Ghost in the Shell - Solid State Society -
Customer reviews (av rating: 4.5):
Section 9 returns : The Solid State Society film is in effect the third instalment of the excellent Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex TV series, rather than a continuation of the two feature films. The action in this film takes place roughly two years after the events in Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig with the Major having resigned, and Togusa having taken over the newly expanded Section 9. The team is investigating a string of strange suicides when the trail leads to the mysterious hacker the `Puppeteer'.
As one of the previous reviewers stated, Solid State Society does have the file of an extended episode of the Stand Alone Complex series rather than a film in its own right, but this is hardly a criticism when the series in question is of such high quality. The animation and voice acting are comparable, if not slightly superior to, that seen in the series and the story itself is involving and exciting with many a twist. I would recommend that people watch the two series of Stand Alone Complex before watching this but even if you haven't this is still a vastly enjoyable anime.
The amazing sci-fi franchise of Stand Alone Complex continues : This is another amazing addition for the Stand Alone Complex series (i.e. the TV series). This film does not continue from the original GitS I and II films, but follows on from GitS: 2nd Gig, so don't look at the original films and expect to understand what is going on.
The film takes place a few years after the end of 2nd Gig; apparently, the film was created instead of doing a third season of the TV series. Some people have speculated that it takes place in around 2034, two years afterwards, but it's difficult to say, because all I could pick up from the film is that it takes place two years after the Major has left Section 9. I'm not 100% certain that she did leave Section 9 at the end of 2nd Gig, so maybe something else happened to cause her to leave.
So, we now have a Section 9 without the Major, and it is headed up instead by Togusa. All the familiar faces are there, as well as a few new rookies. The film kicks off with Section 9 investigating a spate of suicides by members of a known terrorist group, all of them mentioning "The Puppet Master" before killing themselves. It becomes extremely apparent that things are far more complex than initially thought, with a far reaching conspiracy.
I won't divulge any more of the plot itself, but the film is done in the exact same style as the TV series. This works to its advantage, in my opinion, simply because I've always found the TV series to be far superior in substance (except, perhaps, with the original GitS film): the plot lines are far more involved, the intrigue thick, and the focus on the political and sociological setting far superior than the original films. It would've been nice to have something prettier to look at (the GitS II: Innocence film was gorgeous to watch), but if that comes at the expense of the very complex world the Stand Alone Complex series has created, forget the eye candy.
An enjoyable addition to the SAC universe. : Firstly I'd like to point out that If you've seen either of Mamoru Oshii's films, Ghost in the Shell and Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence dont expect any continuity with these films as the Stand Alone Complex interpretation of the Ghost in the Shell universe is closer to the original manga in spirit. Also dont expect this to be on same kind of level as Oshiis films.
Thats not to say that Solid State Society isnt good, but its more like a feature length episode of SAC than a separate film. For this reason I would recommend watching both the 1st and 2nd Gig's of SAC prior to this as these are referred to in the film.
The only reason I havent given SAC 5 stars, is as mentioned above, it is more like a feature length episode, the quality of animation and cinematography are not wildly different than that seen in the anime, personally I feel they should have given it a little extra imapact.
I wont spoil the plot, but suffice to say ALL the main characters appear in this.
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