Derik Badman's Journal

2021-06-15 08:07

Reread Ghost in the Shell (vol. 1) as part of my ongoing reread of Shirow's work. Having much more recently seen Mamoru Oshii's animated version, I was surprised how different they are. In recalling the anime, all the scenes that stick in my head (and are, I think, the most famous): the long opening where we see the creation of an artificial body; the Major leaping off a building in her optical camo; the Major chasing a camouflaged man through the streets; the long fight with the tank at the end; even the great scenes of the city accompanied by that haunting music; all of those are completely or mostly unique to the film (and one assumes the work of screenplay writer Kazunori Itô). It's a really great example of adapting for the media, actually. Those scenes are all really reliant on movement and to a large part, the play of visible vs. invisible, the seen and unseen. Shirow, in the manga, introduced a lot of the ideas (like the optical camo that makes one mostly invisible), but uses them almost in passing, another example of his tech fascination, but in the anime they use those ideas to make something visually engaging and memorable. In comparison to the anime, the first volume of the manga feels baggy and often dull.