The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Ghost In The Shell

Title: Ghost iIn The Shell.
Genre: Action.
Format: 1 Volume.
Mangaka: Masamune Shirow.

Synopsis: In Japan, Section 9 is a division of the Government, which fights terrorism using top-notch technology, weapons, equipment and the elite of the elite personnel. Enter Major Motoko Kusanagi a cyborg created to be the best agent of Section 9. Having no human values, she is forced to live with humans and for the humans. But her position as a cyborg in a human world, allows her to think; what makes Humans human? All her questions remind unanswered, until she met The Puppetmaster trough the net, the best hacker the world had known. But what does this Puppetmaster want from Major Kusanagi? And most important of all, what are the answers to these archaic questions that now hunt even those who aren’t human?

The Highlights
Art: Mechanical and female designs.
Action: Swift and bloody.
Plot: Generic but it works.

Although the plot or topic of this manga sound pretty intriguing, we have to consider that the solutions or answers to this questions are nothing more than the creator’s (Masamune Shirow) opinion or point of view. Therefore the opinions of the reader and the creator might not be the same, leaving the reader with a bad experience. Even so, when it comes to the philosophical aspect it’s very deep. Leaving you the burden of the questions and their answers (of course, if you take it seriously), this is the best part of the manga.

Another few good points of this manga are, the dialog between the characters, it varies depending on the mood and atmosphere of the situation they are in. Besides this we have beautiful character design, specially females (Shirow’s trademark), stunning mechanical designs, beautiful coloring and/or shadowing for the action sequences and background stages. Another impressive point is the attention to detail, although not present in every single frame or page, the detail given in certain scenes is above normal or ordinary. Another great asset to this manga is those funny moments in which the characters relieve the tension from every day work, but the really funny ones are the Fujikomas, those spider-like tanks organizing rebellion against mankind, and other sorts of things.

As for the characters, the main character (Major Kusanagi) besides being a babe, is more human than some of the human characters. She has mercy, self confidence, awareness, self esteem and all those things that makes us humans. As for the character development, again Major Kusanagi is basically the only one moving forward, the rest of the characters are either, already at their best or at their worst being stuck in their current position. This leaves a very awful taste, because when the support characters are just wanderers in the story doing almost nothing to help out the main character, she won’t shine as much as she could have.

Even so, with so much good to say, the grade is not very high, because of the pacing. This manga starts very well for the first chapter but for the next 5 to 6 chapters nothing much will happen in the story, its all just one big excuse for fan service (the Japanese version even has a lesbian tri-some) and/or action sequences (extremely gory or extremely violent) degrading the value of the characters, plot and atmosphere in the manga.

The Rating: 7

Reviewed by: Dtortot

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