(Like many Netflix customers, I too can get quite lax with the timely watching and returning of my movies, which of course defeats the entire purpose of having a flat-rate rental plan in the first place. To combat that, I am now writing standardized mini-reviews of each and every movie I end up watching through Netflix, both instantly and on DVD. Don't forget, all previous 'Justify My Netflix' reviews can be found on CCLaP's main movie page.)
Why I added it to my queue: Because of it being a major hallmark in the history of anime/manga/Japanimation. Because of it being one of the first anime projects in history designed specifically to appeal to American and British audiences. Because I barely know anything about anime at this point (yeah, I know, shame on me), so am using Netflix's rapidly growing amount of "instant movies" to get myself caught up on the canon.
The reality: Pretty good, although admittedly the reason I'm not a big anime fan is that they all tend to blur into one big storyline in my head: they all seem to somehow vaguely be about naked teenage girl/cyborg combos with dozens of wires coming out of them, battling sinister secret government agencies desperately trying to control the latest Japanese metaphor for atomic-bomb fears, with this movie being no exception. As with many anime projects, I found this good material to be playing in the background while I did computer chores, but a little silly whenever I'd stop and pay too much attention.
If I had watched it when it first came out: I would've been amazed by its now-clunky combination of traditional and computer animation, the first major film in history to do such a thing.
Strangest piece of trivia: Director Mamoru Oshii includes a shot of a basset hound in every movie he makes.
Worth your time? If you're an existing anime fan, or a newbie looking to 'enter the rabbithole' of the manga world, by all means. If not, proceed with caution and a grain of salt.