DVD Review: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Season 2, Vol. 5
Release Date: May 30, 2006
Distributor: Manga Video
· Kenji Kamiyama
· Atsuko Tanaka
· Osamu Saka
· Akio Ôtsuka
· Kôichi Yamadera
· Yutaka Nakano
by Adam Scholtz
Published: July 28, 2006
“Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex: 2nd GIG" is the second season of the TV series which spun off from the movie "Ghost in the Shell." Volume 5 contains episodes 17 through 20 from season 2. The series revolves around Major Motoko Kusanagi, an agent of the internal security group known as Section 9, headed by Chief Aramaki. The Major, with her support crew and a group of robotic droids with childish attitudes but accurate weaponry, keep Japan safe via confronting numerous groups all reaching for a bit of the “let’s try to take over Japan” pie. Most of their enemies utilize highly advanced technology though, making the jobs of Section 9 all that much harder. This two disc set includes four episodes on each disc, one disc in DTS sound, the other is a digital sound and is also the disc with the very sparse special features.
This addition to the series continues the search of Section 9 agents looking for counter-intelligence to thwart the terrorist who have been threatening Japan. These episodes revolve around a man named Kuze, one of the Individual Eleven from the previous set of episodes. The first pair of episodes are a bit of a tangent from the rest though, with episode 17 featuring the Major traveling to Taiwen in search of information on Kuze, but instead helping a local boy by beating up a gang of local thugs, eventually helping the boy escape the gang’s servitude. Episode 18 involves Batou, one of the Major’s crewmembers. Batou and the Major are pulled away from the Kuze case to help in capturing a terrorist bomber. While both are standing watch under optical camouflage, Batou notices a young girl who is mysteriously able to look right at him, most likely duo to her heightened other senses in lieu of being able to see. She hopes he is the angel that will reunite her with her father, who ends up being the terrorist.
The last two episodes focus on the hunt for Kuze, with them tracking him down and the chase leading underground. They find out that Kuze is attempting to get his mitts on some atomic weaponry, with the last episode ending in a standoff over the nukes.
The series has progressed and continues to improve with each new release, with this newest set of episodes touching upon issues that are actually happening in the world currently. With the characters going to near or full prosthetic bodies, they still feel and act like humans and show human emotion. Even the Major with her fully prosthetic body is relatively easy to relate to, due to good writing. The animation is still top notch, and the music is set very well to the series, with a total of seven different soundtracks to choose from. Well worth checking out, but pick up the first releases before this one.
Extra features are the big downfall to the set, with the only showing being a pair of interviews that are just the director and actors talking for the most part.
Episode 17 - Red Data
Episode 18 - Trans Parent
Episode 19 - Chain Reaction
Episode 20 - Fabricate Fog
Ghost in the Shell SAC Season 2, Vol. 2 Review