Ghost In The Shell Will Make The Case For Or Against Hollywood Versions Of Classic Anime

Ghost in the Shell/Production I.G.

I remember a time when my friends didn’t get anime. As many times as I’ve tried to sell them on Akira, Wings of Honneamise or Ghost in the Shell, nothing seemed to click. There were occasional spikes of interest. Ninja Scroll was complete awesomeness for them. Attack on Titan even generated some buzz in my circle. Ghost was huge in introducing American audiences to anime but you could argue various eras had their due influence in proliferating the genre. From Astroboy, Speedracer, Transformers: The Movie (the only decent one in the series) to Death Note, there are more than few anime titles of late we’ve become familiar with through the years.

With so many great series and movies out there, anime to live action movies aren’t a widespread phenomenon just yet. The Wachowski’s Speed Racer film and Dragonball: Evolution were catastrophic failures a few years ago, probably halting further ambitions in the arena. While anime as a whole continues to draw on or produce quality series like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Elfen Lied and Death Note, Hollywood steadfastly looks greedily at the catalogue of well beloved anime to churn out profit. The latest thing coming is a Hollywood film version of Ghost in the Shell.

Ghost in the Shell, Film vs Anime

Edge of Tomorrow was okay. How it differed or shared in the same things that worked with the source anime, All You Need Is Kill, I don’t know. I’m not all that familiar with the property. However, Ghost in the Shell and its sequel shares a special place in my anime heart. The production behind what I’ve seen from Paramount Picture’s version feels and looks top notch. Well, so did the live action Transformers.

I won’t say it’s messing with sacred ground trying to cover this particular anime. It’s not the most prestigious piece of work out there from the genre. With how Hollywood studios have treated other franchises for the sake of making a crowd pleaser, there’s some understandable caution to be had. The trailer for the film looks great but of course its going for a family friendly PG-13 rating most probably. Scarlett Johansson as the lead is solid in action roles. As a minority, I wasn’t put off with the idea of a diverse cast or the casting of a white woman in Japanese animated roles. So my biggest hesitation is simple, why make this in the first place? The original had issues, but hardly warranted a Hollywood make over. It’s aged well. Until it hit theaters though, I’ll be hopeful they get this one right and do it justice.


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