I’m not an anime fan or an “otaku”. Yes, I have watched a series or two due to strong recommendations. I am surrounded by people crazy about anime both in social media and in real life. I am a movie buff. I am more into movies. I like comics but when adapted to movies, I enjoy it even more. This time, a live-action adaptation of an anime I have never heard of is not really a good idea for me. We’ve all seen what happened to that Dragon Ball movie. I happened to see Japanese live action adaptations too and they are all weak despite how epic Rurouni Kenshin and Shingeki no Kyujin are based on what I’ve heared.
Ghost in the Shell is a classic anime I have never heard of until Chris Stuckmann, a brilliant Youtuber, talked about it in his page. Apparently, he is an anime fan. I see how passionate he was when he talked about the 1995 original in his channel as a preparation for the release of the live action remake. I, as one of his biggest fans, was intrigued and convinced that it really is a must watch. I looked it up and found it on stream. I was happy that it was a movie with an 80-minute runtime. I watched the dubbed version because, most of the time, subtitles hurt my eyes. The movie was actually good. It introduced and explored a very deep concept that actually got me thinking right after I finished the movie. I was also pumped up to see the upcoming movie.
Scarlett Johansson starred as the lead role and, for me, she is perfect. A lot of pretentious opinions circulated about whitewashing and that it offends the source material. They don’t know what they are saying and I firmly disagree. Whitewashing is only an issue when it is actually offensive and disrespectful. This time, it was great. The character was treated carefully and thoroughly that it captures what the character is all about. The rest of the cast were people I’ve never heard of before but clearly made an impression out of me, especially the perfect portrayal of Batou and the compelling Kuze.
While marketed as a remake of the classic, this movie has improved a lot of aspects in the film with its 106 minute runtime; 20 minutes more than the original. The action sequences are actually enjoyable. The world where the movie takes place is excellent. The original movie was driven by the concept it brought. It was more focused on the struggle of the story. The remake is more of a focus on the story and its characters but still played the original’s concept in a terrific low-key passion.
One of the elements that the original had that I really loved was the score. I don’t really pay attention to this in movies all the time but in that movie, it was noticeable and effective. The remake had its own score but still heavily inspired by the original score. I loved both of the versions.
I loved both films. I never thought I would but I genuinely did. I have to thank Mr. Stuckmann for that. If ever he’ll recommend another anime, I will surely love it. The man’s got a great taste.
The original worked its theme and the remake has improved in most of its aspects that it became a great action flick with a deep conceptual plot.
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