Anime Classics for the PSP

Ghost in the Shell

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Little introduction is needed for Ghost in the Shell. Made back in 1995, Ghost in the Shell was a perfect mix of action scenes and deep thought. The story is set in the near future where a robotic police force, Section 9, attempts to track down the Puppetmaster. The criminal isn’t just hacking computers, but people’s cybernetic brains. As the title suggests there is interplay between a user’s ghost a sort of self-awareness an artificial life form has. Is there more to the ghost than meets the eye, like is it a cybernetic soul? Ghost in the Shell delves right into these concepts in its ninety minute run. The philosophy is what makes the story more of a classic than other action anime titles.


Blood the Last Vampire

In between the era of the Vietnam war a new fearsome creature emerges, the Teropterids. They may appear to be human, but they are demonic creatures. Saya, a seemingly average Japanese high school student, is responsible for slaying these creatures. Given her super human strength and skill with a blade she’s suited for the job. Why is Saya out to kill these beasts? That doesn’t really matter. Just sit back and stare at the gorgeous artwork. Blood the Last Vampire is aimed at being an action movie, not an intellectual one. While it is well suited for watching through once people probably won’t come back for seconds. Since the market is oversaturated with vampire anime, Blood the Last Vampire doesn’t stand out as much as it did when it was first released.


Ninja Scroll

As a classic anime title Ninja Scroll sidesteps the philosophy of Ghost in the Shell and the character conflicts in Akira. Instead it goes straight to slicing monsters. Throughout the hour and half you’ll watch Jubei brutally battle demons in the most violent ways imaginable. While this movie is held to a high standard because it was one of the few releases in the US back in the nineties, it doesn’t seem as great today. If you want to see a good Samurai anime there’s Rurouni Kenshin. But if you want a massive gore fest Ninja Scroll might suit you.

In all three of these releases there’s a lot missing. Forget about any extras when you don’t even have a Japanese language track. You only get the English language track with no subtitles. Since these movies sound rather quiet on the PSP we’d wish there were at the very least English subtitles added in. There aren’t even real “menus” to surf through. When you load the movie you get a splash screen with a play movie button. It’s tolerable, but a menu would be nice instead of surfing through scenes with the trigger buttons. For a price around $20 you’re getting the bare minimum. The only conceivable advantage you get for purchasing the UMD over a DVD is the obvious portability. Is watching Ghost in the Shell on your PSP really worth an extra purchase? You decide, but if you’re debating over a DVD versus UMD ask yourself if you’re going to watch this movie more than just on the plane ride to Anime Expo.

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