Uf, I can’t believe I have to write this post. But something has to be said so that I can have closure on this subject.
That’s right, we’re diving back into the live action Ghost in the Shell 2017, which I had previously covered in my review. Before we get too deep, however, I had written a more formal review about the film which you can view right here. It’s got most of my thoughts, from casting and cinematography to world-building, set design, and the soundtrack. Speaking of, Lorne Balfe has been graciously releasing a couple tracks each Friday in response to the fans’ call (mine included), so that’s really awesome of him!
Welcome to “Cafe Talk,” a comment-welcome segment that, while it doesn’t happen as often as it should, is pretty fun to write! With this one, frankly speaking, we’re talking about being pissed off when no one likes your opinions, and exactly how much of a downer it can be. Sound relatable?
Your Opinion Doesn’t Suck, People Do
What can I say? You’re typically never in the wrong for harboring an opinion (unless that thought potentially threatens, harms, outcasts, etc. a person). Opinions are just personalized ideas, views, or judgments, and ideas are just that—intangible concepts. Alone, opinions and ideas can’t do much of anything, but when tagged together with a voice, that’s when things can get interesting.
Communication tends to happen after one’s opinion is formed; they seek out other individuals, groups, or even communities to see how their opinion stacks up, and whether it’s a favored or disfavored belief. More often than not, your position is accepted (YAY) as the popular opinion (hence the world “popular”).
You’ve done it! You’ve got nothing to fear!
Unless you’re like me, in which a chorus of crickets followed by intense booing ensues upon opinion delivery. You’ve just created an unpopular opinion (DAMMIT), and should you choose to continue to be vocal with your convictions, you’re life is about to get a bit harder. Just remember, this is NOT your fault—it’s a very human thing to stick with groups and label others as outcasts. You’ve just decided to bring something new to show-and-tell, and that scares the weak, the non-creative, the non-accepting, the unadventurous, the unappreciative, the crowd-followers.
Here, to console you, I’ll share a few of my own unpopular anime-related opinions cause, like, we know your thoughts can’t be as near as bad as mine, heh heh heh . . .
- I like Sword Art Online (oh crap, we’re starting with a strong one)
- I like Sword Art Online II more than the first (yes I just went there)
- Sailor Moon Crystal is a pretty enjoyable and strong adaptation of the original manga (no going back now)
- KILL la KILL‘s fanservice isn’t that off-putting (hi Kausus :3)
- Danganronpa: The Animation is a great adaptation of the game
- I don’t mind Kickstarting anime localizations
- Typically, I’d rather meet the English voice actors of a show rather than the Japanese seiyuus
- I thought The Empire of Corpses was a cool film
- Bryce Papenbrook is a good voice actor (in most cases, NOT Kirito)
- The Future Diary (Mirai Nikki) is fantastic NOT just because of Yuno Gasai
- “Monster girl anime” seem stupid
- Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) should NOT be skipped; both it and Brotherhood hold well on their own, respectively (same goes for Deen’s Fate/ stay night)
- Free! is NOT just about muscles and wet boys
- No Game No Life is not recommendable because it doesn’t end (same goes for Deadman Wonderland)
- Madoka Magica: Rebellion is a masterful film
- I love Robotics;Notes and Chaos;Head almost as much as Steins;Gate, even if Steins;Gate is the best
- The Viz Media English dub of Sailor Moon is better than the DiC dub
- I enjoy all of the Pokemon films
- Higurashi’s second season Kai is better than the first
- The Eden of the East films complete the story wonderfully
- Watamote is a funny anime, not a sad one
- The live-action Ghost in the Shell (2017) is an incredible and artistic film that respects its sources and holds quite well on its own
. . . Wait, that last one, “That’s not even cool bro . . .”
So now that we’ve broken the ice (and melted it), let’s get this out of the way.
My Unpopular Opinion, an Argument
Ghost in the Shell (2017) was a film that I walked out of not pondering endless sci-fi wonders, but feeling warm and tingly inside instead, which is quite unlike any entry in the franchise thus far has made me feel. But rather than chastise it as “something so far off of the original path that it’s unrecognizable,” think of it as a new side to the franchise. Ghost in the Shell has always been about vast interpretations and new ideas anyway, so why not welcome this unique artistic approach regardless that it looks like the black sheep in the herd.
