The Laughing Man tells the story of the entire first season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, regarded by many people to be one of the best anime series ever, as a 2 and a half hour movie. It is a compilation of only the material from the 26 episodes of the series that is related to the ‘Laughing Man’.
It is AD 2030. Six years have passed since a super-class-A hacker known as the Laughing Man … (read more)
There was an excellent documentary on SBS a little while ago, about filmmaking in Japan. In it, for perhaps a tenth of the overall screen time along-side mention of the great Japanese directors — Ozu, Mizuguchi and Kurosawa — and the post-war cult films of Toho Studios, stood a single representative of the modern anime industry, one Satoshi Kon. What he had to say about anime, that it was not the industry’s ultimate goal and that animation was a means … (read more)
If you haven’t seen the Mamorou Oshii’s 1996 masterpiece, Ghost in the Shell, then you can go and sit in the corner of anime class and face the wall. In a lot of ways, Ghost in the Shell was the heir to Otomo’s Akira. At times explosive action, at others a meditation on what it means to be human, Ghost in the Shell presented a fully realised world of rapidly advancing technology set against a backdrop of decaying … (read more)
Having hit the ball out of the park with the superb political-thriller-featuring-giant-robots, Patlabor 2, Mamoru Oshii moved onto Masumune’s Shirow’s manga future populated by cyborgs and humans with cybernetic enhancements — Ghost in the Shell. Ghost, with its blurring of man and machine, presented the perfect vehicle for Oshii to explore the question what it means to be human. (The titular ghost is a ‘soul’ cyborg’s soul equivalent).
Like a Christmas present, Oshii wraps this theme in … (read more)