Set in 2029 and using inspired computer animation, Oshii's sci-fi anime conjures up a dazzling, futuristic cityscape that, sadly, is not matched by the human landscapes at the heart of the story. The Blade Runner theme of identity as a function of memory is raised but not explored. Cybercop Kusanagi has a synthetic personality, silicon breasts and an identity crisis. Ordered to track down the Puppetmaster, who can hack into human brains, she and her bland sidekick Bateau become embroiled in a conspiracy involving a secret government project, inter-departmental rivalries and a computer virus that's mutated into a being with a sense of its own destiny. All credit to Britain's Manga Entertainment for co-funding this ambitious project with the Japanese producers of Akira, but much more attention should have been paid to the script and disastrous dubbed dialogue.
Ghost in the Shell
Cast and crew