Ghost in the Shell


A female cyborg cop and her partner hunt a mysterious and powerful hacker called the Puppet Master.

Release Year: 1995

Rating: 7.8/10 (36,931 voted)

Mamoru Oshii

Stars: Atsuko Tanaka, Iemasa Kayumi, Richard Epcar

The year is 2029. The world has become intensively information oriented and humans are well-connected to the network. Crime has developed into a sophisticated stage by hacking into the interactive network. To prevent this, Section 9 is formed. These are cyborgs with incredible strengths and abilities that can access any network on Earth.

Writers: Kazunori Itô, Masamune Shirow


Atsuko Tanaka

Major Motoko Kusanagi


Richard Epcar


(voice: English version)
(as Richard George)

Akio Ohtsuka



Tamio Ôki

Section 9 Department Chief Aramaki (JPN)


Iemasa Kayumi

Project 2501 aka 'The Puppet Master'


Kôichi Yamadera



Tesshô Genda

Section 6 Department Chief Nakamura


Richard Barnes

Additional Voices

(voice: English version)
(as Murray Williams)

Steve Blum

Additional Voices

(voice: English version)
(as Roger Canfield)

Steve Bulen

Section 9 Staff Cyberneticist

(voice: English version)

Toni Burke

Additional Voices

(voice: English version)

Richard Cansino


(voice: English version)
(as Steve Davis)

Tom Carlton

Garbage Collector A

(voice: English version)

George Celik

Old Man

(voice: English version)

Shigeru Chiba

Garbage Collector B


It Found A Voice… Now It Needs A Body

Release Date: 29 March 1996

Opening Weekend: £7,493
(14 December 1995)
(10 Screens)

Gross: $583,393
(21 December 1995)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


The lyrics to the title song "Making of a Cyborg" were written in ancient Japanese. The romanized Japanese lyrics are as follows: A ga maeba, kuwashime yoini keri A ga maeba, teru tsuki toyomu nari Yobai ni kami amakudarite Yoha ake, nuedori naku. Tôkamiemitame (x4). English translation: When you are dancing, a beautiful lady becomes drunken. When you are dancing, a shining moon rings. A god descends for a wedding And dawn approaches while the night bird sings. God bless you (x4).


Chief, you ever question the ethics of the neurosurgeons who monkey around inside your brain?

Section 9 Department Chief Aramaki:
They undergo psychiatric evaluations, especially those in security. They're subjected to a stringent screening of their personal lives. Of course, the ones who check are only human.

I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it.

User Review

Important science fiction

Rating: 10/10

Ghost in the Shell is a visually stunning animated masterpiece.
Japanese animation has always been in a class of its own, so I won't
even attempt to describe the incredible attention to detail and
beautiful imagery in this movie. In this case the animation is merely
icing for what is one of the most important works of science fiction in
recent years.

Every generation has had books and movies that have contributed to our
collective understanding of reality. Prior to World War II this
included books like Yevgeny Zamyatin's "We" and Huxley's "Brave New
World", and later Orwell's "1984". Today most warnings about the future
fall into the category of science fiction. Science fiction began to
fill this role when Arthur C. Clarke's "2001" warned us of the
potential for humanity to create intelligent, even sentient computers
that could murder their human creators. "2001" envisioned computer
intelligence imprisoned in the physical body of a computer. Where
"2001" left off, Ghost in the Shell begins.

Ghost in the Shell tells the story of a future in which a computer
program, Project 2501, becomes self-aware and begins a quest to fill
basic needs it feels are qualifiers of being alive by controlling
computers and people to achieve its ultimate goals. Whereas the
HAL-9000 computer was relatively harmless, owing to its confinement in
the Odyssey space ship, Project 2501 is a recognition that the global
internet could have dire consequences for all of us. By comparison,
this new villain is virtually invincible. But is Project 2501 a

Most people who have told me that they didn't like this move said that
they didn't understand it. Indeed, the story and concepts are very
complicated. I have watched it several times and still get new things
out of it every time. Roger Ebert called Ghost in the Shell, "Unusually
intelligent and challenging science fiction, aimed at smart audiences".

Ghost in the Shell is full of fascinating dialog, such as this diatribe
about the cycle of life and death by Project 2501. "A copy is just an
identical image. There is the possibility that a single virus could
destroy an entire set of systems, and copies do not give rise to
variety and originality. Life perpetuates itself through diversity, and
this includes the ability to sacrifice itself when necessary. Cells
repeat the process of degeneration and regeneration until one day they
die, obliterating an entire set of memory and information. Only genes
remain. Why continually repeat this cycle? Simply to survive by
avoiding the weaknesses of an unchanging system."

Thus Ghost in the Shell goes beyond simply a prediction or warning for
the future: it attempts to contribute to our understanding of reality
by breaking existence down into biological terms and making us
question, along with the characters in the movie, whether or not any of
us has a soul. The characters in Ghost in the Shell are unusually deep
and are a refreshing change from the one-dimensional stereotypes we've
become numbed by in modern media. Ghost in the Shell would be required
reading in many high school and university courses if it weren't for
the fortuitous fact that it can be enjoyed in this beautifully animated
feature film. This is one of the few movies ever made that everyone
should watch at least once.