1.Ghost In The Shell (攻攻攻攻攻) began as a serialised managa story in 1989 in the Japanese magazine “Young Magazine”
2. Ghost In The Shell was turned into a anime feature film in 1995 and was directed by Mamoru Oshii. The film was highly praised by Western directors, with James Cameron calling it “the first truly adult animation film to reach a level of literary and visual excellence.”
3. The film was highly influential on The Matrix, which ‘borrows’ several key concepts like including the virtual world, how to jack into it, and even some camera shots.
4. Ghost in the Shell was the first anime film to ever be released in Japan, the USA and the UK at the same time. The aim was to bring manga to the mainstream in the West. The film was actually less successful inside Japan than in the rest of the world.
5. For the live action film, Margot Robbie, you know this lady who Made Harley Quinn even more famous, she was originally considered for the lead role. However, negotiations broke down and the role was offered to Scarlett Johansson.
6. To explain, the Major in the manga and anime knows who she is and how she became a cyborg. It’s an important point in the story because it is how the Major centers on her core identity; that while her body is a machine, her mind and soul aren’t. In the live actin movie she appears to not know her origins. This is why the original manga was called Ghost in the Shell, as the “ghost” is your soul in the machine “shell” of a body. So in this sense, not having the Major know who she is then hits at the heart of Ghost in the Shell’s main narrative identity.
7. Masamune Shirow has stated that he had always wanted the title of his manga to be in English as “GHOST IN THE SHELL”, but his original publishers preferred Kōkaku Kidōtaiwhich literally means Mobile Armored Riot Police. They thought it would be more appealing, but guys what do you prefer?
8. Side note, Do NOT try to use Google translate to translate Kōkaku Kidōtai攻攻攻攻攻 from Japanese to English, it will translate it as Ghost In The Shell. Google often bases its translations on the most common term associated with a group of words.
8. Masamune Shirow had chosen “Ghost in the Shell” in homage to Arthur Koestler’s The Ghost in the Machine, from which he also drew inspiration. The Ghost in the Machineisa 1967 book about philosophical psychology by Arthur Koestler.
9. Ghost in the shell has several philosophic and religious references. Probably the most noteable one is at the closing scene of the 1995 film where the Major says this:”When I was a child, my speech, feelings, and thinking were all those of a child; now that I am a man, I have no more use for childish ways.” The entire film was reworked into Ghost in the Shell 2.0 (攻攻攻攻攻 2.0) in 2008. The whole film was reanimated using new CGI technology, the score was re-recorded and some of the voice actors replaced.
11. Also in Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, Batou is twice referred to as an elephant in the forest. This is an allusion to a Buddhist poem: “It is better to live alone; there is no companionship with a fool. Let a person walk alone with few wishes, committing no wrong, like an elephant in the forest.”
12. One of the lesser characters in Ghost in the shell, forensic analyst Ms. Haraway, is based on an actual professor, Donna Haraway. Donna Haraway believes that in order for women to be free from a “male dominant society”, they need to become cyborgs, and get more familiar with technology. She’s very adament that all concepts that society accepts of “what defines a female”, shouldn’t exist. She has been quoted assaying that “I’d rather be a Cyborg, than a Goddess”.