Ghost in the Shell 2.0 We Remember the AWESOME TANK FIGHT

o-hai-major

It’s not at all unusual to find articles on animation in the aniblogosphere, from general awesomeness, to eccentricity. I actually find it unusual that it isn’t discussed enough (well, I guess it does in various reviews). As can be read from various posts, animation quality isn’t only about how pretty the pictures are, but rather how well they are sequenced to create the illusion of movement.

Motion (in the context of) and animation are misnomers. The pictures don’t move. We are actually being shown one image at a time, one after the other. These are cleverly sequenced to make us see moving subjects. Image quality can provide us rich detail, perhaps in terms of pixels/dots per square (insert unit of length here). Shows in High Defenition reward us with this quality. Animation quality is better measured (grossly) in terms of frames per second, or the number of images that can be shown in sequence per unit of time.

One thing notable about remarkable animated scenes is that a lot of them are fights and battles. It shouldn’t be surprising, given that fights and battles have a lot of stuff going on at a very fast pace. It’s really a set-piece showcase for the show. Ghost in the Shell is remarkable in its awesome mecha battle.

its-a-tank

Your usual fight is between two humans, or humanoid beings (including robotic ones). Battles are between mixed units, from squads to large fleet engagements. Ghost in the Shell’s final engagement is unusual that it’s a one-on-one duel, and it’s humanoid vs. monster nature.

The tank is a monster; it behaves with sentience, but does not behave like a rival – who converses and debates with the protagonist (think Char vs. Amuro, Grace vs. Alto). It’s silent, and only speaks using gunfire.

It’s not like Major Kusanagi isn’t beyond human herself. She’s showcased her capabilities on several occasions throughout the movie.

pwend_s-2

It's so pretty, how he twists in the air like that from a kick.

oww

His twisting on the ground was quite enjoyable to watch as well.

But as for the battle itself. The Major vs. the tank. The Major is only carrying small arms fire.

tank-is-pretty

taking-on-the-tank

taking-on-the-tank-2

tree-of-life

The Pedigree of Man, by Hernst Haeckel (only messed around with, as you'll find various fish species as our ancestors) Evolution is a big theme here, as with other anime of its time such as Evangelion

hulk

face-to-face-with-the-tank

The video here is from the first movie, english dub (bad, but not that lame). It’s a bit long, but you’ll be able to see the awesome fight, starting at around 1:45.

Gorgeous, subtly stylized. Gritty as hell. It’s a brutish affair, and is very much part of why I love anime. The 2.0 update is even prettier. Go watch for yourself.

Any other fights of note? I’m always looking for one. Share me a link at the comments section. Be sure to tell my why it’s so awesome.

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.
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18 Responses to Ghost in the Shell 2.0 We Remember the AWESOME TANK FIGHT

  1. Kiri says:

    Well, Spike’s fight with Electra in the Cowboy Bebop movie immediately came to mind for some reason. It was just a wonderfully choreographed and smooth-flowing fight.

    There’s a fight near the beginning of Dennou Coil where the kids are having a fight in the school during a “sleep over”-type thing. It was just an awesome display of the technology and how it’s integrated into the series. I can seriously imagine that kind of stuff being available in a dozen years or so. I can’t find a video of this unfortunately.

    Other than that, I don’t think I watch enough action series to remember many fights, lol.

  2. schneider says:

    I can’t talk about awesome fight animation without bringing up scenes from Moribito:


    1st vid: Balsa is outnumbered many to one, and tries to ward off her attackers without killing them. I love the close up shots of the spearhead getting looser and looser as the fight goes on.
    2nd vid: Pay attention to the mud, and how the spear shafts flex.

  3. schneider beat me to it: I don’t know much at all about animation quality, but in terms of (perhaps the word I want is) choreography Seirei no Moribito knocks most other anime that I’ve seen into the ground.

  4. grunty says:

    GITS 2.0 is a failure – both in changes made to the show, and in BLURay. Thx.

  5. @ Kiri

    While the fight against Vincent had climactic drama and was longer and bloodier, I think the Elektra fight in the hallway can be more satisfying. It’s slick, as you said, and reminiscent of Asteroid Blues where the series introduced Spike’s Bruce Lee JKD chops, only far more awesome.

    The moment when he twirls the mop and lets it rest behind his back while giving her a playful smirk Faye can never hope for… anime magic ^_^

    @ schneider

    Wow. Mechafetish has been telling me about this series for some time, and the details you pointed out are quite remarkable. Nuance in the choreography like this is quite amazing.

    @ The Animanachronism

    With 3 sterling recommendations (Mfet, schneider and yourself) plus the visual evidence above, I think I’m not doing myself any favors by not watching this show.

    Choreography is, I imagine a luxury of having a gifted director and an ample budget. The number of frames used to make a sequence like that so fluid in movement and with so many things moving must be considerable in number.

    An anime with a far lower budget would resort to ‘still’ frames (a lot of ‘action lines’ help create the illusion), which technically is really like a pause in the animation. That’s why I think fights are set-pieces, perhaps for the production if not for the narrative itself.

