Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Ghost in the Shell: Vol 1 (1991)

Author: Masamune Shirow | Illustrator: Masamune Shirow | Page Count: 368

"…There was an 'SOS' literally written in blood on the cyberbrain unit…"

The serialised manga that started the Ghost in the Shell phenomenon is both a product of its time (it has those weird noses and relies on comedy/chibi style reactions) and light-years ahead conceptually and philosophically of where most western comic writers were at the time. Shirow uses a similar kind of futuristic world to what he'd created for his previous works as a foundation, but by introducing GitS-specific concepts he effectively crafts something totally unique.

The blurb on the back makes it sound like what you're getting is the same story that was featured in Mamoru Oshii’s anime adaptation (1995). That's not strictly true. You do get that story, but it's only a small part of the entire book and it doesn't appear until late in the day. If all you wanted was the movie in book form, you'll be slightly disappointed. Admittedly, Oshii took the best of what the collection has to offer, but on the plus side you get a lot more content than was in the film, so it's actually better this way.

Note: There's more than one version of the book available, depending on where in the world you live. There's the censored Kodansha edition, the Dark Horse edition, and the Titan Books edition. The version used for review was the UK Dark Horse edition (2004) that had all originally removed pages fully reinstated.

4 ghost-dubs out of 5

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