Technical Issue!

AsperJosh has suffered a heavy impact. Every picture on every post before the Africa one has been lost due to an album online becoming corrupted.
I have almost every picture stored across 2 laptops and will slowly begin to re-upload them to my posts over a long period of time!
I will be starting from latest posts and work backwards to re-upload the pictures.
Thank you for understanding!
Joshua :'(

UPDATE - Fixed Posts

2015 posts fixed so far:
- Tough Mudder 2015 - MCM Expo 2012 + Past Experiences - Telling People, I Have Aspergers - 5CPS - Marvel Phase Three - Attack On Titan - MCM Oct 2015 - Interstellar - Star Wars VII - Star Wars Original Trilogy - Star Wars Prequel Trilogy - Star Wars Battlefront - The Fault In Our Stars - Chronicle - Evans Night Out + Winter Wonderland 2015 -

2014 posts fixed so far:
- A Year's Progression At The Gym - 5CPS - The Land Before Time - X-Men Premier - X-Men DOFP - Halloween 2015 - Online Dating - Macbook Pro -

House MD, 3 Years Driving currently in progress.
More to be mended

Monday, 30 January 2017

Ghost In The Shell (Anime Review)

Humanity has stepped into the cybernetics era where people can choose to have a human brain in a cyborg. But the unique asset to it all is the "Ghost" inside these valuable and superior shells. A hacker by the name "The Puppet Master" is responsible for many cyber crimes and now it's up to Motoko Kusunagi and the public security agency Section 9 to track down this cyber criminal. But the case alone is complex and might be part of something much bigger. This is Ghost In The Shell.
It's 2029 and the world is interconnected to a vast electronic network that permeates all aspects of life. This is done by the work of shells (cyborgs) which host their consciousness inside and has granted them superhuman abilities including strength, agility and sometimes invisibility whilst connecting to the network through the back of their necks to access their cyber brains.
Major Motoko Kusunagi - Voiced by: "Atsuko Tanaka" (Japanese) and "Mimi Woods" (English) is part of the Public Security Section 9 who deal with terrorism and cybernetic crime. And this case is to stop an elusive hacker called "The Puppet Master" who is "ghost-hacking" other people to do his dirty work, making him hard to track and finding the real culprit.

When I was in my 2nd year of college and I became close friends with Lewis, James "Mac", Peace, Elliot and some others, we all had the theme of Anime in common to bind us together and share our thoughts and encourage others to watch and read some of our favourites.
Some lunchtimes or when we had 2 free periods linked and had little work to do, we'd head back to James's place (8 mins away from College) to go back and watch TV like The Jeremy Kyle Show or play PS3. He wanted to show us one of his favourite Animes called Ghost In The Shell and it would be older than the Anime that I was used to but we all sat down to check it out.

My first take on it was feeling amazed by the complexity of the storyline as well as become aware of the curious feeling of technology becoming that advanced in the future.
Honestly, I had actually discovered Ghost In The Shell back in school one night as I was flicking through the SKY channels and came across a channel which did several animes after 9:00pm and this name came up but it was actually a series. I was intrigued to take a look at it as the name was interesting but I only saw 5 mins of one part in the series where someone got killed but the astonishing discovery was seeing little blood but actually wiring and dismembered limbs as the cyborg was killed badly. I turned it off and was a bit shocked by this and figured to not come back to it again. Funny how I did eventually come back to it when I was more mature and now find it ingenious and incredibly smart!

Last Wednesday, I went with my sister Mills to go and see it on the big screen since it was on for a limited time only (like when the Studio Ghibli films get shown in certain cinemas here and then). I'd seen an trailer on Facebook and asked some friends if they'd like to go and she got back to me so I booked us the tickets.
Our night was punctual because of last minute wrapping our super belated Christmas presents and our journey there but we came in about 2mins30secs into the film (but it wasn't a big deal since we've both seen this before). And it was a good if not short night and I went back to her house after dropping her home and I talked for several hours with her and her parents (who are so wonderful and caring like her). We exchanged late presents, I got her a cute Friendship quote shabby shiek pillow (which she didn't know about) and she got me David Busch's Canon EOS 70D Photography Guide Book (which I had asked for).
This time when I saw her, I wasn't anxious and our trips to and back were filled with as ever much honesty and care on both our lives and for each other and that's what I love about her. I'm in a much better place than ever and don't have to worry about expressing my thoughts to her since she welcomes my honesty and I am so lucky to have her in my life. Plus she's a great Cinebuddy to go on future cinema trips with!

Masamune Shirow is the creator behind the series but the film was directed by Mamoru Oishii and I like how in an interview Mamoru stated his "interest in computers and how he wanted to make an animation movie that would take place not that far away from us". But to also add in philosophy behind human consciousness in a time when humans would choose to connect on a technological scale and forget what is is to be human instead of transferring their consciousness to a synthetic shell.
It's scary but also an interesting premonition (a bit like The Matrix) due to the relation in technologies advancement that benefits humanity but could also one day enslave us and make us live off of it... I am quilty as well of playing video games, staring at my laptop screen for hours ever night and using my phone when bored to either escape reality or to take pictures for memories and to share my social life with the world like everybody else. But I think that in the end, if we can still put our devices down and close the lids and interact in person then that's still as human as you can get and we shouldn't have to worry or overthink anything bad if we have limits to our symbiotic connection to technology.

