Arrow Heads Vol. 45 — GHOST IN THE SHELL (Book Review)

Author Andrew Osmond analyzes the story, method, and impact of the anime science fiction classic

Ghost In The Shell by Andrew Osmond is available now as Spine #002 of Arrow Video’s book line, released alongside Unchained Melody: The Films of Meiko Kaji as launch title for the new series.

As I noted in my review of Unchained Melody, this book series is a bit different from the more magazine-like books or booklets that are packed into Arrow’s Blu-ray releases, emphasizing the writing over graphical elements.

Interestingly, for the subject of their second title, Arrow went with a property that, as far as I know, has no prior connection to their own home video releases. (Contrast that with their book on Meiko Kaji, of whose filmography they’ve released a significant portion). This dedication to a subject in which they have no business interest demonstrates that this book line isn’t merely a marketing ploy to boost video sales, but a conscious effort to celebrate deserving films and subjects.

Ghost In The Shell is a story concept that touches on a ton of different and equally fascinating tangents: Japanese culture, futurism, cyberpunk, artificial intelligence and robotics, sexuality, corporate power, and more generally as a landmark achievement in manga, anime, filmmaking, and science fiction — and most recently it entered the conversation about US remakes of foreign films.

Osmond’s book explores these ideas and also the film’s characters and creative forces behind the camera, as well as its place in a chain of influence that includes genre classics like Blade Runner, from which it draws inspiration, and The Matrix, which borrowed many of its ideas and injected them into a live action blockbuster construct.

The book is centered on the seminal 1995 film as opposed to the full franchise, but it does also briefly touch on the sequels as well as the new 2017 US remake starring Scarlett Johansson.

Arrow’s Ghost In The Shell released alongside Unchained Melody: The Films of Meiko Kaji as a launch title in their book series. Like that book, it’s approximately Blu-ray sized, and would be equally at home shelved with books or movies.

A/V Out.

Get it at Amazon:
Ghost in the Shell (paperback)

Further reading:

All product photography in this article was taken by the reviewer.

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