Philosophy and Ghost in the Shell – Ghosts.

On the Ghost in The Shell universe, a Ghost [ゴースト] is the conciousness of the individual, and the only thing that differentiates a human from an android, regardless of how much mechanical material you have on your body, as long as you have a ghost, you still maintain humanity and individuality.

Said concept was clearly borrowed from “The Ghost In The Machine”, by Arthur Kloester, being said term coined by Gillbert Ryle to describe the dualism of mind-body relation, Shirow, Ryle and Kloester, all of them share the thought  that a person’s mind is not a independent entity, just habiting temporarily the body of a person, here, Kloester argues that the human brain has evolved, how it has retained and built over more primitive brain structures, and these primitive layers sometimes overcome the logic, creating emotions like anger, hate, fear, etc.

On the case of Shirow, he describes the “Ghost” like something broader, taking on account the whole body, like, for example, if a organ was removed, then the “Ghost” of the organ is vanished until it is replaced by a mechanical substitute and the existence of that organ is reproduced, being the brain only a part of that neural network, a part of the “Ghost”.

The “Ghost” also borrows elements from the Theseus Paradox, one experiment that raises the thought whether if all the components of a object are replaced, that object is still the same object, that is represented on Kusanagi, that reproduces the neural stimulus of all her organs to maintain her ghost even if she transfers on another body, and the Ghost-dubbing, where the body copy with the same ghost is inferior than the original, being the most successful case on the series the Marcelo Garti one, where they can reproduce his ghost on different bodies unlimited times, being almost identical, but not being the same at the end of the day, proving with that, the Theseus Paradox.

It also borrows from Hegel’s concept of the Geist, being the Geist the spirit/mind of a individual, that is divided into Subjective [Inner Self], Objective [Interpersonal] and Absolute [Someone that knows itself and its goals], being on Shirow’s work, these three phases of the Geist combinated a “Ghost”.

These three elements are the major philosophical concepts behind the concept of the “Ghost” and pretty much explains the complete scence of the concept, that without being too convoluted, is basically representing the humanity of a individual, using these concepts as a base.


Animator Spotlight – Eiji Abiko

Eiji Abiko [安彦 英二]【あびこ えいじ】

-Starting out on AIC, and then moving to Studio Junio, Abiko did his debut on the industry with the episode 27 of the anime Virtua Fighter, produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha and aired between 1995 and 1996.
-However, he didn’t started to stand out as a animator until the early 2000s, he was a very versatile mechanical and action animator on that time, but he feels actually more in love with character animation.
-His style of character animation is incredibly subtle and realistic, the characters moves on a realistic, soft and believable way, his drawings aren’t Jin-Roh realistic either, his drawings are soft and warm.
-He has gained more attention during the last years thanks to being one of the major players behind the animation of the two mega-hits Osomatsu-San and Yuri on ICE!!
-It was said that on Osomatsu-San, there was a “Matsu Room”, where him, Kanta Suzuki, and Naoyuki Asano, played around making a lot of noise to make interesting ideas for the anime, kind of a school club, and they remember it fondly, since the studio give them freedom to do everything that they wanted.
-After being a major player on Michiko to Hatchin and being the animation supervisor of her Animator’s Expo short Endless Night, Sayo Yamamoto called him out to do the perfomances on Yuri on ICE!!
-His perfomances are pretty much the best of Yuri on ICE!!, the characters move with beauty and grace, on a realistic, yet soft and sensible way, giving it a incredibly realistic and unique feeling to the, they feel alive, even if it’s only during the perfomances, since the rest of the series is animated on a very perfunctory manner, the perfomances are something unique to look at, since you comprehend, with the animation, why the characters feels the perfomances as something beautiful, and make you feel in love with the sport.
-He also was a major player on the Mushishi anime, where he was one of the main animation supervisors, giving a it a soft, realistic aura to the animation of the characters, creating some of the most breathtaking moments of the series, such as the end of the episode #2 of Mushishi Zoku Shou, with a masterful use of background and character animation, on a very unique and perfect piece of animation, on a otherwise limited, yet, well animated, series.
-Making his first gigs as storyboarder very recently, he presents a really great understanding of framing and movement on animation, with great moments where you can really feel that he understands these -sometimes- marginated aspects of animation.
-He’s really connected with anime director Sayo Yamamoto, director Hiroshi Nagahama, animator Naoyuki Asano and anime studio Manglobe, giving the best of him where he is working with them.