Friday, October 12, 2012

October Songaday: Day 12 (Ghost in the Shell - Making of Cyborg)

Today's my birthday! And I'm playing Apocalypse World with Kris/Kenny/Luke tonight, and hangin' with Dan tomorrow!

Ghost in the Shell, for those who don't know, is an anime movie from 1995 by Mamoru Oshii. It's based upon a manga, but has expanded into an enormous media franchise spanning many mediums. As Wikipedia says, it's a futuristic police thriller. The real magic in it comes from two parts: the setting, and the themes. This is in no way one of those animes that you write off as being a thing for weeaboos and kids and the Japanese - this is a work of art, a stunning use of the technology, and a marvel of creativity. I admit - I've only seen the original movie and dubbed in English, as it was on Netflix a while back. I want to get my hands on a subtitled Japanese version for keeps, and I've meant to watch Stand Alone Complex as well. But anyway, the setting is one of the most prominent cyberpunk worlds out there - AI, plugging oneself in, etc, this is one of the origin points for a lot of ideas that, while GitS showed them off, it was The Matrix that dragged many of those ideas to meteoric fame (and Ghost In The Shell is cited by the Wachowski Brothers as one of the most prominent inspirations for The Matrix, along with Gibson's Neuromancer).
I haven't watched GitS 2.0, and don't particularly intend to.
I also really liked The Puppet Master's English voice. I don't know what it was about it, but it was really good.

Now that's the movie. This song is quite indicative of the style used by Kenji Kawai; lots of taiko drums and Japanese choir. It's a lot more calm and introspective, and works amazingly as the opening song for the movie, establishing this cyberpunk world. It's a really strong feeling, in my opinion, and quite unlike anything else nowadays, at least in Western media, which has recently been dominated by strings. Kenji's work is a masterpiece.

I'm not going to link to other GitS songs - I actually do not yet own the soundtrack, so it'll take me longer than tonight to peruse the depths of the film's, and series's, musics. I do recommend youtube-ing some of it though, it IS very good as a whole.

Ghost in the Shell (original film Wikipedia)
Ghost in the Shell franchise site
Mamoru Oshii
Kenji Kawai

You know, I never really watch anime. I always intend to, but never really do - I think it's because a lot of them have a lot of continuity to jump into and I feel obligated to start at the beginning. That said, Chip & Ironicus's Anime Theater commentaries are absolutely fucking hilarious.
But yeah, if you know of any really really good anime that would be a good one to start with (and, preferably, is on Netflix), please let me know.
Cheers folks. I'll probably talk to you all later about my birthday gifts.

End Recording,

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