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Ghost in the Shell vs. Matrix

A Matrix & Ghost in the Shell comparison is just that. A scene by scene comparison of the, sometimes uncanny, similarities between Ghost in the Shell and The Matrix.

Now, both movies tackle similar themes so it shouldn’t be surprising that they are similar thematically, which they are are. What is more interesting is seeing how many scenes are extremely similar to each other. I actually thought to myself, upon watching Ghost in the Shell ‘s opening, ‘Hey, that looks like The Matrix‘s opening!’. What I should have said was, ‘Hey, The Matrix ripped off Ghost in the Shell!’. Since The Matrix came out later, it makes me wonder, with great certainty, if the Wachowski brothers had seen GitS and decided some of the scenes were worth re-using. I’d say that’s a big yes. Which is the better movie? Good question. I’d say whichever one you saw first is probably going to win. For me, that was The Matrix. But GitS doesn’t have the annoying Oracle, which is a plus.

About JP Frantz (2323 Articles)
Has nothing interesting to say so in the interest of time, will get on with not saying it.

15 Comments on Ghost in the Shell vs. Matrix

  1. Wasn’t Ghost in the Shell in fact stated by the Wachowski brothers as one of their inspirations for The Matrix??

  2. I don’t know, it wouldn’t surprise me. The similarites are amazing. I”m not dissing them, I just find it interesting that a little known Japanese film may have been an inspiration in one of the biggest SF films made.

  3. Actually this would not be the first time an American filmmaker was to borrow from another film made by the Japanese… George Lucas …

  4. This movie is fake movie.

    Because “Ghost in the shell” made story since 1991.

    This mobie made in 1996.

    and then We don’t adomit to Matrix mivie.

    Our Japannese hate to this story “The MAtrix”.

    But almost Japanese people didnt know the “Ghost in the shell”.

    There almost admired to “The Matrix”.

    I explain them.

    ‘This movie is stolen of Ghost in the shell. You have to watch the Ghost in the shell. ‘

    Wachowski brothers ought to hesitate.

    I hate and laghed “The Matrix.”

  5. psikeyhackr // May 8, 2005 at 2:34 am //

    I will not discuss the similarities between THE MATRIX and GHOST IN THE SHELL in style and cinematography. What concerns me are plots and philosophies.

    Both films deal with machine intelligence and conflicts between that machine intelligence and humans. The machine intelligence in GitS seeks a spiritual merger with humans after humans have already been engaging in a physical merger with machines to become cyborgs. THE MATRIX however takes place after an apocalyptic war for dominance with the machine in which the machines won.

    THE MATRIX contains a far richer metaphysical symbolism which can be religious and socialpsychological. The RANDOM HOUSE dictionary says that Rome is the matrix of western civilization. The Roman Empire is the cultural pattern for European culture spreading around the world over the last 600 years. The word Czar comes from Caeser, as does Kaiser. Americans say “Hail to the chief” as the Germans said “Heil Hitler.”

    Morpheus’ ship was the Nebachadnezzar. That was the name of the Babylonian king who had a dream interpreted by Daniel. The dream was of a statue with a gold head. The chest and shoulders were silver. The belly and thighs were bronze, the legs were iron and the feet iron and clay. Each metal represented a different kingdom and going down the statue is traveling through time. Suppose the belly and thighs represented the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire split in two like the statue at the legs. Rome became East and West, just as we have Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox and we have Russians vs the democracies of the West.

    Both movies depend on cybernetic technology which was developed for WWII. The Collosus was built in England to break the German Enigma code and ENIAC was built in the US to calculate ballistics tables for artillary. So this technology has become cheap and is spreading around the world. Advanced technology in backward countries like the mixture of iron and clay of the statues feet.


  6. confused // July 22, 2006 at 1:47 am //

    what are the defrences realy i mean i dont see any ? and im not pretending and yess i have seen both moves

  7. Oh my…

    “defrences” = differences

    “realy” = really

    “i” = I

    “i” = I

    “dont” = don’t or do not

    “and” = And (comes after a punctuation mark)

    “im” = I’m or I am

    “yess” = yes

    “moves” = movies

    I think we have a new record.

  8. I think the two sets of movies together form a nice ‘stand-alone complex’. The similarities are there, in real-life history, because the W. bros saw GitS and became inspired by it. The similarities are there, in our own mediated experience, because the two sets of movies refer to eachother (in GitS 2: Innocence (2004) there is at least one crucial reference to The Matrix – furthermore, it could even be possible to view GitS as the prequel to the episodes of ‘The Animatrix’ which deal with the creation of the Matrix). The similarities are there in the brains of the creators, because there is an emergent cluster of ideas, a Deleuzian rhizome or ‘meme’ if you will, that generates the creative sparks which trigger people to think about narratives, plots and images like these.

