You know what's great about animation in all of its forms? It lets us convey scenes that simply couldn't be done in live action. It lets us use a plethora of sets that would take too much money to construct. It lets us use many different character whereas that many actors is inconceivable.
Ghost in the Shell, of course, does virtually none of these things.
I tend to forget if I'm watching a cartoon, or just talking heads set to a static background image. I went in expecting a series full of tactical and corporate espionage.
What I got was two jack-wagons talking, one without pupils, while blue trashcans skirted about in a vain attempt to create comic relief. It was the animated equivalent of watching four of your nieces play house for hours on end.
Well, as far as near-static images go, they did rather well. I find the characters to be pretty detailed, and extremely varied. Is the animation good? It's so-so, not much to be animated. The art, though? Again, pretty good. Kudos on not fucking something up, guy.
Now, I know what you're thinking: "Derp you just want action 24/7, leave serious cinematic conversations to the adults" To which I respond: This wouldn't be a problem at all if the actors were good. But no, they just read their lines so disinterestedly that the viewer gets bored. You can convey information through exciting and fluid dialog, but they settle on boring and expository. The actors can't sound excited by this, and maybe that isn't their fault. With that script, it ain't easy. But either way, they failed to deliver.
Outside the two main characters, who I enjoy, the rest of the cast is extremely interchangeable. This is bad, for those following along. The whole "talking heads" motif running through this review is made even worse when those heads barely have any face at all. The series delves into repetitive very quickly when the conversations all seem to be the same thing.
A futuristic Law and Order? Perhaps. Just as boring as any Law and Order? Definitely. This show lures you along with the promise of an actual plot, and yet it chases its own "tale" for twenty-odd episodes, leaving the viewer robbed of both time and brain cells.