For anime fans in Italy, who don't seem to have ever received a dedicated home video release of the Ghost in the Shell movie franchise, it's likely all fantasy. Fortunately, Dynit
(Bolonga, Italy) is looking to correct this injustice. Earlier this week, the anime distributor formally acquired the home video rights to Ghost in the Shell
(1995), Ghost in the Shell: Innocence
(2008), and the digitally amended Ghost in the Shell 2.0
(2004). Each of the films are scheduled to hit retailers later this year, bringing fans of hardcore science fiction and classic anime storytelling two decidedly modern classics. In other news, Dynit recently announced its distribution plans for the fantasy series Black Rock Shooter
[recent A.I. news: "Fantasy Anime BRS on DVD/Blu-ray
Remarking time and again on the transience of human existence amid an increasingly digitized and decreasingly civilized consumer culture, the Ghost in the Shell franchise makes no apologies for how it frames human ambition or resolve as a detriment to its longevity. For Major Motoko Kusanagi and her special paramilitary unit, sniffing out terrorism here in the 21st century often requires this exact brand of detached objectification.
Ghost in the Shell
, written by Kazunori Ito and directed by Mamoru Oshii, chronicles the much-needed merger of humanity with technology through the lenses of violence, sex, displacement, greed, and everything else familiar to dystopic and futuristic anime environs.
Dynit has currently scheduled the local release of the three Ghost in the Shell
films for late October/early November 2012.
Ghost in the Shell 2.0
and Ghost in the Shell: Innocence
will each retail with a two-disc standard DVD and single, Blu-ray Disc versions, independent of one another. The original film will be part of a limited pressed "Absolute Edition," which contains three Blu-ray discs (one for the initial 1995 presentation, the "upgraded" 2.0 version, and an array of behind-the-scenes notes and bonus features). Both Ghost in the Shell
and Ghost in the Shell 2.0
will be released with a new Italian language ADR track.
, written and directed by Oshii, is the true sequel to the 1995 production. As opposed to 2.0
, which sports new CG inserts and a remixed soundtrack, Innocence
tracks a new story in which Batou and Togusa set out to investigate a rash of murders at the hands of dolls (robots with "no human element"). Super realistic female robots, typically used in the sex service trade, are going haywire and killing their owners. As the two detectives dig deeper, they come head-to-head with hackers, yakuza, government thugs, and more.
Ghost in the Shell: Innocence
, although criticized as needlessly encrusted in hyper-logic, is still lauded for its visual brilliance and intricate and purposeful use of advanced computer animation techniques. Innocence
plays out more like a mystery film than a straightforward sci-fi brain dive, but its reliance upon the franchise's more common themes of human transgression and the struggles of the soul are ever present.