Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

Hi everyone sorry it has been so long since the last review but I got hooked on Bleach and have spent the last 2 weeks watching all 207 episodes so you can’t really blame an anime-a-holic like me for flaking out I just can’t help it. This review is going to be on the long side as there is a lot to cover the next 2 GITS reviews will not be so long: . Hope you enjoy-Peebody
Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex (or Mobile Armoured Riot Police: Stand Alone Complex as it’s known in Japan) is the TV series based on the manga Ghost in the shell. Kenji Kamiyama wrote and directed this series, 2nd Gig and the movie Solid state society. Production I.G. is the company that produces GITS, when Production I.G. was creation SAC they had 7 studios. Because everyone was so into/committed to GITS they renamed the studio that GITS was being made in to studio 9 aka section 9. Production I.G. now has 10 studios and studio 9 is still dictated for the making of GITS. SAC runs for 26 episodes it consists of episodes that are stand alone which means they are episodes that have nothing to do with the main plot and complex episodes which means they have to do with the Laughing man plot. SAC aired on Japanese TV on the 1st Oct 2002. The music for all the GITS TV series was composed by the musical goddess Yoko Kano and I love the sound tracks for the entire series and the movie.
Please note that the TV series and the original movie and the 2nd movie are not on the same time line/reality. What this means is that in one reality the two movies happened and are on their own time line and in another reality we start with SAC and work our way through to 2nd Gig and onto Solid State Society. We do see tones in the TV series that touch on what the original movie touched on but that is where similarity in the two realities ends.

SAC takes place in the year 2030 in the fictional town of New Port Japan, 6 years after the Laughing man incident: This is where the CEO of Serano Genomics was kidnapped by the laughing man and held hostage for a few days on February 3 2024 the laughing man tries to make the CEO confess something at gun point on TV in public where the TV is shooting live. He manages to hack into the TV station and replace his face with the laughing man logo and he also hacks into everyone’s eyes and replaces his face with this logo. This stunt earned the laughing man the title of master class hacker.


The series starts off with Section 9 being called into resolve a hostage situation. In the 1st and 2nd episodes we are introduced to the members of Section 9, a lot of them were not in the original movies we also get introduced to the Tachicomas, Section 9’s armored robot help. We get tones of the many conspires that are going on throughout the series, and this sets the mood for the rest of the series. It is not until episode 4 that the Laughing man storyline gets introduced/going.

Now there is a lot of symbolism and ideology going on through out the GITS series like the Laughing man was taken from a short story by J.D. Salinger also the words on the Laughing man logo "I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes.", is a quote from Catcher in the Rye. Most of this is explained through out the series very well which is a good thing. The series also touches on the Stand Alone Complex and the fact that everything and almost everyone is becoming more cyberized. (I could go on but I won’t if you would like me to just ask in the comments section and I will be happy to go into more detail on the philosophy). Now I have always been a big fan of GITS, and the TV series had a lot to stand up to. I felt that SAC was a really good series I loved the storylines in this series and all the conspiracies going.

I would recommend SAC to anyone that wanted to sit down and enjoy good anime; I would say that you do have to wait till episode 4 for the main plot to kick in and then SAC does not hit you all in one go either so be prepared to watch the series to get everything. Also please note that now days there are 2 types of GITS DVD packs you can buy. There is the entire series 26 episode box set and then there is the Laughing man box set which cuts out all the Stand Alone episodes and you just get the Laughing man storyline they also do this with 2nd Gig as well. If you want only the action I would go for the Laughing man box set but you will miss a lot of good storylines. Over all I would give SAC 4 out of 5.