What it’s about: The year is 2029 and the world has been fundamentally changed by the ongoing digital revolution. Cybernetics and mind uploading has become common-place, and those with the ability to hack into such systems are regarded as national assets. The story follows a group of police officers trying to track down one such hacker, a person known only as “The Puppetmaster”.
Why you should watch it: Ghost in the Shell is one of the true classics of the entire medium. It’s a must-see if you want to understand how anime got to the way it is today. The animation stands up surprisingly well for a series that’s almost twenty years old, and the plot masterfully combines action and philosophy without a single stumble. The soundtrack, aesthetic, and plot ideas have inspired dozens if not hundreds of copycat attempts.
Caveats: The animation does hold up well, but it’s nonetheless obvious that this is an older work, particularly with regards to sound design.
Themes: Mind/Body duality. The nature of consciousness and the soul
Similar works:Akira, Psycho-Pass, Bubblegum Crisis. Outside of anime, Blade Runner and Neuromancer.