Ghost in the Shell has become a whole franchise, but in my opinion, the first film will do.
In the year 2029, advances in Cybernetics allow people to replace nearly all of their body parts and organs with robotics. Through these prosthetics, the weak are made strong, and the dying are given new life. Public Security Section 9 of Niihama City (a fictional setting inspired by Hong Kong), a diverse team of AI, cyborgs and unmodified humans, must investigate cases of corruption and terrorism. Major Motoko Kusanagi has full-body prosthetics, owing to a childhood accident. She, her second in command Batou and information specialist Ishikawa have been assigned an important task: to investigate a hacker known only as “The Puppetmaster.” But as Motoko and her team discover, things are never so simple.
It started with a film released in 1995; now it’s a franchise with spin-off shows, video games, figures, and apparently a life-action in production. I have mixed feelings about the film itself. The composition of each shot is done beautifully. However, this film as plenty of political dialogue. Personally, I’m not a fan of films of such dialogue. However, the philosophical ideas discusses are great. I love that stuff. The sequel film offers the narrative of Batou after Motoko disappears. This film exhibits an overload of philosophical discourse and a lack of action, and is therefore, not my cup of tea.
If you want more action and less banter, then watch the Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex series. It even has cute robots, who have little philosophical discussions at the end of each episode. It consists of two seasons. The first season is a great show with a good balance between action and political banter. The second season’s point eluded me and the lack of tachikomas was a buzzkill for me. Therefore I’d recommend watching the first season.
After spending time watching the above animations, there are still spin-offs and remakes to explore. All I can say is good luck with that!
I definitely recommend the classic film and the first season of the tv-series.