For those people that think cartoons are only as smart as the Korean-produced toy franchises of the 1980s, Hanna-Barbera saturday morning fodder of my youth or the Looney Tunes shorts from the golden age of cinema by Warner Brothers, stop reading right now.
Anime is an extension of Japan’s manga culture. Manga is more than The Beano and used to tell stories that are exceptionally complex and long story arcs from the life story of Buddha or Lone Wolf and Cub (子連れ狼). You see manga text books that Tokyo commuters will read on the way to work to the more trivial long-form romantic fiction. And some of manga’s best stories get made into animation for television and the cinema. Ones that are famous for Western audiences include Akira (アキラ) and Appleseed (アップルシ－ド).
Ghost in the Shell SAC (攻殻機動隊) – the literal translation in English is Mobile Armoured Riot Police but Ghost In The Shell is more poetic in English at least. Anyway Ghost in the Shell is based on a manga created by Masamune Shirow. There are three feature films in the series and two television series. Ghost in the Shell SAC is series one of the television series.
This anime series is part cop show, part science fiction adventure and part political thriller. The series shows the dynamics of the team members, deals with ethical issues surrounding technological progression, and social issues such as the aging of the Japanese population. The plot has the team uncovering corruption at the highest level in the Japanese government (of course that would never happen in real life… not).