Even Mamoru Oshii, director of the original 1995 film (which is much of 2017‘s inspiration) only wished for Directer Sanders to not be bogged down by his and Kenji Kamiyama’s Major (Stand Alone Complex), but to create his own as another face to the franchise.
Clearly, a lot of heart was put into visualization of the world—you can feel that the director was going for something GitS, but altogether a new and innovative vision [more relevant to our times].
I loved this fresh spin on the franchise, even if it admittedly bit off a little more than it could chew by trying to tie in so many homages to the franchise that, in fact, make each installment distinct from one another. And like any adaptation, if I wanted to see the original story all over again, I’D JUST WATCH THE ORIGINAL.
And about the casting, I’ve paraphrased a YouTube comment that quite honestly deserves a million likes:
“It’s controversial, but not incorrect casting. Major is an “Asian woman” in a European frame (robotic body), sure, yet part of the theme of cyberpunk and the series/movie revolves around self identity and what truly makes someone themselves—their experiences and actions. The people who said she should have been Asian were not only missing the entire movement of the franchise, but were critics just trying to push their political agenda onto a beloved title. Likely, they didn’t know the source material and went, “Oh, but, it’s Asiany and it’s made in Asia, sooooo.”
What it Feels Like to be Crushed Your Unpopular Opinion
After I put myself out there, I definitely got “politely flagged” by other community members. They were responding to me, just trying to kindly say that they didn’t care for the movie—and that’s fine, especially since they were so nice!—but you kind of feel, I don’t know, down. It’s like you’re floating on your own raft out on the open waters, which are filled with bloodthirsty hate-filled sharks. And then you’re suddenly reminded that nobody is going to come and save you, so it’s either hold strong to what you value, or let it all go to the sharks.
And you know what? I’m still here, floatin’ away in this little hell all because I like the live action Ghost in the Shell. Stupid, right?
When you value something that others simply don’t, you start to get lonely. Nobody wants to waste their time attempting to scrounge up the very few “pros” that exist (if any) just to please you. They’ll notice, maybe console you saying something like, “Yeah, it could’ve been better,” or perhaps remind you once again as to why your opinions are dumb. But then they’ll go and find something else to talk about, and it almost leaves you feeling guilty for liking (or not liking) what you do. After all, you just missed out on a potentially awesome conversation—if only you shared the same opinion, that is.
By having an unpopular opinion, you can feel isolated and at its worst, ashamed. You almost wish you could naturally hate something like everyone else did, or fall in love with something the way everyone else did. And then your problems would be gone—But THAT itself IS the problem:
Without your differing ideas, there would be only one main belief about something, and where’s the fun in that? Because you decided to explore where no one else dared, you walked out with something that no one else has, and you should embrace that, not hide it away!
Which is why I’m going to say it:
“IT’S NOT JUST A SHELL. THE LIVE-ACTION GHOST IN THE SHELL IS NOT JUST A FREAKIN’ SHELL.”
I’m sick and tired of people—reviewers, critics, heck, even the media—calling it that just to make some stupid-ass pun. The SAME stupid-ass pun at that.
So from this experience that I had, I learned that you should always:
DELIGHT in the fact that your opinions may be different than the rest.
BE HUMBLE with your beliefs, proud but open to suggestions, discussions, and different viewpoints.
SUPPORT the things you love, for they brought you joy.
And for goodness sake, ENJOY something because YOU like it, not because others tell you not to or that you’re supposed to.
Don’t let all of the negative opinions and hate bog you down like it did me. Don’t let it! Hate puts your mind in the gutter, and honestly doesn’t feel good at all. You start second-guessing yourself, “Should I really be liking this,” which is EXACTLY what happened with this film for me. Instead, we should all keep on loving anime and the opportunities to ponder, interpret, and discuss that it has brought us. THAT is all you have to do!
Have you ever had an unpopular opinion that struck you so deep that it brought unwanted hate your way? And did you defend your case in the respectful way you should have? Also, have you ever felt lonely or isolated for liking something that nobody else does? List some for me like I did, as I’m very curious! And almost more than that, I’m SO HAPPY to finally put my thoughts on this film and its controversy to rest. When it was in theaters, I had gone it THREE times (and saved the tickets just for this post), and as of now, I have purchased the artbook, the Blu-ray, and an adorable little Funko Pop of the iconic Geisha! And whenever the soundtrack comes, I’ll buy, support, and listen to that, too! Until next time, this has been
– Takuto, your host