It has been over 13 years since the last time I was pretty much consumed by Japan animation or animé and manga art. That year (around 2004) was the end of almost seven years of being immersed in the otaku culture. During that time (that's from 1997 to 2004) I watched pretty much every single series and OVA I could get my hands on. One of those OVAS was Ghost in the Shell, a futuristic, dystopian story based on cyborgs and political moves.
Many of the movies I watched in those days had an impact on me, due to the quality of their art, but also the dark line of their stories. Akira, Perfect Blue and Ghost in the Shell are a few among them, though of these three, Ghost in the Shell struck me the most for the quality of the art.
When the movie theatres started promoting Ghost in the Shell in live action format, I knew I had to go and see it. No, normally I don't like live action movies, and I have seen a few. Aeon Flux with Charlize Theron wasn't appealing to me, for instance, but an amateur attempt at Dragon Ball Z Mirai Trunks, or alternate universe future was so breath taking, that I decided to give it a shot.
I must say that the movie disappointed me. From the very selection of the intro music, and all the re-naming of Mokoto Kusanagi and then giving her all that past... (was that somewhere in the manga and I missed it or forgot about it?) Why make a perfectly good story into some emotional, hollywoodian motion picture? Ms. Johansson didn't look like a cyborg, but rather looked like a butch female, and Major's (Major? Really? Did something happened in the series I didn't watch that escaped from the OVA I saw?) sensualization and attempt to catch the essence of humanity was quite a slap for those of us who paid for the movie ticket in hopes to revive one of our old favorites.
|Source: http://thescreen.hu/ ghost-shell-osszehasonlitas-az-alapkent-szolgalo-animevel/|
The whole movie was like watching some AU fanfic, produced by Americans and Chinese, based on a beloved, cult-movie of otakus of old, which lifted the idea of the movie, some characters, some costume designed and then copied here and there some scenes. Even in the scenes lifted from the original OVA, the movie felt fake. I felt cheated, truth to be told.
From what I gather from other websites and blogs about the movie, the sentiment is quite generalized. It was a big gamble, I would say, and it didn't paid up well. Then again, I guess that in today's world knowing isn't really all that important when enterprises embark into an investment. Knowing your market is really inconsecuential, when one thinks that one knows things better than all the others. Well, enterprises and enterpreneurs would do well remembring that they ought to know their market if they want to reach into their pockets.