This product was provided for free for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are our own.
With the live-action adaptation Mamoru Oshii’s incredible 1995 film Ghost In The Shell about to hit theaters, now would be a good time to consider picking up a copy of Anchor Bay’s just-released Steelbook Blu-ray edition.
Based on Masamune Shirow’s Manga and spawning several sequels and a TV series, Ghost in the Shell has cemented itself as one of the deepest and most entertaining cyberpunk thrillers of all time, and the success of the original film, which quickly gathered a cult following, was most certainly the catalyst.
Set in 2029, Ghost In The Shell follows Motoko Kusanagi, or The Major, a cyborg cop tasked with taking down a mysterious hacker known as The Puppet Master, as he wreaks havoc on Tokyo. Filled to the brim with awesome future tech and violent scenes of action, it’s a film that easily holds up in the 22 years since its release.
The new Blu-ray from Anchor Bay however, doesn’t do much by way of adding quality, with the visuals looking fairly dated, something that I believe could be remedied with a bit of restoration and a new 2k or 4k transfer. The animation itself still looks great, but I can’t help but feel like the visuals would really pop if given the right treatment.
Another area that’s seriously lacking is the bonus content, in that there is none – no commentary, no featurettes, not even any trailers. This feels like a straight copy of an original DVD release, offering nothing more than a chapter selection. This is extremely disappointing as I am decidedly no expert in the world of Ghost in the Shell and would have loved to learn more about the film with some supplements.
What’s worse is that, although the 25th Anniversary edition doesn’t have bonus features either, at least it has a booklet included, and that’s only eight bucks on Amazon. I can’t be sure, but it seems like Anchor Bay simply repackaged that release, poorly delivered subtitles and all. This is no doubt designed to coincide with the release of the new film hitting theaters in just a few weeks.
While I highly recommend checking out the film itself, I would only recommend this Steelbook release to collectors. The Mondo artwork is amazing as always, but the asking price and what’s included in the package is just not worth it, and it slightly offends me that such an amazing film gets such bare bones treatment over and over. You can do better Anchor Bay. Do better.