In a recent event in Japan, there is now a trailer for the upcoming Live Action Ghost in the Shell and Scarlett Johansson isn’t the biggest issue.
The PR that is all over this film has been answering questions that haven’t even been asked. While, no one really agrees with all the whitewashing that is being thrown at this production, the casting of people such as Johansson in a title role has really created some controversy.
In order to combat these accusations, Tokyo held a large PR event where Kenji Kawai scored the shelling of the Major live just like in the 1995 anime movie. Even Director Mamoru Oshii, showed his support for this film.
But, the lack of commentary from Masamune Shirow, the author of the original manga, about this production is a bit weird. Even though he is a bit of a recluse, recently he has been more open with the press as well as his fans, so his absence is a bit curious.
The plot is strange
The recent trailer is only giving bits and pieces of information about the plot, but it has been stated that the Major isn’t sure of her origins or identity. That is a real massive narrative departure and one that really hits what Ghost in the Shell is actually about.
In the manga and anime, Major knows who she is and how she became a cyborg. It is a big key to the point of the story because it is how Major is able to center on her core identity; that even though her body is a machine, her soul and mind are not.
This is actually why the original manga was called Ghost in the Shell. The ghost is the soul within the shell which is the machine body. So, in this type of sense, not having the Major know who she actually is will really hit the heart of the main narrative identity.
In 1995, Mamoru Oshii was giving a chance to direct a version of Ghost in the Shell. Oshii had a work behind him that almost made as much sense as what Shirow did within the manga. It was similar to having Ridley Scott direct Star Wars after directing Alien.
Oshii only had a single movie that would convey the core theme of inherent humanity of Major. He did this by creating AI that would have a soul despite not being human, which acted as a counterpoint of the struggle of Major.
For those who are fans of the manga, this was odd because in the original story, Fuchikomas was clearly AI but Oshii’s approach took this out and then made a shortcut to get to the same point as Shirow’s involved manga could do. Especially that Major and her humanity were a big part of the story.
Straying from the original
The Fuchikoma element was placed in the Ghost in the Shell series Stand Alone Complex by adding in the Tachikomas.
The approach done by Oshii in Ghost in the Shell was followed from Patlabor 2, which was a super awesome anime films that has ever been made and it dealt with politics of nations on the struggle of war.
This was something that Shirow had explored, in Applesee and then in Ghost in the Shell. These approaches differ between Shirow and Oshii, but the goal was similar. The result of Shirow and Oshii is something new as well as fresh but stuck to what the structure of what the narrative needed to be in Ghost in the Shell.
This live action film version is leaving a lot of people unsure of what is being conveyed other than the straightforward stuff. The only real upside that I see is that Batou looks awesome, and Michael Wincott was remembered.
It is still recommended to actually go see the movie, but what has been shown so far doesn’t fill many with needed confidence.