Ghost in the Shell, released in 1995, is a seminal anime film that has inspired films such as The Matrix and James Cameron’s Avatar. Directed by Mamoru Oshii, it is a neo-noir cyberpunk thriller that was considered highly progressive in its representation of sexuality and gender identity.
Outside of the film’s legacy and status in film history, however, one thing about it remains contentious – how much it cost to make. The Japanese VHS box art states that the budget was 600 million yen.
However, Shigeru Watanabe, producer of the film, joined in a Twitter thread and stated that the film had a budget of 330 million yen. The difference could be due to the VHS box art including all the associated costs of the film, such as advertising and production, to make it seem like the film cost more to make than it really did.
This, again, is in contrast to what Oshii said in an interview in 2020 that Ghost in the Shell cost less than Patlabor 2: The Movie to produce. Watanabe, in another tweet, states that Patlabor 2: The Movie had a production budget of 220 million yen.
These contradicting claims make it difficult to ascertain what the truth is, and who we should believe here. Watanabe, in yet another tweet, claims that he is able to back up his words with concrete evidence, but we will reserve judgment for when we finally see those records for ourselves.