Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in The Shell

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Mamoru Oshii’s Ghost in The Shell
Science fiction has been a staple of film entertainment since George Melies first explored the genre in his 1902 Le Voyage Dans La Lune. While even as early an example as this contained many defining features of the genre which are still present today, over 100 years of exploring the genre has both expanded and more accurately defined what makes a film fit the science fiction niche. This paper seeks to explore elements of Mamoru Oshii’s Ghost in The Shell and how they conform to science fiction genre standards. These topics will include plot and thematic elements, as well as film techniques and iconography. Furthermore, the film will be examined through the reflectionist approach to determine how
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Science fiction is distinctive by building such feats in constructs that seem feasible. In the Star Wars series (which is undeniably quintessential science fiction), we see Jedis perform such seemingly magical feats – an element that appears to superficially cater to standard fantasy. We eventually learn, however, that these powers are based at the genetic level – effectively lending to an
“atmosphere of scientific credibility.” Qui-Gon Gin explains to Anakin in the novel adaptation of George Lucas’s Phantom Menace: “Midi-Chlorians are microscopic lifeforms that reside within the cells of all living things and communicate with the Force.”
(Brooks, 245).
Just as Star Wars sets itself apart from standard fantasy by basing the seemingly supernatural on story elements more scientifically feasible than magic and mysticism in order to aid in suspending disbelief, so to does Ghost in the Shell. While Star Wars utilizes microscopic life-forms to accomplish this, Ghost in the Shell arguably better succeeds in creating an “atmosphere of scientific credibility” by using something we’re all much more familiar with than microbiology: computers. Many of the characters in
Ghost in the Shell including our hero, Major Motoko Kusanagi, are seen performing superhuman feats similar to Jedis. They are seen performing seemingly impossible stunts such as in the opening of the film when the Major jumps off of a tall building to repel through one of its
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