Since I haven't watched Ghost in the Shell, I was hesitant to accept the fan criticism even though there's plenty of history in Hollywood to back it up. But this really does look like the usual pseudo-intellectual "cyberpunk" stuff - superficially cool and tries to make you think but ultimately is a poor attempt to reproduce what made the genre popular without really understanding why.
Even though I haven't seen the series, I've heard good things about it, and it is like kicking dead whales down the beach that people who already enjoy anime are apparently the only people that can appreciate the compelling stories, philosophical arguments, and cinematic techniques that the medium can produce. Not to say that literature and live-action TV and film can't, but creators for anime seem to use approaches for risky storytelling material that creators in other genres are unwilling or unable to do.I thought that if the Ghost in the Shell movie turned out good, that it might open the door to good anime in general in addition to cyberpunk, for people who might otherwise think anime is just kids' cartoons or some such.
I wanted to like this, I really did. I guess I was just hoping this time would be different.