Venturing into the cyberpunk side of anime, one can find an assortment of amazing titles. One of which is Ghost in the Shell. You might have not heard of this until Scarlet Johansson’s live-action adaptation came out. However, don’t be surprised that this series is so popular in the west that it has a dedicated cult following and has inspired many Hollywood films including The Matrix. Before it became a phenomenon, Ghost in the Shell began as a seinen manga by Masamune Shirow published in 1989-1991. It wasn’t until 1995 that the first movie adaptation came out, attracting foreign fans with its sci-fi elements. In a nutshell, the series has grown tremendously that it has four distinct universes or continuities: manga, movie, Stand Alone Complex, and Arise.
Jumping on the bandwagon, here comes Netflix with its own adaptation of Ghost in the Shell following the SAC universe. Conveniently called Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045, the series is directed by Kenji Kamiyama and Shinji Aramaki and centers around the full-body cyborg Major Motoko Kusanagi in the year 2045. What makes this adaptation particularly interesting is that instead of the traditional 2D animation, SAC_2045 is animated in 3D computer-generated imagery. Bold move, right? We’ll have to see how the animation turns out when Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 gets released sometime around April of 2020. Don’t worry, we’ll update you once it rolls out. In the meantime, why don’t you check out the best anime to watch while waiting for Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045? I hope that helps you endure the waiting game!
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but what does that make inspiration? Did you know that the 1995 film Ghost in the Shell inspired many Hollywood movies? I know you’re wondering how did a Japanese film become so popular in the United States. Well, the simple answer—English-dubbed VHS release in 1996. Success soon followed and in no time, to no one’s surprise, Hollywood became haunted by Ghost in the Shell. It was so popular that many directors were inspired to make works based on this movie. As a matter of fact, Lana and Lily Wachowski’s legendary sci-fi movie The Matrix was heavily inspired by Ghost in the Shell. Would you believe that? You should. You definitely should. In fact, one of the mind-blowing facts about The Matrix is that the iconic ‘digital rain’ was actually from the Japanese film.
The Wachowskis are not the only high profile fans of Ghost in the Shell. Joining the list of big shot fanboys are James Cameron and Steven Spielberg who both cited the animated film as their inspiration. It might sound crazy but James Cameron said that his hit movie Avatar was influenced by Ghost in the Shell. Pretty impossible? Well, think again! Try to remember the Pandora connection used by the Na’vi. Isn’t it similar to the plug-ins used in Ghost in the Shell? It’s not very straightforward but the influence is there. Needless to say, we don’t need more proof to prove that many of the best cyberpunk movies were inspired by Ghost in the Shell.
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