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I've watched the Ghost in the Shell movie a long time ago. After seeing the live action movie, I dont remember some things or I believed they were different. For example, the relation between Major and the mother. And the end for her and the hacker. Which are the main differences between Ghost in the Shell the anime and the 2017 live action movie?

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I'm not gonna go into much details here, for that you can read countless articles on professional outlet sites. In short, everything is very different and heavily modified to make this new movie self-sufficient and everything explainable to a viewer unwilling to draw their own conclusions.

Here's some of the differences I noticed:

  • Major never had any "memory glitches" in the original movie;
  • Major was never Mira Killian. This whole memory-manipulation thing is an entirely new twist;
  • Major's mother was never an important character in the whole GITS franchise, and especially not in the 1995 movie. I don't think she was ever shown, but maybe mentioned once or twice in the tv series;
  • Major had a defective body since conception and had her brain transformed into a cyberbrain before she was born. This isn't explained in the 1995 movie iirc, but it's explained in the tv series. So there was no accident where her adult body was damaged, like it is explained in the new movie;
  • Major wasn't a rebellious teen who'd write angsty graffiti in the slums. Watch the Arise series to find out her canonical origin story;
  • Major's demeanor is originally very calm, rational and witty. The new movie portrays her as immature, unsure, rash and unwise;
  • Batou's eyes got replaced by electronics much earlier, while he was part of the ranger unit, unlike it is portrayed in the new movie. The rationale for that and his attitude towards this decision was much different;
  • Kuze character from the new movie is a mix of the Kuze GITS SAC: 2nd Gig series and Puppetmaster character from the movie, and this new Kuze's deal is not political in nature, but rather self-searching like Puppetmaster's.
  • There was no prior relationship between Major and this new Kuze/Puppetmaster in the original;
  • Hanka robotics doesn't exist in the original movie; It was Megatech that made Major's body;
  • There was no main villain character like the CEO of Hanka, Cutter. In the original universe, it's the faceless corporations and countries which cause trouble and global unrest;

Most importantly, the new movie doesn't have the slow pacing of the original and explicitly explains every detail without letting the viewer soak in the information, have a moment to themselves to process and ponder about the potential problems that could arise in a world where computers and people are essentially indistinguishable and have equal rights. There are no open-ended questions or implications thrown at the viewers to consider during the silent cityscape exposition scenes. Basically, food for thought was minimized in favor of action spectacle and the primitive "Who am I?" sort of existential questions.


See this Nerdwriter video for additional dissection of differences.

  • some bonus thoughts reddit.com/r/movies/comments/6h3jqg/… – Hakase Jun 14 '17 at 3:09
  • Taking Arise as a canonical background can be iffy at best, and contradicts parts of 2nd Gig. The entire plot of Arise is memory manipulation (which rather counters your claim this is a new plot direction), and the Major's recounting of her childhood and cyberization is one of the things they specifically point out to the viewer as likely partially or wholly fabricated (note how the photo of her with the doctor and the lady changes when she starts to realize what's going on). And what do you mean by "no prior relationship"? They clearly had a non-trivial connection in 2nd Gig. – zibadawa timmy Jul 12 '17 at 5:48

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