Living in the database: the appeal of the unreal

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Ever since the Wachowskis repackaged the themes and imagery of Masamune Shirow’s cyberpunk staple Ghost in the Shell for western audiences in 1999, the notion of living in a virtual world has become something of a fascination among creatives, consumers and conspiracy theorists. The most frightening aspect of The Matrix […]

Dear Hollywood, leave Cowboy Bebop alone

Dear Hollywood, leave Cowboy Bebop alone

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“And the work which has become a genre unto itself shall be called: Cowboy Bebop” This phrase is proudly emblazoned across the seminal series like manifesto, a mission statement that this stylish mix of music, form and story is entirely its own beast. Sure enough, while the series – and […]

Review: Ghost in the Shell (2017)

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Rupert Sanders’ Ghost in the Shell plays up to hyper-connection and disconnection felt from our own world, being so drenched in the constant techno-stream. Through the lens, everyone else seems to belong somewhere. The memories ourselves and others present to emulate that same belonging could just as well be fantasy, […]

The new punks: updating the sci-fi of Ghost in the Shell

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Nineties nostalgia sees the collective consciousness turn to simpler times; the pre-digital age that was a cornerstone in speculative fiction. It was the decade that gave rise to the cyberpunk subgenre and its pluckier, more optimistic cousin – the Y2K aesthetic. Here, distant futures were exactly that, and the world […]

More human than human: anime’s best cybernetic beings

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Soft robotics are all the rage after the unveiling of the super-kawaii silicone octobot, and each new android incarnation out of Japan seems smarter and closer to the real deal. With experimentation into robotics advancing ever further, we’re getting to a point where robots we can naturally relate to don’t […]

Futurology on screen: how anime anticipates tomorrow

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At the intersection of science fiction and reality is futurology – or future studies – the tenets of which imagine our future economy, politics and technology and reverse-engineer our means of getting there. An illuminating New Statesman piece likens futurologists to “doomsday preachers” in their forecasts of tragedy and technology […]

Review: Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie

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Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie picks up the thread spun in the standalone Arise episode ‘Pyrophoric Cult’, which saw the nascent Section 9 coming to blows with the memory altering computer virus, Fire-Starter. It posited that Fire-Starter was the natural next leap in mankind’s evolution, a step beyond […]

Review: Ghost in the Shell ARISE Borders 3 and 4

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Seeing just how Major Motoko Kusanagi met and formed her oddball law enforcement team was a hope granted with the release of Ghost in the Shell: ARISE, but producing the dreaded prequel-to-a-classic in the shadow of Mamoru Oshii’s movie was no less a risk for the demand. Thankfully, the OVA […]