While there are several reasons for a conversation about the casting controversy with Ghost in the Shell, the film itself delivers exactly what it set out to do. The movie delivers a unique American live-action adaptation of a beloved Japanese franchise. The franchise stems from a seinen (youth) manga, written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow. Animation studio Production I.G produced an anime adaptation by Mamoru Oshii in a 1995 film by the same name, which contained a few similar scenes.
Scarlett Johansson plays the role of Major, a human soul (or “Ghost”) inside a complete android body. Though there is some controversy surrounding her being cast as the Major, she did a good job oscillating between the aspects of Major’s robotic enhancements and the humanity that’s trapped within her manufactured “shell”. In some scenes, I chuckled because of how awkward it must have been to walk the way she needed to.
They show a futuristic Tokyo within the first few minutes of the film, and match the anime adaptations with an attempt to blur the lines between humanity and technology. Whether or not they were successful with the live-action adaptation is questionable, however. There are scenes of a beautiful CGI cityscape, full of 3D advertisements and signs. Some signs would be awesome to see in real life, such as koi fish that float through the air, seemingly just because they look cool. Let's face it, that is amazing. At the same time, the awe of the beautiful CGI fades quickly as the film progresses.
Overall, the film does not wow me and isn't quite what I wanted, but it was what I expected. Usually, going into adaptations or remakes of something, I go in with an open mind to the fact it will be different. It was just that: Different. Though some scenes are similar to the manga and anime, the way some of the plots played out lacked the action or the robotic gore I was anticipating. There is even a plot twist involving Major's past that left me thinking “What the hell???”. It did, however, meet what my expectations were in terms of deviations from the original anime movies based on the previews. It is also visually stunning, despite some bland scenes for a futuristic film. Many of the outfits were on point with the 1995 anime adaption, like Major's vest. I still recommend seeing "Ghost In The Shell" despite these criticisms, because everyone’s views are different and it isn't a horrible film overall.