How Ghost in the Shell Influenced Popular Works

When Ghost in the Shell released in 1995, not even director Mamoru Oshii could have predicted its success, especially as it did not light up the box office in Japan.

When it debuted in the West, however, it was clear that Ghost in the Shell had resonated with a new audience – and it’s a classic work that has gone on to influence and inspire some of your favourite works.

The Matrix

The Matrix creators and directors, Lana and Lilly Wachowski, have been vocal in their love for Ghost in the Shell (1995) and how it influenced The Matrix.

RELATED: Funimation UK Announces Ghost in the Shell 4K UHD Blu-ray Release

The way that characters access the Matrix, and the “digital rain” are both influenced by Ghost in the Shell’s similar concepts and designs, and the Wachowski’s have been quoted as showing the animated movie to The Matrix’s producer, stating that they want to “do that for real.”

Cyberpunk 2077

Although based on a pen and paper RPG, Cyberpunk 2020, already, developer CD Projekt Red has stated that two popular works influenced the aesthetics of Cyberpunk 2077, and those are Blade Runner and, of course, Ghost in the Shell. Both of these movies helped to shape what cyberpunk looks like in movies and video games, and its influence is greatly felt in Cyberpunk 2077’s world.

Ghost in the Shell Screenshot

If you watch closely when Judy calls you, you’ll even see an icon that features an adorable ghost popping out of a shell. Can we have some Major Kusanagi outfits now, please?


From one highly impactful movie to another, director James Cameron has cited Ghost in the Shell as inspiration for Avatar, which can be seen primarily in how humans are able to transfer their personalities to another body.

James Cameron is a known fan of the classic title, having once described it as “a stunning work of speculative fiction” and admired its story as an animated work.

Deus Ex

In the world of Deus Ex, there exists a company called Kusanagi that specialises in manufacturing augmentations such as cybernetic arms. If you’ve both watched Ghost in the Shell and played a Deus Ex game, you’ll likely have noticed a fair few similarities in how it approaches cyberpunk.

Ghost in the Shell 4K

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Deus Ex’s visuals and concepts including the weaponry, security bots and human proxy are all reminiscent of Ghost in the Shell, which has never been to the detriment of the series.

Ghost in the Shell (2017)

And of course, Ghost in the Shell’s live-action adaptation was inspired directly by the 1995 animated movie, providing a fresh, bombastic take on the all-time classic. There are differences between the two adaptations, but it’s worth checking out to see how else the complex story can be viewed and comprehended.

Featuring artwork by celebrated artist Matt Ferguson, Funimation UK is releasing Ghost in the Shell 4K UHD on 27 September, which brings the movie to life in its best form yet. Available in both Limited Steelbook and Standard versions, now is your chance to either relive a classic of experience it for the first time.