Ghost in the Shell 1995, is always a classic Japanese animation? The post cyberpunk world is adapted with a sense of Hong Kong cityscape as a futuristic cosmopolitan.
Was the futuristic cyberpunk world created with imagination? No, Ghost in the Shell was created with detail research and studies. The details of “Hong Kong" city was created by no accident. Buildings, stores and signages have reference. I believe even local Hong Kong people may skip these details.
In the animation, there are lot of signages, wall paintings, and billboards. Hundred of Chinese characters listed on there signs. Are they real store-names? Some are made up but at least one, I discover an interesting brand in the animation.
There was a scene at 34:40. A red fashion boutique store is shown as a background. There is a brand name, “Walter Ma", set on a red window display. Who is Walter Ma? Is it a fashion brand? Yes, Walter Ma is a real fashion designer. The fashion brand, Walter Ma, was one of the most famous local fashion brand in Hong Kong from mid 80s to early 90s. Walter Ma, the store, was located right in Tsim Sa Tsui in 90s.
I am so amazing that even I watched GITS many times. That little details could be discovered after all these years. Masamune Shirow must do a detail research of Hong Kong before he penned GITS. That makes GITS so timeless and visionary.
Walter Ma still runs his business as usually today.