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Film Review “Ghost in the Shell”

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Anthony Pollard
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Film Review “Ghost in the Shell”

     I have been a fan of Ghost in the Shell for years. I watched nearly 90% of all the manga episodes. Then, the film adaption premiered starring Scarlett Johansson. Ghost in the Shell first shown in Tokyo on March 16, 2017, and was then released in the United States on March 31, 2017. Here is a link posting this information about the film. (Reference:

     It is fascinating Ghost in the Shell was airing in the late 20th century, but it was about a 21st century problem of cyberterrorism. That future is here now. I often mention to my students, I remember being in Japan and Korea, seeing technologies we did not have in the United States of America (USA). We could not have that technology in the USA because it would not work in the USA. I had a mobile phone in Japan, and motorcycle, that I could not use in the USA.

     Ghost in the Shell is a different type of storyline dealing with the supernatural. In China, I believe they are not allowed to believe in ghosts, Furthermore, Ghost in the Shell is the consciousness inhabiting a cyber-body. “Whoa, eternal life?” “Ghost dubbing is the process of taking a real human being and putting them in a machine to replicate their 'ghost' (a human consciousness) into an android...Ghost-dubbing, or duplicating a ghost, is a near-impossible act….”

     I like the new adaption of Ghost in the Shell filmed in New Zealand. One of the actors in the film is famous Takeshi Kitano (“Beat” Takeshi), a pioneer in Japanese modern visual arts. He is an actor, writer, and producer. He is in the film rather than directing, but I am sure he had some input into the role his character plays because he speaks only Japanese in the film, we see the subtitles. He uses a six-shooter cowboy pistol to finish some would be assassins. His "Hana-bi" won Venice Film Festival's Golden Lion and was named Best Non-European Film by the European Film Academy. "Hana-bi" was cited on numerous "Best Films of the Year" lists, often in the #1 position.” (Reference:

     The writer, creator, artist of Ghost in the Shell is Masamune Shirow. We can almost relate his vision for creating a cultural project like this Ghost in the Shell, to the vision the writer of the Harry Potter series had when she began writing those Harry Potter stories. Here are some of Shirow’s works:

Ghost in the Shell.

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.

Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG – The Laughing Man.

Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG – Individual Eleven.

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex − Solid State Society.

Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie.

Other works:

Here is a link to one of his interviews, not easily achieved:

     Ghost in the Shell, this new version incorporates current 21st century social issues. For example, not explicitly shown, but “Major Motoko” in an attempt to find herself, meets with another woman, explores this other woman’s body, and then kisses her. Homosexuality was not a new concept in Japan, but not exactly called that either. In the film, the male antagonist and Major Motoko actually find out they were lovers in their former human body states-of-being, thereby introducing bisexuality. Here is a link to a trailer of this new movie:

Even though, it’s not made in the USA, DreamWorks has their name on it.

     Something else, how about the idea that women are supernatural. Women have the ability to turn themselves into foxes, and destroy men. Or, is it that women are really the stature of morality, men needing to be helped and need a leader.

     The antagonist to Major Motoko says, “They did not save your life. They stole it!” Who is this “they”? And what was this “they” goal? Especially, if “they” don’t even possess the gift “they” gave, eternal life in a shell. Shirow was suggesting something to society. Here is a link to another trailer version of Ghost in the Shell.

     I’d like to share with students that Japan has technological advancements that we aren’t using in the USA, for example artificial intelligence (AI). This will help them to be motivated to perform research skills study. I can share with students, the idea of the strength it takes to pursue a goal in life, by using the biography of Beat Kitano, and his trek through show business to reach the top. This is a lesson for students attempting to go to college to study a major they hope to earn money performing. The creation of this character, the film, and the information provided about it, models the perseverance it takes for someone to become a successful dedicated writer. Of course, this epiphany comes only after I teach students how to perform research, to find evidence, to support a thesis statement, used in an expository text structure similar to this posting here.