This Friday at the Star and Shadow Cinema, the film The Echo Of Astro Boy’s Footsteps will play, about the sound designer for the anime ‘Astro Boy’ who effectively created the soundtrack for all anime to follow and his sudden retreat from the public eye in the 1980’s.
But what is Astro Boy? And what should you know about it before you watch the film? Well luckily for you Geordie Japan is back with another in our 20 facts series; with 20 fun facts about Astro Boy!
This weekend the Tyneside Cinema is screening the classic anime Ghost In The Shell as well as the original Godzilla for just 75p each! We already covered some facts about Godzilla a few months back, but here are 20 Ghost in the Shell facts to get you up to speed for Sunday’s early morning screening.
Ghost In The Shell (攻殻機動隊) began as a serialised managa story in 1989 in the Japanese magazine “Young Magazine” (ヤングマガジン)
The series was created and written by Masamune Shirow (士郎 正宗), also known for his manga ‘Appleseed’
Ghost In The Shell was turned into a anime feature film in 1995 and was directed by Mamoru Oshii (押井 守)
Oshii regularly uses quotes from the bible in his films, Ghost in the Shell’s quote comes from I Corinthians 13
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.”
The film was highly influential on The Matrix, which ‘borrows’ several key concepts and camera shots
According to the soundtrack’s liner notes, the haunting choral song that plays throughout the film is a wedding song, sung to get rid of evil influences.
The entire film was reworked into Ghost in the Shell 2.0 (攻殻機動隊 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.
One of the first films to mix cel animation with CGI
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 brand of beer that is drunk within the film is the real life brand San Miguel
The film was actually less successful inside Japan than in the rest of the world, when the sequel was released in Japan it was only titled ‘Innocence’ and lost the ‘Ghost in the Shell 2:’ prefix.
Although never specified in the film, it has been long rumored amongst fans that the film is set in futuristic Kobe.
Hollywood has purchased the rights to a live action remake, although news has been quiet on the project recently
The character of Motoko never blinks in the film, unlike other characters. This was a deliberate move to make her appear more “doll-like”
A song played over the credits is credited to the band ‘Passengers’, in reality it is a combined effort between U2 and Brian Eno
Weirdly, in Japan, two versions of the VHS were sold. One in Japanese, and one in English with Japanese subtitles. Commonplace now on DVD’s but extremely unusual back in 1995 on video!
A television series, Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex followed the film, the TV series follows a different story arc and has far more in common with the original manga.
The film cost around $10 million US Dollars to animate and produce
Three video games based on the franchise have been produced for various PlayStation consoles. The first game featured specially animated story sections in keeping with the style of the film.
So there you have it. If you are going to see either Ghost in the Shell or Godzilla on Sunday morning, we will see you there!