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Easter Eggs In Ghost In The Shell You Totally Missed

The Ghost in the Shell live-action movie moves fast: cool action scene crashes into cool action scene, allowing newcomers to the franchise as well as fans of the original manga and anime to fully experience the Major's ass-kicking awesomeness. Because the movie is so frenetic, it's easy to miss all the Easter eggs and homages to earlier Ghost in the Shell works. Fortunately, you don't have to do a deep dive into a disabled android in order to recover lost memories of these cool Easter eggs...all you've got to do is keep reading.

Music from the original anime plays over the end credits

The original Ghost in the Shell anime has many amazing qualities, including its music. Simultaneously beautiful, haunting, and melancholy, it suits the more philosophical and introspective animated movie perfectly. The live-action Ghost in the Shell has a brand new score, but the final moments offer something of an Easter egg for old-school fans: music from the original anime plays while the final credits roll.

From gynoids to Geishas

One of the more interesting Easter eggs in the live-action Ghost in the Shell has been hiding in plain sight since the first trailer arrived. In one of the earliest action sequences, the Major must contend with a robot geisha that's been reprogrammed to be a deadly assassin. Turning someone thought to be a submissive servant into a dominating killer is already a nicely ironic touch in a movie that focuses much of its attention on issues of consent. However, this geisha's appearance is also a nice throwback to the gynoids in the second Ghost in the Shell animated movie, Innocence. The gynoids were pale sex robots that looked like dolls and were turned into killing machines, which was an aspect of Ghost in the Shell lore that was captured with very creepy authenticity for the live-action movie.

Kuze: A Mixture of Two Villains

The primary antagonist of the movie, a mysterious man named Kuze, is kind of a double Easter egg, because his live-action incarnation is a synthesis between two different animated villains. He takes his name and some of his background from a character in the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex television series. Like his live-action incarnation, the animated Kuze had a history with the Major when they were younger, and both versions were part of outspoken protest movements against the government. However, because much of the live-action movie incorporates elements from the first Ghost in the Shell anime, Kuze's modern actions and motivations are modeled after the Puppet Master, which was originally an artificial intelligence obsessed with evolving beyond his original programming.

The Hacked Truck Driver

One of the more blatant Easter eggs in the live-action Ghost in the Shell is also one of the most tragic. At one point, we see Kuze hack a couple of garbage truck drivers and use them to try to kill a high-value target: the woman who essentially created the Major's body and still provides maintenance and repairs for it. The Major and the rest of Section 9 are able to stop the hacked drivers, and during questioning, one of them keeps talking about his child. It turns out he doesn't have a child, and Kuze basically wiped his brain and implanted false memories as needed. The majority of this sequence is lifted straight out of the original anime, though in that movie, the Puppet Master was using the man to selectively hack certain systems; in the live-action movie, Kuze seems to primarily be interested in using the driver as an ersatz hitman.

The dramatic fall from the anime

The live-action movie's first major action scene involves the Major activating her camouflage suit and dramatically throwing herself off a building in order to get a better shot at her targets. And while those targets are different, this is another rather blatant Easter egg that sets out to replicate most of that exact sequence from the original Ghost in the Shell anime. If that's not enough, we get another callback to the animated scene at the end of the live-action movie. As the Major once again throws herself off of a building for a mission, we see her as mostly transparent, with her face disappearing like the Cheshire Cat after she waves her hand in front of it. This echoes another iconic scene from the original film, showcasing the Major's beauty, mystery, and terror.

Boat scene heart-to-heart

Another scene in the live-action movie that serves as a giant Easter egg for fans of the original film comes when Batou and the Major have a heart-to-heart talk on a boat after she's been swimming—an homage to the original in images only. The familiar elements from the cartoon are there—the boat, the swimming, Batou throwing back beers, and so on. However, the animated film used this as another jumping off point for the characters to debate how to define humanity and consciousness. In the live-action movie, it's primarily about highlighting the Major's potential need to go off the grid and whether Batou would support her or try to arrest her, something the Major worries about because she thinks of Batou as a loyal "company man."

Showdown on the Water

As an extension of the Kuze hacking the drivers, we get another direct Easter egg from the original film in the form of the water fight that was heavily featured in the trailers. In this relatively brief fight the Major, using both her invisibility suit and her special training, very quickly subdues her attacker. Overall, the scene is a very faithful recreation of the original anime, with one very understandable exception: in the animated movie, the Major was mostly naked when she emerged from her active camouflage, causing Batou to cover her up with his coat. The PG-13 live-action movie makes it very clear she's still wearing a suit, albeit a tight, flesh-colored one.

Tank Fight

The final Easter egg on this list may also be one of the most blatant. Though the live-action movie introduced many original elements (especially those concerning the Major's background), the filmmakers felt obligated to include many references and nods to the past. This trip down memory lane culminates with the Major's final fight against a giant robotic tank, which was also her final foe in the original anime.

There are some key differences among the homages, though. In the live-action movie, we see a disconcerting scene in which a claw from the tank grabs Kuze by the head; in the original movie, it grabbed the Major, and Batou had to save her. In that anime, Batou destroys the tank after the Major damages it, but in the live-action movie, she effectively deals it a killing blow. When she does, we get a faithful recreation of the disturbing scene from the original movie in which the effort to tear vital equipment off the tank causes the Major's muscles to tear open, ripping off her arm.