When it comes to anime, there’s more series and movies than you could ever possibly see, and most are titles that, here in the U.S., we’ve probably never heard of. The counter to that, though, is a handful of films and series that have transcended their country of origin, transcended even the medium, to true crossover saturation. One of those that has sustained the most cultural relevance is Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 film Ghost in the Shell, a pillar of the cyberpunk movement and a testament to visual realism in animation. Ahead of its live-action adaptation in March, the original masterpiece is getting a theatrical re-release in February.
In a press release on Monday morning, FUNimation and Lionsgate will be sending the cybernetic government Major Kusanagi back to the big screen on February 7 and 8 in 110 movie theaters nationwide. Because the battle known as Subs v Dubs: Dawn of Arguments will never die, you are allowed to choose your side; the subtitled version of the original Japanese language track will be on 2/7 and the dub (which, if I may editorialize, is pretty bad) will be on 2/8. See? So you’re covered in either case. Tickets and theater locations can be found at this link.
Ghost in the Shell follows cybernetic policewoman Motoko Kusanagi, who is herself a ghost in a shell (meaning her living consciousness is somewhere being projected into a organic/mechanical body), as she struggles with what it means to be alive while searching for a master hacker known as “the Puppet Master” who has more motivation than merely disrupting the status quo. Full of action, pathos, and glorious vistas of a city mixing tradition and futurism, Ghost in the Shell is one of the four or five must-see anime films.
Will you be seeing Ghost in the Shell on the big screen to get ready for the Scarlett Johansson version? What’s your favorite grown-up anime film? Let us know in the comments below!