I’m not into manga or anime that much but I do go nuts for anything Ghost in the Shell related. When Hollywood announced they were going adapt it to film, starring Scarlett Johansson as Motoko Kusanagi, the lead character, I was disappointed. (Why not a Japanese or at least Asian! I could write a whole post on the lack of Asian actors in Hollywood.)
I have to give credit to Hollywood, they gave it a good shot, but let’s face it’s an epic story line that’s hard to recreate to film.
After watching the movie I felt they gave it a good shot and Scarlett Johansson wasn’t so bad. But the film still left me with the feeling of being ripped off. Maybe it was the horrible set design of the city scape and streets that did it or the fact that the main character wasn’t Japanese.
After thinking about it, the Japanese version of Ghost in the Shell is an action movie for grown ups first. Not unlike the 2011 art house film Drive starring Ryan Gosling. Hollywood tried to make a Ghost in the Shell for teens first, which in that respect they might have succeeded in doing. But it didn’t live up to the original 1995 version old fans like me adore. The film lacked a mature atmosphere of an “R” rated film as it was a PG-13 rating. It’s tame especially when you compare it to the original Japanese manga from the 1980s (Which I got to view a the Manga Museum in Kyoto!).
So the fact that the Netflix has taken the risk of using Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed), and Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) to direct Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045, gives me hope.