After nearly six months of writing about teasers, trailers, and rumors for Paramount Pictures’ live-action Ghost in the Shell film, I figured it was time to sit down and actually watch the original 1995 animated movie. And I am here to tell you that it cleared up nothing for me. I’ll admit, the animation, production design, and soundtrack are all as impressive as rumored  —  the manga’s influence on the Wachowski Sisters is pretty hard to ignore in hindsight  —  but one movie was not enough to explain away my confusion regarding the Ghost in the Shell characters and universe as a whole.

(It probably also didn’t help that I could only find the film dubbed in English, which, as we’ve previously discussed here, is a suboptimal way to watch any movie.)

That being said, the animated movie did highlight the care that director Rupert Sanders and his crew took in recreating several iconic moments from the film. From the Major’s early assassination to her battle in the flooded car park, Ghost in the Shell seems to translate the aesthetics of the animated film with near-perfect attention to detail. That gave me a slightly different vantage point on this latest batch of trailers. There might not be any new footage on display here, but I can enjoy watching some of the key sequences from the movie with an understanding of where they come from.

It would also seem that the live-action film is going to move quite liberally between various iterations of the Ghost in the Shell franchise, including the manga, the animated series, and both animated films. Thankfully, since this is a major Hollywood blockbuster, we can expect a little more narration for the idiots like me who weren’t at all tapped into the cyberpunk scene of the late ’90s. This might be the first time I’ve ever gone into a movie hoping for the lore to be dumbed down a little bit.

Here’s the full plot synopsis for Ghost in the Shell:

Based on the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi property, Ghost in the Shell follows Major, a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology.

Ghost in the Shell will star Scarlett Johansson, Juliette Binoche, Takeshi Kitano, Pilou Asbæk, and Rila Fukushima. The film will cloak-shield-thingy into theaters on March 31, 2017.

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