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.
Cast and crew