The Original ‘Ghost in the Shell’ Anime Will Return to Theaters for Two Days Only

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Before Scarlett Johansson launched a thousand essays by taking on the role of Motoko Kusanagi, the cybernetic crimefighter was nothing more than a drawing. The original Ghost in the Shell anime debuted in 1995 and blew audiences away with its futuristic cyberpunk aesthetic, influencing everything from The Matrix to the Star Wars prequels. In the film, the  robotic government agent cuts through the dystopian world of 2029 in search of the Puppet Master, a sentient computer virus taking over human hosts and causing havoc. The film’s flashy Hollywood remake is only a couple months away on March 31, but before that, the original will infiltrate theaters in a special engagement.

The Hollywood Reporter notes that the 1995 animated Ghost in the Shell will return to movie theaters on February 7 and 8, much to the delight of anime enthusiasts everywhere. Mamoru Oshii’s most famed work will run at 110 theaters across America during the two-night stand, with the first night screening the Japanese cut with subtitles for English speakers, and the second night featuring the film with English dialogue dubbed over. (Those familiar with the endless vitriol of the ‘dubs vs. subs’ debate prevalent among anime fans will recognize this as a wise move.)

Lionsgate’s decision to re-release the film isn’t intended to drum up buzz for the upcoming remake, however; the studio has nothing to do with that film. What they are doing is releasing a new Blu-ray remaster of the 1995 original on March 7, in the hopes that this rerun will goose public enthusiasm for the anime. Either way, between this and the upcoming live-action Death Note film due later this year (or so Adam Wingard says), there’s never been a better time to admit that you’re into anime.

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