Ghost in the Shell has always been about futuristic stuff, so seeing it in 3D in a planetarium-like dome was rather fitting. At Production I.G's booth at this year's Tokyo Game Show is a mini theatre for their upcoming virtual reality app (see below), 攻殻機動隊 Virtual Reality Diver (Ghost in the Shell Virtual Reality Diver).
At the booth, we were led into a small domed theatre where most of the inside of the dome served as a screen.
We were handed small transparent films that were half tinted red and half tinted blue. The movie itself was displayed in anaglyph 3D, which felt a bit retro for a science fiction movie utilising new technology, though I have been assured that the actual movie will look much better (see below).
The movie began with a sequence of the major's cyborg body slowly being pieced together and moves on to a combat sequence between the major and a military-looking mech.
The short has several of the staples of the series, like the major hacking a mech or scenes that seem to have some kind of metaphysical significance, but the real fun was in the planetarium-like 3D.
While it takes a little bit for me for get used to seeing two different shades of colour in each eye, once my vision had adjusted, the scenes with a lot of motion were breathtaking. Looking around while almost my entire field of vision was moving, there were moments where I felt the onset of vertigo. It was something like using a headset like the PlayStation VR or Oculus Rift, but without the cumbersome headset. Overall it felt like a decent tech demo with potential.
The actual video will be released for smartphones as an app. By inserting your smartphone into a smartphone VR headset like Google Cardboard, you'll be able to view the full movie in 3D but without the red/blue anaglyph 3D.
Sadly, 3D is a gimmick that can't fully be shared through words or pictures. Yet.
Ghost in the Shell Virtual Reality Diver is only part of the full movie that will be made available this summer for iOS and Android platforms. The three minute demo can be viewed at this year's Tokyo Game Show.