Ghost in the Shell 2.0 or the original version?
January 16, 2013 1:01 PM   Subscribe

I have a DVD containing Ghost in the Shell 2.0 (the re-mastered version with a new score) and the 'original movie version'.
If I'm only going to watch one, which should it be? I'll be watching with Japanese dialogue and English subtitles in either case.
posted by Huw to Media & Arts (9 answers total)
The original one. IIRC, the 2.0 version has a bunch of CGI replacing hand animation and I remember it really sucking the charm of the animation right out.

While you're at it, I really recommend watching Stand Alone Complex as well. I loved some of the cel animation in the movie but honestly it's kind of an incoherent mess. The TV series presents a much more competant story in the same universe.
posted by selfnoise at 1:06 PM on January 16, 2013

The original one, by far. While the animation and voice work was cleaned up in 2.0, they replaced some of the action scenes with horrid CGI.
posted by Oktober at 1:11 PM on January 16, 2013

Thirding this.

The 2.0 version is so bad that I'm going to import the original theatrical cut on blu-ray from Japan because it seems that's the only way to get the non-terrible version in HD.
posted by whittaker at 1:20 PM on January 16, 2013

(NSFW, nudity and spoilers. Both from Ghost and the Shell and DVD covers in ads.): Movie Censorship's Ghost in the Shell theatrical vs 2.0 comparison (NSFW, again). I had never seen the 2.0 version--just theatrical, but looking at these screenshots... wow, I can't believe they replaced that much animation with such poorly done CG.
posted by skynxnex at 1:48 PM on January 16, 2013

Thanks for the answers - good to get such a consensus!
posted by Huw at 1:53 PM on January 16, 2013

The japanese blu-ray is... expensive. Play-Asia has a couple of different versions (one with the DVD, one without) for $90-110. For the record, both Japan and the US are BR region A, so it shouldn't be an issue. If you go to cons, you may luck out though, while the US BR of Akira was out of print for a long time, the japanese version was heavily imported for $40 or so.
posted by Oktober at 1:54 PM on January 16, 2013

Watch the original!
posted by limeonaire at 2:49 PM on January 16, 2013

So I watched the original version last night and . . . it was a curious experience. It obviously was informed by, and influenced, so much of videogame culture that it was utterly familiar yet very dislocating. I enjoyed it though and will definitely take up selfnoise's recommendation of SAC.

I then watched the first 10 minutes of the 2.0 version and can agree that it's awful. It's not so much the CGI itself, more that it intercuts with the cel animation in a strange and unsuccessful way.
posted by Huw at 4:25 AM on January 18, 2013

Considering the film was one of the earliest Anime features to really make a splash over here (1995!), I'd say it's the other way around: a lot of the anime and cyberpunk elements you see in modern games take a lot of inspiration from it.
posted by Oktober at 9:48 AM on January 18, 2013

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