Ghost in the Shell 2.0 We Remember Hong Kong

major-cg

Ghost in the Shell is one of the anime titles that sent me along this otaku path. I haven’t seen it in about 8 years and I didn’t pass on watching the 2.0 update.

I won’t dwell on the differences (non-spoiler difference: the Puppetmaster is female), or the details of the animation updates. The CG Kusanagi looks different from her drawn counterpart, but this does not bother me.

title

What I do find fascinating, and this was not possible at the first dozen times I’ve seen the movie, is how much of the city is based on Hong Kong.

I am not a well-traveled person, and I’ve never gone further than Southeast Asia, but Hong Kong is my favorite city. It’s a busy and exciting place. And I find it beautiful in its urban way.

One of my favorite parts is this long montage of Hong Kong, like a video essay that really brought the city to life, juxtaposed interestingly to the choral song Kenji Kawai arranged for the soundtrack. Please enjoy this image montage (Images are from the film, assorted websites, and my own trips with sybilant):

The animated frames look gorgeous to me.

The animated frames look gorgeous to me.

There's an easter egg in this set.

There's an easter egg in this set.

There's one here too.

There's one here too.

When I was pushing down anime down people’s throats back in the day, I would always tell them about how the characters in the movie drank  our favorite beer.

beer

San Miguel Beer Pale Pilsen, most of us drink the SMB Light version, but this is manlier. I don’t blame Batou and the Major for drinking from a can, but this beer is best enjoyed from the bottle.

San Miguel Pale Pilsen @ Tiendesitas

'Iba ang may pinagsamahan' No great way to translate that.

Ghost in the Shell has many good things going for it. It just so happens that what gripped me most this time around, is its gorgeous portrayal of the city of Hong Kong.

  1. Can you tell me about anime that featured real life cities and did a good job with it?  Leave a link to an image or video so I can see the goodness.
  2. Have you been there? Tell me about it.

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
This entry was posted in fanboy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Ghost in the Shell 2.0 We Remember Hong Kong

  1. Ryan A says:

    Aria vs Venice, check neko’s thinkbox. Nothing really comes to my mind, the beer thing just blanked me out Fuuko-style.

  2. Kiri says:

    Bacanno!’s depiction of New York floored me. I work in the city. It is my favorite city. Sure, the series’ depiction is from the 1930′s, but many of the same buildings are still in place and the overall feel of the location was very genuine. It was really wonderfully done, and I could tell that the animators spent a lot of time and effort in it.

  3. asher says:

    Not exactly a city but the race locations and mountain passes in Initial D (ex., Akina, Akagi, Myogi, Irohazaka, etc) reflect the actual areas in some of the prefectures in Japan (ex. Gunma, Saitama, etc.). I’ve never been to these places and would really be awesome if I get to drive there someday.

    *links are kind of dead right now.

  4. Sean says:

    Ghost in the Shell doesn’t take place in Hong Kong.

    (they work for the Japanese government, remember?)

  5. ghostlightning says:

    @ Ryan A

    Ah yes, and I wonder if Neo Venezia is based on circa 20th century Venice, or a more antiquated version for added atmospheric effect.

    @ Kiri

    You’ve given me another reason to regret not having started watching this show. When I finish one of my long shows perhaps. Thanks.

    @ asher

    That makes sense, given how racing videogames can be mighty accurate in depicting locales.

    @ Sean

    Watch the movie, or read Wikipedia or something. The movie changed the setting (Stand Alone Complex stayed in Japan, faithful to the Manga if I recall correctly). They drank that particular beer precisely because it is popular in Hong Kong.

  6. biankita says:

    does this mean i’m manlier because i prefer pale pilsen over light or ice? XD
    i’m with kiri on baccano. obviously, i’ve never been to 30s new york, but i like the feel they made with a mob-infested city.
    i should really watch GITS as a serious watcher. the first (and only) time around i watched it, i was like “what the hell is going on? i don’t understand anything.” it was really a bad idea to watch it and not take it as seriously at the time.

  7. schneider says:

    Hey ghostlightning, why haven’t you seen SAC yet? Not as beautiful as the movies, but tons more fun.

    But I still like pensive Major more than badass Major.

  8. Loki says:

    1. In anime Monster main character Takezo Kenma visited cities in the Czech Republic such as Prague, and other cities and villages. They did rather good job with it, I think. For example with Church of Our Lady
    real: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Our_Lady_in_front_of_T%C3%BDn

    in anime: http://screenshots.fansub.tv/378/41/24.jpg

    2. I’m living in Czech Republic so I’ve been in Prague several times. It’s wonderful place to sightseeing but it’s too much crowdy for me and I don’t like people there.

  9. Loki says:

    Ehm, sorry, the name is Kenzo Tenma …

  10. ghostlightning says:

    @biankita

    Yup. If you drank Red Horse, that’d be GAR.

    GitS can be satisfying on many levels, tomorrow’s post will explore some awesome mecha action.

    @schneider

    SAC bored me, and I had every reason to like it (TACHIKOMA 4TW!). I’ll give it another shot someday.

    @Loki

    Ah yes, I’m at ep 40something there and although I’ve never been to Prague or the other cities Dr. Tenma chased the Monster around, I can feel how much Urasawa loves Europe, as he seems to make every excuse to set his stories there.

  11. gloval says:

    wat??? they drank teh pale pilsen??? zomgwtfbbq!

    i actually prefer the taste of red horse more (so that makes me GAR huh).

    yup, it’s tough to translate, but let me try some translations for the sake of english speakers…
    “iba ang may pinagsamahan” = “togetherness spells the difference” (maybe you could find a better synonym for togetherness)

    1. seems like you’re waiting for san frontiercisco :D oh and check out the italian cities in gunslinger girl (particularly the first season).

