Review: Ghost in the Shell README: 1995-2017

  • November 8, 2017
  • James Skemp
  • review

The following is a review of Ghost in the Shell README: 1995-2017, received as part of the Amazon Vine program.

Thankfully, Focuses Mostly on the Animes

First, I’ve been a fan of Ghost in the Shell animes since forum posts pointed me to watching the original Ghost in the Shell movie shortly after The Matrix came out, and I wanted to watch more movies like it.

I wasn’t expecting much from the new Ghost in the Shell movie, so I wasn’t surprised when it wasn’t that great. Thankfully, less than 10 pages of the 160 of Ghost in the Shell README: 1995-2017 cover the new Hollywood movie. This section is also in the beginning of the book, instead of where it chronologically belongs at the end, but is otherwise less forced than I expected.

That out of the way, the rest of the book covers all of the animated movies and shows. There’s an introduction to each, a story breakdown, character and mechanics information (including original sketches), landscapes, analysis of the last shot of the movie/series, a column on some relevant topic, and mysteries and answers, which are basically a few questions some may have about elements of the media, and answers to them.

I like that each section has these same elements, and am really a fan of the original sketches, some of which include notes about how they should be treated when animated. The only thing that would have made these better is if the illustrations and landscapes would have been allowed more space, which would have necessitated more pages, since every page is already full of art and text.

If you’re coming to Ghost in the Shell because of the new movie, I think you’d be disappointed with this book, given how little ties to it. The same could be said if you’re only familiar with the manga.

However, if you’re familiar with the franchise, and would like a book that is somewhere between an art book and history, then I think you’d find this a nice book for your bookshelf, especially given the low price.

Lastly, the book itself is very nice. The binding is great and the pages have the right thickness and gloss.

For someone such as myself, I give Ghost in the Shell README: 1995-2017 a full five of five stars. Recommended.