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Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex  Volume 1 (DVD)


Major Motoko Kusanagi, the most popular female cyborg in anime history, is back!


Together with the rest of the officers of Section 9 and the ever ready Tachikomas, she will continue her mission to hunt down crime wherever it occurs in both the real and online worlds.


Section 9 will be called in to resolve a murder before it turns into an international incident, hunt down a runaway state-of-the-art killing machine, and solve the mystery of a defective android. A high level conspiracy involving a mysterious computer hacker will lead them to their most challenging and dangerous case yet!


An incredible creative staff, including Yoko Kanno (Cowboy Bebop), Kenji Kamiyama (Blood, Jin-Roh), and the talented staff of Production I.G. have joined together to create the most ground-breaking new anime sci-fi series of the century.


How does one describe the incessant chomping at the bit that North American fans have been up to since GITS: SAC has been released in Japan? It’s frightening really, ever since Ghost In The Shell blew most people’s minds, people have been waiting for another dose of this awesome cyber-punk story. More akin to the original manga (by Masamune Shirow, and a freaking good read at that) that the series is based on, GITS: SAC does not start after the movie… as a matter of fact, you might be better off trying to forget the movie before you start watching.


ghost in the shell       ghost in the shell


Episode 01: Section 9

A strong opening episode for the series. Section 9 is called in for a hostage situation – a group of high ranking party officials and a group of American businessmen have been taken hostage by geisha robots at an upscale restaurant. After the team deploys, they manage to save the party members, most notably the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Americans.


During the deployment, the team is able to find the android who controlled the geisha robots, but once they apprehend him, he wipes his own memory… leaving 



the team with no explanation as to why he led the attack. So Section 9 is going to have to re-create what really happened that night and figure out who organized this plot.


The episode is followed up by the short: Tachikomatic Days which features a discussion amongst the strangely cute Tachikoma units discussing the inefficiencies of spoken communication. Both surreal and interesting.


Episode 02: Testation

One of a new breed of tanks, the multiped tanks, goes haywire during a testing sequence. This rogue tank shows the ID of its’ creator, who has been deceased for a week, and after attacking the nearby equipment leaves the testing facility. Section 9 has been called out to stop the threat, and so the Major deploys the team with 6 Tachikoma units as heavy support. The tank designers want to prevent any bad press from the tank’s mad rampage… but they also don’t want any information about their tank’s potential weaknesses being released. This leaves Section 9 little recourse but to try in vain to stop the tank before people get hurt.


The short Tachikomatic Days  focuses on the “alpha” Tachikoma finding that all of the other units have left on a mission and they left a full length note telling her this… which once again brings up her disgust at the other units inability to decide which messages need direct data transfers and which just require words.


Episode 03: Android and I

Section 9 is deployed to investigate a rash of android “suicides” that have been happening. In each case, the affected androids are from the same company and batch… named “Jeri” units. A quick search of the facility turns up an imbedded computer virus that has been causing the defect… but who created the virus and for what purpose?


ghost in the shell          ghost in the shell


Episode 04: Intercepter

The one member of Section 9, Togusa, who hasn’t had major implants into his body is contacted by one of his former colleagues and asked to meet. His friend has been working in the special investigations division of the police, and has been working on the “Laughing Man” incident (apparently an investigation regarding industrial kidnapping and espionage by a hacker) and he claims that he has come under problems from HQ. However, before the colleague can make it to the meeting, he is killed in a car accident. Togusa is given three days to investigate by the Section chief, and he eventually discovers the presence of “interceptors” in all of the detectives in the special investigations division. These interceptors collect all information that the target experiences (sights, sounds… etc) for a period of up to 3 months. Now, why were the detectives being targeted?


The animation of this series is top notch (all digitized animation – blending of really cool CG and cel shading) and the soundtrack is definitely hypnotic and sucks you in. Most complaints about GITS: SAC revolve around the person’s perception that this series is much slower than the movie… no kidding, you idiot. The TV series is telling a story over the course of an entire season, while the movie had to do it in around 90 minutes. It’s called storytelling… look it up. Definitely worth picking up.


- Tazman

(August 7, 2004)


"I'm thinking of a movie."

"Is it an action movie?"


"It is a musical?"


"Is it a good movie?"

"Well... it has its moments."

"It's "Cool Runnings"."

         - Lois, Chris, Meg, and Peter (The Family Guy)

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