Before the review, a quick aside about the tricky continuity of Ghost in the Shell:

As you can tell from the poster, this is indeed animated and not starring an Avenger. Nor is it tied to the continuity of the original ’95 classic, or the other separate tv series, Stand Alone Complex. Instead, this film wraps up a series of four Original Video Animations–OVAs–subtitled Arise(OVAs are longer than a tv episode but shorter than a movie). In other words, it’s a sort of series finale for the Arise series, and really you should watch those first. All that said, here’s the review——

Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie lacks a good deal of the philosophical depth of the other (animated) versions of the Ghost in the Shell series’, but more than makes up for that with some of the best character development we’ve seen so far. Usually the Major, Batou and Togusa are the focus, but interwoven with the complex political plot and excellent action scenes, we get a solid vision of the entire team and their feelings, the most realistic camaraderie in all the iterations of the group so far. The film is solidly made and very entertaining, with a few trip ups like a shoddy “body double” subplot, and I can’t recommend it enough to fans (although I recommend those new to the franchise start somewhere less…continuity-oriented).