    All speculation on ‘who stole wat from whom’ becomes irrelevant as soon as you grasp this notion of ‘Stand Alone Complex’. To find out what that is, watch the series of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and GitS: SAC 2nd Gig.

  9. Anonymous // March 9, 2007 at 6:37 am //

    next time read the entire series of “Ghost in the Shell” manga (comic book) series and not just watch the 2 hour movie before commenting on depth of something

  10. Anonymous // March 9, 2007 at 6:38 am //

    A Matrix and Ghost in the Shell Comparison

  11. Hey, don’t diss the Oracle! (The first actress, anyway XD)

    Anyhow, to confirm, yes, both Ghost in the Shell and Akira (I haven’t watched the Akira movie recently, so I can’t make any comparison myself) were credited by the Wachowski influences upon Ghost in the Shell. Probably not officially though.

    And for the record, I think GitS is better – mostly because I now find it VERY hard to take Neo and Trinity’s Sim runs seriously. And besides, Batou’s so cool!


  12. for one teh bros did not make the matrix, they replicated most of the ideas from the film the GITS franchise is bigger and more popular in japan, and all the ideas are far superior to that of the matrix and i love the matrix. The matrixs ideas are produced in a simple form for the masses to accepts and understand

  13. You know, most of these comments are anal and completely wrong. Ive been a fan of the Mtric series for a while and Iv been a huge fan of the GITS storey for meny meny years.

    Yes the matrix does have alot of similarites to GITS. Basic explination, the W. Bros are regurgitating cinimatography/storey lines and character bases.

    But look back at EVERY Scifi film in the past 10 years. There will be manga/ anime influences in it.

    I maybe being anal myself in doing this long winded comment, But to get to my original purpose.

    Ghost in the shell is a strong profound block to an answer to the greatest question, What is a soul? The fact that in GITS they can replicate souls (ghost dubbing) and even create a soul and put it into

    a fully working body wiht all the organs and functions of a normal human , to such an extent that they can “Jump” from shell to shell.

    In the matrix the A.I. has created a world, a “shell” for the humans to live in while they harvest the power to feed there own civilisation. The humans them selves are cocooned in a “shell” and the free hyumans are also in a “shell” under ground, if people find the old concept art to the matrix you will find that Zion is roughly shapped like a coiled shell *i forget what they are called*. The whole fact that the “shell” theme runs through the film really tells me, “Not much originality”.

    Comparatibly characters in “the matrix” come out of the matrix to escape, were as in “GITS” people jum,p into the matrix to excape, A good concept to exploit, twist the rolls and people will loose sight of the obvious ripp off.

    The plugs, the Fall from a high building and shattering the ground beneithe the character, cinimatic angles, slowed action, drops in sound. All thse can been taken from gits and anime in genreal.

    The idea of a “Live action anime” is great and I do think the films are great and i do enjoy watching them, and I feel in teh 2nd and 3rd film the Ghost in teh shell similarties harshly drop away, but! I do feel that the W. Bros maybe slacked off.

    As for phycology, sociology and Religious notes and all taht crap. Thats people pigeon holing EVERYthing, There is always going to be a good and bad, a aman and a machine, the dark and light. to say that the matrix has ripped of GITS just by using Robots fighting humans is a bunch of shit. Look at Terminator!! There are hundred of films from around teh world that challenge the idea of a soul, the replication of a soul and what a soul is. Ghost in the shell wasnt the first. Tarue matrix HAS taken SOME themes rfom GITS but i fel that is becuase Shirow Masamune (author and artist of the orginal GITS manga) has a grasp on complex thinking, meny japanese mangakas to, alot of anime and magna challenge such themes.

    To wind this up, W. bros did rip off alot of cinimatography but the thme of GITS and Matrix are similar only becuase of the character designs, If the matrix was set nower days it wouldnt and couldnt look anything like the matrix. if the “divinig into the matrix” was never used the film would never of been contested as a rip off.

    Simple and clean.

  14. Herrow // May 9, 2011 at 3:44 pm //

    Why does everyone have to be so stupid, can’t we just say that the matrix was a good movie and that ghost in the shell was a good manga/anime/movie. I mean they both go deep and I think they the animatrix was better than the matrix at being deep and that GINS did it well also. Both were great but I  think that they are very similar and all you guys need to stop being stupid about which one is better.

  15. Neuromancer wins.  At least I hear it does.


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