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Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - The Laughing Man


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Go For the Whole Season Nov. 6 2008
By Ghost in the Matrix - Published on Amazon.com
I hate to have to say that I was dissapointed with this buy, but I was. And it's difficult to find any redeeming quality in it. The idea of condensing the GITS Laughing Man series into a feature length movie was a great idea. The story arc is a complex one, and I jumped at the opportunity to re-watch the story in a continuous format. However, one of the first issues arises in the editing. People who watched the complete series will see the editing choices the producers made when splicing together the various episodes -- and will very likely notice just how disjointed the results are. Those who haven't seen the original episodes won't notice the uneveness, but will probably be completely confused as to what the heck is going on within 20 minutes. So who exactly was the audience for this product? Old fans or new ones?

If the answer is old fans, than the producers will have given them plenty of other reasons to be upset about this product. For one, the original character voices have all been changed. In some cases, like Aramaki and Ishikawa, the new voices are close approximations of the original. But in the case of Motoko, it takes a while for the ears to accept the nuances of the change. With Batou and Togusa, the voices are so off and generic that my ears were too distracted to even finish the movie.

Again, if new fan's were the target here, the change in voice actors won't be an issue, but I'd still be curious to know how many of them will be able to follow this already complex plot which is made even more complicated by choppy editing. For such would be fans I would recommend just buying the entire season in bulk and enjoying the Laughing Man story and the miscellaneous stories that punctuate it.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A great story with just one flaw for hard core SAC fans Oct. 8 2007
By M. Sewell - Published on Amazon.com
If you think you might be interested in Ghost in the Shell SAC this would be a great introduction to the series beyond the film, however, I could not give it a 5 star rating because the english voice cast is not the established voices from the SAC series. I would rather recomend the 26 episode box set or individual disks from the SAC series first because while the Laughing Man story arc is great, the additional stand alone stories from the 26 episode series are equally entertaining. In summary I would not recomend this disk to established fans of the series but, I would to anyone who is interested to a great story outside of the movie and has a mild curiosity about Ghost in the Shell SAC.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Pass on it, get the episodes instead Jan. 26 2008
By Brian C. Miller - Published on Amazon.com
To paraphrase another movie, this is not the DVD you are looking for.

The series was edited and basically slaughtered to make the Laughing Man "movie." The editing leaves out too much of the original Laughing Man episodes, and makes the story very choppy. The voice actors are not from the original cast, and their performance and dub-in is not good.

I bought this 2 DVD set because I thought that it would be neat to see the whole Laughing Man story arc as one complete movie. Unfortunately, the editing leaves out too much of the story line, and the voice acting is not good. I couldn't watch it at all with the English soundtrack, and I had to switch to the Japanese and subtitles.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Still a good buy, but original voices would have made it worlds better Oct. 12 2007
By B. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is one of the highest quality anime series of the past few years, and to an extent "The Laughing Man" lives up to this quality. This DVD isn't really a must buy, as all of the material (except for one Tachikoma Days short and one interview) is taken directly from the first season. Thus the animation quality is just as good as the television series, and as such is a joy to watch. The laughing man story arc of the first season is well modified to fit into feature length movie structure, with segments of some of the stand-alone episodes still present to provide introduction and characterization. Although the plot is harder to follow in this format then it was as a television series, it is still rich and complex.

So far, so good. The place where it doesn't live up to my expectations is the voice acting. I went in expecting the tried-and-true cast from the television series, but instead it sounds like a bunch of cheap knockoffs. Most of them aren't bad, per se, but they all leave a lot to be desired. The Major's voice actor doesn't have the intensity that the television series voice actor had, and the movie suffers for it. The Movie voice actor for Batou is also a factor that detracted from my enjoyment, as the television series voice actor was made for that role. Any substitute can't live up.

Overall a good addition to the Stand Alone Complex series, but if only the voice actors from the television series had returned this film could have been a great deal more enjoyable for me.
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
You may already own this Nov. 18 2007
By Alonzo - Published on Amazon.com
If you are a fan of Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex, and you already own some of the DVDs from the series, DO NOT BUY THIS DVD!

I bought The Laughing Man and as I was watching it, I kept thinking, "I've seen this before. I've seen this before too. Wait a second. I've seen ALL of this before!"

If you own any of the DVDs from this series, you already own The Laughing Man because this "new" DVD is nothing but a compilation of all of the previously released Stand Alone Complex programs. All they did was blend them together into a feature-length DVD. You do get a few changes in dialog and a totally new (and not nearly as good) voice-over crew, but otherwise you get nothing new here. The only good thing about this special version is the DTS sound. A step up from the other DVDs.

If you have never seen the series before, this would be a great introduction to the series. Otherwise, save your money.


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