There has been a lot of criticism on the live-action ‘Ghost in the Shell’ film, the worst being the bastardization of Japanese culture all thanks to Hollywood’s whitewashing of a Japanese story.
While the first trailer for the film debuted last November, it wasn’t until recently that one fan noticed a particular detail that also carried on into the second trailer, along with some added special effects.
‘s Casey Baseel singled out one “annoying” part of the trailer (at the 20-second mark) when the Major does her iconic skyscraper dive that might give fans an idea of how culturally “authentic” the movie will turn out.
He noted that one building in the scene has giant neon Japanese text that spells out the phrase “kokyu hoteru”. “Hoteru”, Baseel explains, is the “corrupted” Japanese pronunciation for hotel while “kokyu” isn’t the name of a business or family, but a generic word for luxury. Simply put, the sign says “luxury hotel”.
But if you’re thinking in terms of authenticity, why would anyone seemingly overlook a detail like that and just leave it as “luxury hotel”?
Baseel goes on to explain:
“For anyone who can read the sign, it’s a distractingly unrealistic attempt to add some Japanese flair to the setting. It’s the sort of thing that anyone who reads Japanese and has spent any time in the country could point out as weird, and it’s surprising to think that Paramount apparently didn’t have even one person with that combination of linguistic skill and life experience take a look at the scene’s Japanese text.”
Did filmmaker’s lazily overlook the detail while focusing on making the film appear as superficially Japanese as possible? Perhaps one can hope that it will be corrected in the final edit.
At the very least, “Ghost” fans can expect the film to be, almost aimlessly, overflowing with Japanese cultural references.
“Ghost in the Shell”, directed by Rupert Sanders, hits theaters on March 31.