Scene from the movie Ghost in the Shell

With 'Ghost in the Shell' in theaters it's time to rethink the maligned 2008 anime adaption

While this origin story for the Major isn't drastically different than some of the others she's been given in various other Ghost In The Shell manga and TV series, the optics of making her physically Japanese in a past life is a deeply questionable one.

Her birth--with her floating nude figure covered in dripping white liquid-has echoes of the acclaimed 1995 anime version of Ghost in the Shell directed by Mamoru Oshii based on the manga by Masamune Shirow.

A 1995 movie of the same name garnered a small but dedicated following worldwide and its popularity grew. This big-budget adaptation of the Japanese manga and anime classic (Masamune Shirow's comic premiered in the late 1980s, Mamoru Oshii's highly influential first film version in 1995) has managed to replicate the surface trappings of the captivating, almost post-human world of the source material.

This is only the latest case of controversy to erupt over the casting of white actors in roles originally written as Asian people.

Scarlett Johansson as Major, the Japanese protagonist in "Ghost in the Shell". When human beings are artificially created using technology, what happens to our notions of human identity?

It's understandable that the makers of "Ghost in the Shell" would seek a successful, talented movie star like Johansson to try launching a brand new film franchise.

Fifth Inning Sinks Pittsburgh Pirates On Opening Day
Stephen Strasburg (1-0) earned the victory, allowing 2 runs and 6 hits in 7 innings, pitching out of the stretch the whole way. David Ortiz may be gone and David Price is starting on this disabled list, but this team is bringing serious talent.

"Something can probably be said here about how the white actress plays a human looking android while the Asian actress does not", Women Write About Comics writer Clara Mae tweeted back in February. In Under the Skin she walked a fine line that many didn't even know existed, one of the world's most attractive women fully naked on screen and yet rarely sexy, her otherness as an alien being wearing this human suit coming through as she examines her body in a mirror.

Major's family were lost in a shipping accident in which she herself died.

Finally, she confronts a Hanku researcher, Dr. Ouelet (Juliette Binoche, Academy Award victor for "The English Patient") and finds out some awful secrets about her condition. Her brain was salvaged from her old body and placed into the cyborg body. She suffers a lot of damage, losing a limb in one fight, but comes back like a new pin after visits to the fix lab. It's both compliment and detriment that her Major is too robotic at times: A certain sterility is wanted, but her character lacks the needed humanity to connect with audiences, though a relationship she kindles near the end at least leads to an emotional climax.

The biggest threat to cyborgs is hacking. In general, Major is convincingly deadly, physicality is believable, but the way she walks, along with her voice, is sometimes a distraction affectation. Pilou Asbæk as Major's friend Batou is also lifeless and charmless. The same was done to Michael Pitt's character, Kuze, in the male form. It's not a great film, it won't set the world on fire. I was anxious that the deluge of big pictures each weekend would cut the previous one off at the knees regarding post-debut legs. Once suspension has been achieved, enjoyment can commence. Come August 2017, the new film will be released on Netflix.

The various cyborgs are brilliantly created and the costume is a fabulous mix of futuristic meets 1980s.

"I have really fond memories of watching him be really enthusiastic and passionate about his job", she explains. In the time since, the concept has been recycled multiple times-most notably with 1999's The Matrix-and when the new Ghost has nothing interesting to add, it becomes awkwardly obvious. Johansson's experience of life after death is on some level a chilling nightmare, and on our culture's current trajectory, not one that might always remain in the realms of fiction.

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