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Anime on DVD: Ghost in the Shell Essential Collection
It's 2029 and the world is a vastly different place than it is today. Yetunlike most movies and novels that start off this way, the majority of the ideasbehind Ghost in the Shell accurately reflect where we could be heading in ourown future.
Ghost in the Shell isthe first DVD to be released by MangaEntertainment
back in 1998 and showed a definite appreciation for how animecan look on DVD both in terms of audio and video quality but for generalenhancement with extras. Manga provided its premier release onto the format with a truly gorgeousanamorphic print and went a step further by remastering the English soundtrackto a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. This alone has made this release one of the earlyreference DVD's for both anime and non anime fans due to its very wide anddynamic mix. Unfortunately, Manga chose not to remix the Japanese audio track,but it's still quite enjoyable as many will attest to.Manga also provided on the disc an excellent 30 minute Making Of program forthe movie as well as several video pages of information on the world and thecharacters for those unfamiliar with the manga world of Masamune Shirow.And that's what really help make this show a strong name when it was releasedin Japan and around the world. Masamune Shirow, the creator behind Appleseed andthe Ghost in the Shell Manga, took on a more active role in the development ofthis movie than his previous manga to anime efforts. Combined with thedirectorial talents of Mamoru Oshii and mechanical designs from legendary ShojiKawamori and Atsushi Takeuchi, Shirow's vision of the corporate-dominated futureof Japan shines through in amazing detail.
Though deviating interms of story from the early manga stories, the essence and flavor of a Shirowworld is brought to life, sometimes more than the characters themselves. Thiscan be forgiven rather easily, as you get deeper into this world of his and theinhabitants of Section 9. Almost considered to be the governments black ops assassins, they are allvery cold and calculating people, enhanced by their cybernetic implants. Themajor recurring theme in the movie relates to whether one is any less human themore cybernetic they become. While these deep philosophical moments may seem todrag, they provide the key points to the well thought out movie and bring thingsto an end that really signifies a beginning.Action fans will definitely be pleased by this visual masterpiece. Thoselooking for some depth to their anime will also find what they're looking for,though not as deeply layered as some other shows. Those looking for a referencedisc to show off to non-believers of DVD, especially in terms of the benefits ofDolby Digital 5.1, this is one of the best ways to bring them over.