Ghost In The Shell

The pre- George Lu­cas’d ver­sion

SFX - - Dvd & blu- ray -

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW! 1995 | 15 | 83 min­utes | £ 29.99 ( Blu- ray Steel­book) Distrib­u­tor: Manga En­ter­tain­ment Di­rec­tor: Mamoru Oshii Cast: Akio Ōt­suka, At­suko Tanaka, Ie­masa Kayumi, Kôichi Ya­madera, Tamio Ōki

If Akira is

the Star Wars of an­ime, then Ghost In The Shell is its Blade Run­ner: the an­ime movie the cool kids pre­fer. It’s a cy­ber­punk thriller in­fused with the kind of ex­is­ten­tial angst that would be pre­ten­tious wib­ble in a stan­dard Hol­ly­wood movie, but put through a Ja­panese cul­tural fil­ter feels deeply philo­soph­i­cal. Packed with cy­borgs, cy­bert­er­ror­ism and bloody ac­tion, it trans­forms hard­ware, com­bat and cityscapes into painted po­etry. It’s hard as nails with a soft core.

Un­til now it’s never been on Blu- ray out­side of Ja­pan. Not the real ver­sion, any­way. The mon­grel Ghost In The Shell 2.0 Re­dux ( 2008), with its ill- ad­vised CGI, has been avail­able here, but now, mer­ci­fully, the orig­i­nal is out in the UK in a limited edi­tion.

Based on the same master copy used for the Ja­panese Blu- ray, it ar­rives pure and un­tweaked. The English sound­track is in 5.1 DTS- HD, but the Ja­panese track is the slightly less crisp 2.0 PCM – the same as on the Ja­panese disc, so we’re not be­ing de­prived.

You don’t need to like an­ime to love Ghost In The Shell, just de­cent sci­ence fic­tion.

Ex­tras: The ac­tual disc is dis­ap­point­ingly vanilla, but you do get a 24- page Mak­ing Of book­let fea­tur­ing an all- new in­ter­view with Oshii and more. Dave Golder The num­bers you see in the open­ing cred­its are ac­tu­ally the names of the crew writ­ten in com­puter code.

“Might as well wash this win­dow.”

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