. It was the boom of VHS that helped increase the popularity of Anime. Video store owners had to stock the shelves and Japan has all of these awesome cartoons. So, why not? Between 1984 and 1995 one amazing anime after another filtered into the pop culture consciousness. This also gave rise to American Anime Geek Culture as well as the rise of Cosplay as a social paradigm.
The truth about Ghost in the Shell is that it’s a high octane action story with deep themes qualified by a hell of a lot of exposition. The Ghost in the Shell movie attempted to duplicate this but with an American sensibility painted over a Japanese back drop. That’s hard to describe but honest Anime knows exactly what I mean. It is hard to tell if that “slowing down” was because of the English dubbing.
I’m going to be honest. I’m an Anime fan but it’s not my main genre of choice. Most of the Anime, like Manga, are serialize stories like comics. Anime is a Japanese product soaked in Japanese culture and sensibilities. This does not always translate into bad English dubbing very well. Anime stories are longer and in some cases feel like they throw or stretch plot-points to their limits. An actual Mango looks like a college text books with better pictures.
What sets the Ghost in the Shell movie or Anime or Mange scripts apart is that it’s a big ass think piece on what makes us human wrap in a high octane action story. The anime had a lot of exposition and it did not so much as slow down for the exposition rather it came to a sudden stop for its exposition. Anime is one of the few animation styles that’s still hand drawn. Unlike the Ghost in the Shell movie, the anime is anything but boring.
Ghost in the Shell Female Nudity
Let’s be honest about something, a lot of the popularity with Anime, especially as it crosses over with comic geek culture, is boobs. In fact, you find a lot of feminist commentary about Anime going directly to this because it happened a lot. A majority of Akira’s female characters are explicitedly stated to be in high school and they are drawn wearing catholic shool uniforms. There’s a scene when one of the rival gang members corners one of the girls, rips off her blouse and suddenly she’s Dolly Pardon. If you look at the drawing of the girl in uniform she should have logically been built like Natalie Portman. These things are done by men therefore when their female characters get naked the boobs are always big.
The Ghost in the Shell left out the more titillating scenes of nudity opting for just letting Scarlett Johansson’s natural assets shine through the costumes. It did keep most of the spirit of the story because in the Anime there were nude scene and plenty of “male gaze” camera shots.
Here’s the interesting part, no one seemed to care about the obvious shot for shot recreations in the Ghost in the Shell movie. Rupert Sanders manage to reproduce the look of Ghost in the Shell but not what made it fun and exciting. Sin City did this exact thing and succeeded. It doesn’t work in the Ghost in the Shell movie.
Ghost in the Shell Whitewashing?
The people who constantly argue for changing characters of color to white do not really argue from understanding the issue of whitewashing. These people are mostly cis-gender white male reviewers. The go-to argument is how someone walked the streets of Japan and asked random citizen their thoughs on the trailer. These citizens approved. White washing solved. Here’s the thing; because they tried to argue from a cis-white-male POV they naturally made the wrong argument. Anime and Manga are two genres that have been going through whitewashing long before they crossed over to America. Go look up the demographic information of Japan. Better yet, watch the millions of available videos of people visit Japan or coming out of Japan.
Anime more than Mange has been catering to a white audience from the begining. Many of the characters are drawn with blond hair and blue eyes. The features are a vague European structure. Do you think it’s a mistake that the eyes of Anime characters are so round? Anime and Manga has more sexy catholic school girl uniforms than a Pornhub search result. These “school uniforms” are always “Halloween Hot Chick” uniforms rather than the bland plain ones that are actually wore.
Japanese artist and animator naturally knows they have to add a “European/America white” affectation on their characters. The practice seems more deeply psychological rather than made as a business choice. When you watch enough anime you see it. Of course Japanese people don’t care, it’s already something they’ve accepted. More importantly, the attitude of Japanese is not the fucking point. It’s not the argument that people are making when it comes to whitewashing. Attempting to downplay the argument with a counter argument that’s not even close to the actual argument is idiotic and people need to stop.
Ghost In The Shell Movie
Every critic who says the Ghost in the Shell movie was flat and boring is pretty much on point. Ghost in the shell is, in fact, boring. This is because the Ghost in the Shell movie should not be boring. The Ghost in the Shell movie manged to adapt the anime’s beautiful world, the action set pieces and the basic Theme. Scarlett Johansson is running around in a skin tight unitard, for God’s sake. The Ghost in the Shell movie should have, at least, talked about for that. The Ghost in the Shell movie is so dull no one cared. Yet, sitting through the movie felt exactly the same as sitting through a school video on a perfect summer day with the minutes before the final bell rang dragging endlessly.
The Ghost and the Shell movie had me looking around the theater more then actually watching the movie. Everyone in the theater had the same bored look. People were talking and no one was telling them to be quiet. I’m not kidding about that last one. Actual conversations were happening during a movie with breathtaking visuals and everyone in the theater I was in was like, “No problem.” That’s a bad sign for any movie. That pretty much describes the Ghost in the Shell movie – pretty to look at, boring as fuck to sit through.