Ghost in the Shell, following in the footsteps of Akira, is one of the most critically acclaimed animated movies of the 1990s. Director Mamoru Oshii's bleak cyber-punk anime makes for a good, but flawed DVD. Picture quality is outstanding. The 1.85:1 widescreen transfer does the movie's bold vision justice, and color contrast is excellent. The sound, however, is problematic. The English dialogue track is very good, the voice acting is acceptable, and the sound effects are commanding. Turning on the subtitles while listening to the Japanese audio track, however, reveals flaws. The voice acting on the Japanese track is particularly awkward; the actors simply read their lines without emotion. Also, sound effects are buried on the Japanese track, no matter how loud the volume.The DVD's special features are not as exciting as the case's artwork would have viewers believe. The 30-minute "making of" featurette is dull and offers little insight or substantive information; it's similar in nature to the promos found on cable television, but infinitely less professional and interesting. The theatrical trailer is also a waste of time. "A Guide to Ghost in the Shell" brings up nine areas of background information, such as character bios, crew bios, a plot summary, and some design information. Ghost in the Shell is Grade-A anime and maybe a Grade-B DVD.
"The Making of Ghost in the Shell" (30 mins.)
Complete movie production report
Languages: English, Japanese, Japanese with English subtitles and closed captioned
English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, Japanese Dolby Pro Logic Surround Sound
Wide-screen version presented in a matted format with original 1.85:1 aspect ratio