    @ grunty

    Why do you say so?

  6. would says:

    Free Palestine!

  7. hazy says:

    Schneider and The Animanachronism beat me to it too. Moribito is simply awesome and very well done. Animation and attention to detail is great.

    Though not as awesome as the Moribito ones, I think Darker than Black also has some pretty good fights. These two scenes came to mind: from ep 10 (around 0:52 to 3:20) and from ep 21 (around 3:00 to 3:34) — kinda Matrix-y with the slowmo, but nice moves nonetheless.

  8. JKTrix says:

    Looks like you’re already convinced to watch it, but this is a +1 vote for Moribito. Though I’d advise against going to watch it just for the fight scenes…it’s kind of a tease.

    Sword of the Stranger also has some really nice fight choreography.

  9. ghostlightning says:

    @ hazy

    I had actually dropped Darker than Black after 16 episodes (I had seen episode 25 as well because my wife persisted with it). I agree that there are very interesting battles, helped along with Kanno Yoko’s soundtrack evocative of Cowboy Bebop’s. It just got a lot less awesome in the end, which is too bad.

    @ JKTrix

    Yes, I was warned about Moribito that way – which is why I haven’t watched it yet even if we’ve had the copy for some time.

    I had just seen Sword of the Stranger a few hours ago, WOW.

    Some of scheider’s points re SnM re: fight details are wonderfully done in SotS. Swords get nicked when you slash and block slashes with them, blades get broken, etc. And yes, the choreography is top notch.

  10. Versus says:

    One awesome, although a bit surreal fight that comes to my mind is at the beginning of Karas. I especially like the scene, when everything around the two Karas is slowing down showing us the contrast to the ‘real’ world.
    Unfortunately they keep interrupting the – for a lack of better words – ‘fluid flow’ with the those damn credits. Another good fight should be somewhere in the forth episode and of course the final one (which I think lacked something, but I never could pinpoint what exactly). (Another Teaser, Grab an amv here – music isn’t exactly my taste, but the the scene cuts are well done – contains a lot of spoilers however).

    Kara no Kyoukai had some pretty cool fighting scenes, Ryougi slashing through those ghost – simply awesome.

    Give Serai no Moribito a chance, it will be worth your time.

  11. ghostlightning says:

    Ah yes, KARAS. That show sure looked real slick. But the fact that I forgot about it almost immediately after I saw it 6 months ago kind of says something.

    But yes, KARAS had some real good fights in the beginning – taking advantage of solid CG.

    I’m afraid I know nothing of Kara no Kyoukai though.

  12. gaguri says:

    I don’t think quality of creating an illusion of movement (even in a general sense) in animation can be so simply reduced to the level of details, or frames per second. I remember Ben at Anipages Daily blog talking about this in intimidating details, which I guess is tl;dr enough for another topic. Having that said, my picks are:

    – Cowboy Bebop fights, Seirei no Moribito as mentioned before.
    – most of FLCL fights, which are filled with more energy than your typical anime these days. Also, Dead Leaves have plenty of fight scenes that are literally FLCL fights in crack.
    – Asuka vs clones in End of Evangelion
    – Mononoke has unconventional ways of exorcising demons
    http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=aRL9VQaqqHg
    Ah, that link reminded me of the awesome that was Mononoke…
    – Several fights from Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
    – Some fight scenes from Samurai Champloo
    – In TTGL, the final battle, and the battle between Simoun and Genome.

    And of course, the tank fight in GITS was breath-taking. Still beats the hell out of most fights you see now days.

  13. gaguri says:

    My apologies, the link I provided above is Mononoke’s prequel, Bake Neko arc of Ayakashi, which imo is better than Mononoke arcs.

  14. ghostlightning says:

    @ gaguri

    That’s a fine list you shared and I’m glad I’ve seen most of them, thanks!

    I don’t think I intended to address the issue of animation quality in a single set of blogpost lead-in paragraphs as much as I wanted to set up this tank fight. In any case, I do intend to learn more about it and will visit an animation studio this month to get the low-down.

  15. ETERNAL says:

    This reminds me that I should probably check out 2.0 some time, but you’re definitely right about the quality of the animation; it’s astounding when you really think about it.

  16. ....... says:

    I echo gaguri’s mention of AniPages – you want to look for serious, highly informed discussion of and dissection of Japanese commerical animation, go no further. But it’ll take a lot of time to fully absorb.

    Personally I suspect you may slightly modify your perspective on what makes good animation after that… particularly the role of directors in actual good animation sequences.

    Dennou Coil and TTGL are far and away the best recent showcases of truly good animation IMHO. Much more so than Moribito (which was nevertheless pretty, although I find its attempt to be so realistic a little overzealous)

  17. DenzelWEl says:

    Dear Friends, Happy late hallowen(:

  18. Pingback: Adventures in Verisimilitude: the Robot Police Patrol, Patlabor OVA | We Remember Love

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