    2. wish i could.

  12. ghostlightning says:

    @gloval

    Interesting attempt. ‘pinagsamahan’ connotes a lot of things, mostly a shared history – often in the context of friendship, fraternity; through good times and bad. That one word holds a lot of meaning.

    San Frontiertokyo is more like it. Remember how Shibuya is the downtown shopping district with the bldg with the 99(?) on it.

    Me too. I want to TRAVEL MOAR.

  13. schneider says:

    @ beer

    Not a fan of the drink, and my low alcohol tolerance doesn’t help either. I was also brought up in a household that frowned upon drinking. :P

    @ ghostlightning

    I… I don’t believe it! :(

  14. Emperor J says:

    As a beer connoisseur, I’m now going to have to have to embark on a quest to get some of the Pale Pilsen:)

    I need to get out more:(

  15. I can’t believe no one mentioned Lucky Star…

    But yeah, Baccano and Gunslinger Girl are both good choices and shows everyone needs to watch. NOW.

  16. ghostlightning says:

    @schneider

    I’m not a beer drinker per se, I only do so when I’m with people I enjoy drinking with.

    It can happen, I dropped Turn A, Last Exile, and Eureka 7. It’s just perhaps I’m not ready to enjoy them yet.

    @ Emperor J

    Enjoy your quest!

    @ digiboy

    Yes, thanks for reminding us all of Lucky Star!

  17. Lazdaman2002 says:

    we remember!!!!!!! Major Kusanagi Stripping 4 mins into the movie!!! will they Digitally revamp that??? (Hope so! )

  18. ghostlightning says:

    @ Lazdaman2002

    Yes, that happens. The fanservice is intact, looking brighter and prettier.

  19. Kahless says:

    You should pay more attention when you watch anime. Because there are more scenes which are based on real live places then you initially realize.

    Just like the news with lucky star:

    “otaku” tend to call these “seichi (聖地)” {holy sites} an visit them. Call them pilgrimages, if you like.

    My personal favorite of such would be of Lake Kizaki in Nagano perfecture:
    http://www.sakai.zaq.ne.jp/irisissnow/one/
    http://www.sakai.zaq.ne.jp/irisissnow/one2/index.html

    I personally visited several places which are featured in Fate/stay night. But that was before Type-moon went commercial and the game wasn’t even developed at the time, so i realized it after i saw the photo’s:
    http://kanai_soujya.at.infoseek.co.jp/fuyuki.htm
    http://www.geocities.co.jp/Playtown-Knight/3492/

    here some video montages of holy sites:
    http://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm777491

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-c783SIoRw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0AWXx4uWcE (<- Haruhi)

    Here i found a site with a list of titels:
    http://legwork.g.hatena.ne.jp/

  20. Kahless says:

    @Sean

    Section 9 doesn’t officially exist, so they can operate anywhere as long as they don’t get cought or leave any evidence.

  21. Kahless says:

    You should pay more attention when you watch anime. Because there are more scenes which are based on real live places then you initially realize.

    Just like the news with lucky star:

    “otaku” tend to call these “seichi (聖地)” {holy sites} an visit them. Call them pilgrimages, if you like.

    My personal favorite of such would be of Lake Kizaki in Nagano perfecture:
    http://www.sakai.zaq.ne.jp/irisissnow/one/
    http://www.sakai.zaq.ne.jp/irisissnow/one2/index.html

    I personally visited several places which are featured in Fate/stay night. But that was before Type-moon went commercial and the game wasn’t even developed at the time, so i realized it after i saw the photo’s:
    http://kanai_soujya.at.infoseek.co.jp/fuyuki.htm
    http://www.geocities.co.jp/Playtown-Knight/3492/

    here some video montages of holy sites:
    http://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm777491

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-c783SIoRw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0AWXx4uWcE (<- Haruhi)

    Here i found a site with a list of titels:
    http://legwork.g.hatena.ne.jp/

    .

  22. Kahless says:

    You should pay more attention when you watch anime. Because there are more scenes which are based on real live places then you initially realize.

    Just like the news with lucky star:

    “otaku” tend to call these “seichi (聖地)” {holy sites} an visit them. Call them pilgrimages, if you like.

    My personal favorite of such would be of Lake Kizaki in Nagano perfecture:
    http://www.sakai.zaq.ne.jp/irisissnow/one/
    http://www.sakai.zaq.ne.jp/irisissnow/one2/index.html

    I personally visited several places which are featured in Fate/stay night. But that was before Type-moon went commercial and the game wasn’t even developed at the time, so i realized it after i saw the photo’s:
    http://kanai_soujya.at.infoseek.co.jp/fuyuki.htm
    http://www.geocities.co.jp/Playtown-Knight/3492/

  23. Kahless says:

    I tried to post a message with a lot of links but it doesn’t show up. Do messages get screened, is there a character limit or is there some spam prevention which prevents me of posting my message?

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  25. oka says:

    the bear san miguel is a spanish bear.
    lol

  26. oka says:

    sorry beer no bear
    xDDD

  27. Pingback: “Coachy!” Gunbuster tells you to aim for the top! But you won’t believe what you find there! (gunbuster) « We Remember Love

  28. Daryl says:

    @oka
    This maybe a bit too late but San Miguel is from the Phillipines.

  29. edlee83 says:

    Hey there, I was googling “GITS” and “Hong Kong” when researching my video idea, and found your site. Thought my finished product might interest you: http://vimeo.com/33655609

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