Ghost In The Shell - Stand Alone Complex - SAC 1st GIG - Complete Box Set -
Customer reviews (av rating: 4.5):
Fantastic! : The year is 2030 and Section 9 continues to prevent acts of terrorism and crime in New Port City. As well as dealing with serious crimes such as, Cyber Hackers and cyber-terrorism, from time to time they also serve as protection to foreign VIPs and investigate unlawful acts of those in public office and of high profile murder cases. Apart from that, The mysterious hacker known as `The Laughing Man' returns after six years of silence, hijacking a Police official's cyber brain and delivering a threat to the Superintendent-General. The first season has two types of episodes: "Stand Alone" episodes which deal with Section 9 fighting crime and "Complex" episodes, which mostly deals with the Laughing Man Case. The animation and storytelling of this series is outstanding.
Best anime series available! : I have watched over half this series, and aside from the excellent animation, I have been struck by the sheer brilliance of the writing and plotting on this series. Also, the characters are well rounded and with believable motivations, particularly the Major and Batou. Admittedly, one or two of the Tachikoma 'episodes', plus the little add-on shorts featuring Section 9's robotic mini-tanks can sometimes be slightly irritating, but this takes nothing away from the fact that this is without a doubt the finest (mature) anime work I have seen since Akira. I am looking forward to the rest of this series, and 2nd Gig after that!!
Excellent DVD, excellent series - why wouldn't you? : This is an excellent and very good value transfer of an absolute top quality, enthralling tv series. Described at the time as "the best Sci-Fi series on Television" Ghost in the Shell - Stand Alone Complex is the kind of intelligent, sophisticated science fiction that the world is crying out for - to my taste it stands up there with Battlestar Galactica, Firefly and the good seasons of Babylon 5.
The DVD transfer is good - sound and video quality are superb. The extras get a little tired after a while - they are mostly interviews in japanese with subtitles - but I guess if you're a hardcore fan you'd love that stuff.
The one complaint I have - and this is to do with the genre in general I think - is the outrageous proportions and clothing of the hero, Major Kusanagi. While I have no problem watching women displayed that way, when I am sitting down trying to convince my beloved wife that this animation is not, in fact, juvenile cartoons but rather a higher form of art, it doesn't help when hotpants and gravitationally impossible breasts fly across the screen before graphically slaughtering some villain.
I understand that in the context of the story that there is an argument for her looking this way - but honestly, that's not going to cut it with Mrs L.
I suspect I will always have this problem with this genre, which is of course aimed predominantly at young men. It would be nice if they could make wife/girlfriend friendly versions of these shows though - not that they get offended (or at least mine doesn't) - but because these juvenile depictions of female characters can get in the way and sadly prevent them from appreciating what is, to my mind, a highly advanced art form.
In short though - BUY IT!
Fantastic Plot, Fantastic Dialogue, Simply Fantastic! Prepare to enjoy yourself when you watch this! :
Unlike Mamoru Oshii's more cerebral versions of "Ghost in the Shell"- Stand Alone complex is a more "edge-of-your-seat" kind of story.
Ghost in the Shell as a whole is one of , if not, the most intellectually stimulating story I have ever watched (and read). There are textures to this story that no hollywood movie or animated series has ever been ever to replicate.The Matrix 'tried' (yes THE MATRIX) but Ghost in the Shell still kicks butt when it comes to science fiction with a modern- day- not so- apocalyptic story.
Stand Alone Complex doesn't drop the ball on any point. Yes, you will need to have some previous knowledge of who the characters are to really get into the story but this is a MINOR issue because the story is soooo good you'll find yourself able to recite their names, blood types, and ancestry by the end of the first disc! This boxset has 7 discs- and believe me YOU WON'T GET BETTER VALUE FOR MONEY!
I personally am a great (gigantic) fan of Mamoru Oshii's work especially the Ghost in the Shell films, and have read the some of the manga (comic version) of Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow - and I still love S.A.C because it has it's own style, grammar, angle, textures and excellent overlapping plots. The "Laughing Man case" is one of the most intricate but thrilling plots ever written in personal opinion.
What I like most about Ghost in the Shell is that it has a strong technological edge but it explains things to you- without making you feel stupid or like you're been spoon-fed. You WILL want to watch it twice and you WILL enjoy it as much as the first time, if not more.
The soundtrack for S.A.C is worth buying as well. It may seem as though this boxset/story sounds too good to be true.The episodes remind me of Agatha Christie's books, Poirot especially, where there are little bits and pieces of clues that don't seem to fit together but eventually they do and it's in the most miraculous ways and it's twice as satsifying when you manage to piece things together by yourself. S.A.C makes you feel that way disc after disc.
If you like science fiction, and want to watch something intellectually challenging but don't want to have your brain fired- buy SAC.
If you like strong interesting characters, political power struggles, and detective stories (crime genre)- buy SAC.
If you want to watch some thing that will simply blow you away- ....you guessed it - Buy S.A.C
This series gets 7 stars from me- one for each disc.
The Greatest Series Of Anime : I bought GITS: SAC 1st Gig for my Birthday in March last year, following buying the first Ghost in the Shell movie (didn't watch the second as I didn't like the idea of the Major not being there). Like one of the other reviewers said this series is complicated, and relies on you listening and remembering what had happened in previous episodes.
I think there are about 26 episodes in the season, and all but one or two are just great. The story gradually unravels and you are taken through a sci-fi world in between reality and the 'internet world'.
You'll find yourself being pulled into a story that can confuse you at times, but also intice you and makes you want to find out why events have happened, and other things that can't be said without being classed as spoilers.
Most of the 1st Gig (season) revolves around the 'Laughing Man' incident (these are 'Complex' episodes, whilst the rest are 'Stand Alone'/ single episodes), a case that is incredibly complicated as it seems to be linked to everyday events and occurences - I won't say any more about this as it really is just to good and I don't want to spoil it.
GITS revolves around the daily occurences of Section 9, a Japanese secret police force that works both for and behind the Government. Motoka Kusanagi (aka the Major) is a female cyborg that is usually involved in the action events in each episode (but not always), whilst the second main characters, Togusa and Batou, are often involved in the more unorthadox events. The cyborgs are not, however, actual robots - most are humans that have been fitted with machine parts in order to improve their performance - this idea is explained as the plot expands.
I found Stand Alone Complex to be an amazing idea, and it went into much more action and depth than the slightly more bizarre movie. For a complete boxset of an amazing series, buy this from Amazon. £30 - what have you got to lose? If you like anime or the GITS movies then you will love this.
I loved this so much that I didn't want it to end; but now, with the 2nd Gig being released in a box set, roll on February 2007!
Buy "Ghost In The Shell - Stand Alone Complex - SAC 1st GIG - Complete Box Set" now!