I’ve watched Ghost In the Shell stand-alone complex, never bothered with the original movie cause, I don’t like watching old movies (like how i know Akira is awesome but haven’t managed to sit through the whole thing). Now that it’s a class assignment, I’m bothering.
First, I’d like to say, watch the original version, 2.0 is…the subs for 2.0 is worse, some of the symbols are watered down, I won’t even get started on the whole ‘Don’t watch the dub’ part.
Honestly, it’s an okay movie, less dramatic compared to the likes of Evangelion. Japanese animes, especially acclaimed ones are always thought-provoking, though I can see why people who aren’t used to animes will get all amazed and mind-fucked.
WARNING: NONSENSICAL RANT/WORD VOMIT AHEAD
I’m sure some people will disagree, but to me, in really simple words, basically puppet master wanted to make a baby with the major. Except their version of copulating and reproducing an offspring is through merging their cyber consciousness because well…they don’t have bodies to have sex with. (and since he doesn’t come with physical DNA).
I feel the whole idea is really similar to cellular reproduction, where cells (the smallest form of life) that wasn’t self aware and only knew how to split/divide eventually evolved into more complicated life-forms, gaining self-awareness and becoming animals and humans…which then reproduce instead of splitting because making copies of ourselves isn’t good enough for us anymore once we become sentient because our desire to live drives us to reproduce offsprings that have better chances of surviving.
Also, we consider the functions of a human body a system, our brains are software and our bodies are hardware. So the whole cyborg thing is just exaggerating that concept to an extreme. Funny how when we change the medium but retain the same consciousness, we start doubting ourselves. Humans are so narrow-minded and complicated sometimes.
But that’s going off tangent. I feel like puppet master, after becoming self-aware craves mortality because it chose to identify itself as a life-form (hard not to when he spends his time inside other human’s heads), and he/she/it is contextualizing it in the only way it knows how, through the idea of systems and objectives. Life-forms are alive because they die. But at the same time, only life-forms are capable of giving new life. All living thing’s desire to live (which is justified by their inevitable death, but if you will never die, you won’t desire to live since living is a constant) results in them trying to subvert death through reproduction by finding other life-forms to mate with and create a new, more evolved off-spring that will hopefully be able to avoid/overcome death for longer period (or perhaps forever).So to him, to become a life-form, to be human, is to find a way to have an offspring and find a way to die. And this whole story is just a really long process of him hunting down his chosen mate.
The irony is quite intriguing though. The Major is a human seeking a higher understanding of existence and sentience, whereas the puppet master is born from the sea of knowledge she hopes to understand and be part of but is instead seeking what she has, humanity and mortality. I find it rather funny though, in trying to define her humanity and her identity of self, the major is actually asserting her humanity because it is in human nature to question who we are and constantly redefine ourselves. Her entire process of trying to push the boundaries of redefining herself, through diving, accessing the vast networks, so as to justify her constant conflicting desire to prove and disprove herself as a human ultimately led her to an entity that is so,unlike her, certain in his sense of self and humanity (more like it’s existence as a sentient life form) really shows us a whole sense of the circle of life. She came a full circle, right where she started, a human but not a human. A life but not a life. And the ending just shows that she’s setting of on a new journey again. Repeating the cycle as an upgraded version of herself.
But really, if we ignored the whole cyborg bodies and external consciousness, and looked at the whole story at its core. Two minds seeking the meaning of self and life end up finding each other, who are the answers they always sought, reaches the end of the journey and starts on a new one again as a ‘new’ (enlightened) being because of this encounter. Is that not how life works? You have a problem, you go on a journey to find answers, you find your answers and become an upgraded version of yourself…and then you have a new problem and go on a new journey and the process continues until you die.
It just goes to show the journey and circle of life is inevitable regardless of what medium/form mortal (or in this case, aspiring mortal) entities take.