My first time seeing it was in Dub because I was getting used to watching Anime in Sub and having to quickly stream the subtitles before turning my eyes back up to scene. And when I saw it in cinemas, it was being shown in Sub. I enjoyed both and find them to be accurate on relations between vocal and subtitle differences.
It's interesting that these cyborgs showed human emotion such as compassion, bravery and trust which the voice actors managed to capture well. I was expecting a flat tone voice like how robots and automated voices are stereotypically portrayed.

This series is considered one of the greats in Anime just like Akira, Astro Boy, the Studio Ghiblis etc for it's outstanding story and animation for it's time. I admit that there is a huge evolutionary gap between anime art style, colour shading and animation nowadays compared to back then, but in a way this series is still a treasure.
However I will notify you all for the adult content involved in the series including mild nudity (but you don't see the full on 18+ rated stuff, just mild topless moments and nipples because the female robots are either undressed or about to go into camouflage mode and can only do once stripped. It's sounds pornographic but it's logical and is not to be taken badly and it's only briefly a couple times, it's not a nudist sci-fi like Species or something.
Oh and their is a small amount of gore due to heads exploding from gunshots and dismemberment when limbs are shot off or the pressure becomes too much for the body to handle, basically this film is like rated 15 or maybe 18 so you've been warned!

I think the story is special not just because of the complexity of finding a hacker that no body has ever seen but it's the philosophical questions and thoughts that are shared in the film. How the robots and AI question what it must be like to feel or to be human. To have that unique gift of life instead of being manufactured and then programmed with memories or instructions, ya know.
I like psychological and philosophical questions as I can get deep myself on theories and talks with my friends about life, the future, reality, what's out there etc because I find those discussions to be insightful and fascinating because people might share your thoughts or express their own beliefs too which helps build friendships and create moments to remember.

I myself am curious but I also fear the day when humanity creates machines with AI, if you've seen The Matrix or The Second Renaissance Part I & II- The Animatrix the you'll get where I'm going with this. It jeopardises our humanity to create ways to cheat life or make things easier until the day when we might have made a mistake that's unfixable. It sounds apocalyptic but then again if we have a killswitch towards AI robots then we might be able to avoid The Matrix outcome. But then again, having robots someday might be a prosperous age for humanity.
But the bit to focus on in this is that it's about transferring humanities consciousness into code to transfer into robot shells that look almost identical to human. It's more like a last minute resort like in CHAPPiE but I would only resort to that if I wanted to cheat death. Though logging onto the internet digitally sounds like an upcoming era that's yet to be created... which is both good and bad, anybody else feel the same?
But their was a cool scene which did make me wonder if I would go for this upgrade for when I someday get great at coding? *wink*

The soundtrack is great and many reviewers love the soundtrack as much as the film. UTA I - Making Of A Cyborg is the main theme of the film and is shown after Major's appearance and the title comes on. The track is an entrancing ambient piece with a Japanese choir / chant shown during the opening credits whist we get to witness how a cyborg is created, from skeleton manufacturing to adding the human consciousness and flesh on top.
The theme becomes a recurring piece (like a reprise) with minor alterations in it's other 2 songs "UTA" (Japanese meaning). The 2nd time is during a calm montage of around the city UTA II - Ghost City and the 3rd is at the end, UTA III - Reincarnation.
Kenji Kawai is responsible for the soundtrack which has that ambient atmosphere of calming rhythm but adds in sound effects which can either make you feel like your being watched Ghostdive or time passing by Nightstalker.

The ending was a bit of a head scratching outcome because of the complex ending which I had to look up back then afterwards to see if I was on the right track. That Spider-Tank was awesome and after a long monologue of philosophical explanations and theories does an astonishing ending befall. But it's not all bad since the ending was an opening for a sequel in order to find out more answers. And there is in Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence which I'll get round to sometime and explain the series too with "The Laughing Man" antagonist which was genius!

I wanted to write this up because in March, there will be a Live Action release of this film featuring the bodacious and hot actress Scarlett Johansson who will be portraying Major Motoko Kusunagi. I do find the tailer to be not bad since it seems to be slightly following the original but it's more of a mystery on discovering origins and why she was made this way compared to chasing down a terrorist hacker... but who knows? And I think the actors are portraying them pretty well so we'll just have to wait and see if this adaption will do itself justice (like the The Prince Of Persia and Lara Croft video game adaptions).
Why not go and search for the original before you consider watching the live action version, I'd definitely recommend it!


  1. Hey! This is a very well-written and interesting review. I enjoyed your insights, especially when you interpret the philosophy behind the plot. Have you seen the movie yet? To be honest, I thought I'd pass, because I am really attached to the original (anime) version, plus - I can't imagine watching 'Ghost in the Shell' in English (as it is originally a Japanese production). I am quite interested in what people think, though. Did you like the film?
    Also, if you are an anime fan, try watching Cowboy Bebop. It's my favourite ever series of anime (there is a film, too), with a great music written by a Japanese composer Yoko Kanno and performed by the greatest jazz band I have ever came across - the Seatbelts. I wonder if you'd like it :) Let me know! 楽しみにしています!

    1. Hey, Huge apologies for the delay but I remembered today from your really heartwarming and positive comment, mate!
      Your comment means the world to me <3 I haven't seen the movie yet (might wait or look online) but I do agree on Western adaptions of video games / anime, ya know >_<
      I've seen that on MyAnimeList, I still have loads on my list to watch and review (I've yet to write up AOT S2 (I'm up-to-date on the Manga though) and do Sword Art Online II and Neon Genesis Evangelion series and films ;)

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