This weekend’s review actually made it up on Saturday! We can’t always guarantee Saturday reviews anymore, but we’ll try to keep getting something reviewed every weekend.

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

(Note: I watched the English dub, so those are the voice actors I’m listing, as those are the ones I heard.)
Mimi Woods as Kusanagi
Tom Wyner as Puppet Master
Michael Sorich as Ishikawa
Richard Epcar as Bato
Christopher Joyce as Togusa

Written by Kazunori Ito, based on the manga by Masamune Shirow. English ADR script by Mary Mason.
Directed by Mamoru Oshii. English voice direction by Kevin Seymour.

Premise

The most talented hacker on record is using his skills to hijack both computers and cybernetic humans. Two distinct government bodies are fighting for the jurisdiction to track him down.

High Point

The chase that runs from the garbage truck to the water.

Low Point

Using the pacing from the 1970s. Editing had improved dramatically by the time this was made; lessons should have been learned.

The Scores

This is an adaptation of a manga that didn’t have the most original concept to begin with. What is original is the style in which it was made. There are some images that are just so bloody cool that they were recycled pretty much exactly as is when the Wachowskis made The Matrix. I give it 4 out of 6.

The animation is fairly smooth when the characters are moving. Unfortunately, characters who are just talking are animated only at the mouth, which makes for some pretty stodgy conversation scenes. I’m sure some of this was deliberate, as I’ve noticed that those with human bodies are the only ones to move their chins when they talk, but it still makes for dull viewing. Even a slowly changing background of some form would have helped this out considerably. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story is a police action drama on the surface, with genuinely deep questions and themes lurking underneath. Well executed. I give it 5 out of 6.

The voice acting has stodgy delivery from the same characters that demonstrate stodgy motion, which also leads me to believe that these were intentional choices. Intentional or not, the thematic and artistic contributions do not, in my opinion, outweigh the problems introduced by the resultant slower pacing. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response was generated more by mentally running through the ethical and philosophical debates touched on than by actual response to the immediate action on screen. I give it 4 out of 6.

The production had great visuals, and nice sound design, but lousy pacing, both on the script end and on the editing end. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s decent, but not earth-shattering. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Ghost In The Shell receives 30 out of 42.