Originally released in 1988, My Neighbor Totoro is often considered to be the seminal film from acclaimed writer/director Hayao Miyazaki and his animation team at Studio Ghibli. It’s a film that changed the face of anime and had a profound cultural impact, both in its native Japan and across the world. But, how does it fare when viewed from the lens of three anime-ignorant film enthusiasts? Does the style prove distancing? Or, did we fall for Totoro’s simple charms?


It took us 65 episodes, but we FINALLY managed re-view an anime film! Or, in the case of all of us—apart from subject matter expert and special guest Jon West—a “new view” of Mamoru Oshii’s Ghost in the Shell. Based on the manga by Masamune Shirow, Shell takes place in a futuristic 2029 where a cybernetic human police officer attempts to track down a mysterious hacker known as the Puppet Master. Often considered a seminal anime film that defines the medium, we talk about how we think Shell holds up as a piece of entertainment as well as its influence on modern American cinema, including a live-action remake that will hit theaters in 2017.  Get ready to get “ghost-hacked”—it’s time for a re-view of Ghost in the Shell!