tek's rating:

Ghost in the Shell (not rated)
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This movie came out in 1995, but I didn't see it until 2014. A TV series called Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex aired in Japan from 2002 to 2005, and I saw that on Adult Swim in 2004-2006. And I guess it doesn't matter that I saw the series before the movie, because it doesn't seem like the two adaptations of the manga share a continuity. (It seems unlikely that the way the movie ends would allow for the possibility of the TV series following.) In 2004 there was a sort of sequel movie called "Innocence," which I haven't seen yet. And I guess there are some other things in the franchise, which I also haven't seen.

Anyway, as was the case with the TV series, this is a movie that I found pretty interesting and cool, in spite of not always fully understanding everything that was going on. (But the bits I didn't follow weren't really important, IMO.) It's set in 2029, and there's this police division called Section 9, which is led by a man named Daisuke Aramaki. The main officer in Section 9 is a woman named Motoko Kusanagi, who has a cybernetic body. Other members of the team include guys named Batou, Togusa, and Ishikawa (of whom Togusa is the only one who doesn't have much in the way of cybernetic parts in his body). Um... so like... there's some mysterious criminal called the Puppet Master, who hacks into people's ghosts. A "ghost" is basically a person's identity, the sum of their memories... which you might call a soul, or perhaps it's more like a section of the brain that contains their identity (which is obviously better understood by science in 2029 than it is in the present). But there are still lots of philosophical questions about what it truly means to be human, and whether a ghost could be artificially created. Or whatever. Anyway, Section 9 is trying to find the Puppet Master, but they also have to deal with interference from Section 6, which is a branch of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. And eventually they do find the Puppet Master, but they learn some surprising things about his true origins, purpose, and motives.

And beyond that, I don't want to say anything about the plot. I will say that I liked the TV series more than the movie, but the movie was still pretty cool. And stuff. Oh, and I liked the music. And I should probably mention that there's nudity, which I don't recall ever seeing in the show (though it could have just been edited for American television). Anyway, I'm glad to have finally seen the movie.


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