Anime and manga fans rarely get to see a good cross-national adaptation of their favorite works, as much of the original works’ cultural nuance and fantastical animation can get lost along the way. This was certainly the case for the infamous 2009 Dragonball Evolution adaptation, which was widely panned by critics (us included). Despite this and lots of other negative attention, mostly surrounding the widespread decision to cast white actors in Japanese roles, many American studios are pushing forward with live action manga/anime adaptations in the coming years.
One of the most controversial of these adaptations so far is Ghost in the Shell, a live-action reboot of a 1995 anime film that follows The Major (Scarlett Johansson), a futuristic cyborg cop. Fans are very protective of the Ghost source material, as the animated epic went on to inspire groundbreaking sci-fi works like The Matrix and Avatar. It makes sense, then, that the same fans might be hesitant to accept an American live-action adaptation.
Those longing for the Ghost in the Shell of twenty years ago are in luck — at least those across the pond. Manga Entertainment, LLC, a producer/distributor of Japanese animated work in the United States and United Kingdom, has announced that Ghost in the Shell (1995) will reappear on screens across the UK early next year. This follows the company’s successful 25th anniversary Akira screenings earlier this fall.
The original Ghost in the Shell will appear for one night only on over eighty screens from Aberdeen to York, including sixteen locations in London. The resurrected film will premiere on January 25, 2017, and you can find ticketing information here. The company’s marketing manager, Andrew Hewson, said of the news:
“Profound and beautifully animated, Ghost In The Shell redefined the anime genre by exploring complex ideas regarding AI and what it means to be human – these themes are just as important now as they were 20 years ago. Absolutely timeless and digitally remastered, this film deserves to be seen on the big screen!”
This will be a great opportunity for UK fans of the original film to enjoy it before the the new Ghost in the Shell, which debuts in the United States next March, hits theatres. It’s especially cool that younger fans will be able to really experience the film as it was meant to be seen. This could either seriously backfire or really benefit the United States production, though, as it will give followers of the original film the chance to compare the two before the reboot’s release. If the 2017 Ghost in the Shell revival cannot hold a candle to its twentieth-century predecessor, UK viewers who partake in this special event will be especially able to tell.
Ghost in the Shell (1995) will see special screenings in the UK on January 25, 2017. Ticketing information can be found here.