The Official Blog of Author Tristan Vick
It's interesting to me that so many claim Masumune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell (1989) was influenced by William Gibson's Neuromancer (1984).
I've never found any evidence for this. Even Takayuki Tatsumi, one of Japan's leading cultural critics, didn't find any cross-cultural influence between the two in his academic study on cyberpunk cross-cultural influences in his book Full Metal Apache: Transactions Between Cyberpunk Japan and Avant-Pop America (Post-Contemporary Interventions) .
It's just something people like to say, I suppose. Probably because both authors are talking about similar things and have familiar content but, as seems to be the case, most are likely unaware that Gibson and Shirow began publishing their popular works at approximately the same time.
They both started publishing cyberpunk stories in late 1982 and early 1983 respectively. Gibson published Burning Chrome in 82 and Neuromancer in 84.
Masamune already had Black Magic, 83, Appleseed 85, and Dominion, 85-86 — all cyberpunk manga under his belt. Also, to put this into perspective, it took 2 whole years for translators to translate Neuromancer into Japanese, releasing 1986.
Masamune Shirow's first work, Black Magic M66, 1983, was about an A.I. and an android. Does that mean when Gibson later wrote about A.I.s he was influenced by Shirow?
I don't know. I'm inclined to think not. In all probability, they most likely arrived at their ideas independently of one another and were writing about similar technology that just hadn't been defined as a genre yet.
We call it *cyberpunk* today, but regardless of who influenced who, both men remain true visionaries.
By day I am an educator and a cultural ambassador. By night I entertain notions of being a literary master. In reality I am just a family man and ordinary guy who works hard and loves writing just about as much as I love my family. Just about.