GITS is one of the classic examples of sci-fi anime – similar to what Star Wars was to space opera, The Godfather to crime drama, or Neuromancer to cyberpunk in general. The core of the story deals with the distinction between being human and being an intelligent machine (see also Bladerunner; I, Robot (the book); Short Circuit; and many others) and the increasingly intertwined nature between man and machine. It’s an engrossing story that’s fun to watch but also makes you think. I didn’t realize that there was a second movie in the works. My copy of the DVD was lost somewhere in a move; with a collector’s edition coming out in early December, what better excuse to replace it?
Also, there was a continuing television series called Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, that continued to explore these issues. I picked up some of the import DVDs last summer when I was in California for my brother’s graduation. In some ways, these short stories are told more effectively than the movie. This series is gradually being released in the US now, and Cartoon Network will add this to their adult swim lineup. (Hm, maybe a second TiVo is in order…) Finally, Bandai is releasing a PS2 game into the mix as well – must remember to watch for reviews of that one and add it to a Christmas list.
In other news, Viking Kittens! Now I have the immigrant song stuck in my head. Aaaaaaaaaa-ah!