45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
In addition to the 2-disc DD/DTS DVD, the GITS:SAC Vol. 7 SE comes with a metal collector's box for all 7 DVDs of the first season. It also comes with a white Laughing Man T-Shirt and a Tachikoma ID card.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
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would rate the show as 5 stars, this is a review of the extras and features of the Special Edition issue.
I recently bought all the Special Edition releases of "Stand Alone Complex" after trying to research what I was going to get as extras not included in the regular edition. I found the listings on Amazon's product details to be a little confusing and incomplete on some of the volumes so I decided to write this guide for others trying to decide. I'm not going to review the "Ghost in the Shell" episodes or the series in general because there are so many excellent reviews already on this site, and most of you probably know about this great anime TV series already. There are various other reviews that say that some of the DVD's and CD's have errors on them and Bandai will replace them with corrected discs if you send them in for exchange. I have not ran into problems yet, although I haven't gone through the whole series either. And I will also state that I love the TV series as well as both movies, but I would recommend the Imported Region 2 version of GITS2:Innocence if you have a region free DVD player. Dreamworks really messed up that release omiting the English dub and putting Hard of Hearing subtitles instead of regular ones on the early issues of that movie. Most people find them very distracting and annoying.
First off the discs themselves, you get two DVD discs in each volume with the same episodes on both discs. Volumes 1-5 have 4 episodes each, 6 and 7 have 3 episodes each making 26 episodes total in the series. Both discs are Anamorphic wide screen encoded directly from the High-Definition Masters. Both Discs also have English subtitles. Each set also has two interviews with voice cast or someone associated with the production of the anime, and a printed DVD insert pamphlet or booklet with different interviews and such for each volume. All discs are Region 1.
Disc one has Dolby Digital 5.1 in Japanese and English, and Dolby Digital 2.0 in English and Japanese.
Disc two has DTS 5.1 in English and Japanese and a Dolby Digital 2.0 English track.
Volumes 1 and 2 include soundtrack CD's of the music of Yoko Kanno, the most excellent and versatile composer of the music in the TV series. Anime lovers know her work from the many fine soundtracks that she's done for countless other anime movies and TV series.
Volume 3 has a Black XL Fruit of the Loom Tee-Shirt with the section 9 logo on the front and a Major Kusanagi graphic on the back. Nice shirt!
Volumes 4 and 5 have a collectable I.D. cards for a section 9 member.
Volume 6 has a Black XL Fruit of the Loom Tee-Shirt with the section 9 logo on the front and a Batou graphic on the back, and another I.D. card. Nice shirt again!
Volume 7 has another Tee-Shirt! This time it's a White XL with the section 9 logo on the front, and the Laughing Man logo on the back! Once again nice shirt! It also comes with a tin box that's supposed to hold all 7 volumes of the DVD set. I was excited about getting the box but when it arrived I was disappointed with the design. It's kind of like the rectangular lunch box that you used to take to school as a kid, without the handle and latch. Its also of a thinner metal that dents easily. It has marketing type of printing on the backside that pertains to vol. 7 only, and the DVD cases stack inside one on top of the other. The spines of the cases are not visible when you open the box, only the front of the last case you put in. So you have to take all the cases out of the tin to get to a specific volume. There's also not room for the cardboard sleves that the DVD's were in when you got the individual volumes, and no room for the soundtrack CD's either. All said, I was disappointed with the box. Because of it's odd dimensions it doesn't stack in well with my DVD library. I would have much preferred the normal five sided box that usually comes with DVD sets.
Overall I'd say it's worth it to buy volumes 3, 6 and 7 new to get the shirts if they interest you and pick up the others used if you can to save some money on the series. That is if you're interested in the DTS soundtrack options. I much prefer the DTS mixes to Dolby Digital and wanted the soundtrack CD's as well. Also the cardboard boxes that come with volumes 3 and 6 are better than the tin box to store your set in when you complete the series, if you stack them on shelves one row of DVD's on top of another row, and you can fit the movies into those boxes as well to fill them the rest of the way.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
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Once again the saga of Motoko Kusanagi refuses to fall into the popular mold - as manga, as a pair of feature films, and now a TV series, it combines the classic crowd pleasers of the science fiction of a not too distant time, a topnotch group of secret agents, and a beautiful woman with a story line that isn't fraid to stop and contemplate the complicated world where the line between mechanical and human, program and soul, get crossed every day.
What you will see for most of these last few episodes is the dismantling of Section 9 when their efforts to get to the bottom of the Secretary General's plot result in danger to the nations politicians. This invites retaliation and everyone goes undercover and, eventually, fall into the governments hands. All the Laughing Man's efforts seem to come to naught and theire is every sign that this series is about to have a very nourish ending.
Well, all I'll tell you is that the ending is worth all the trauma of getting there. These three episodes really focus on the characters of the Section 9 team in unexpected fashion. And even the Tachikoma's make a reappearance.
This has been a contemplative series. First the ethical questions raised by the Laughing Man and human cyberization, then the even more difficult issues of what life is or can be. In these episodes Kusanagi reveals a personal philosophy which is both chilling and evocative of the samurai code. She is a modern Tomoe Gozen, unendingly loyal to Arimaki and fiercely defiant in battle.
This has been a series with considerable depth that echoes but never slavishly imitates, the work that has gone before. A fine piece of work from both an artistic and an entertainment point of view.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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I'll admit to you that I love to watch Adult Swim, and I'll also admit that I like certain types of anime. No, I'm not one of those nerdy card-trading Poke'mon lovers, I'm a young adult who likes to use my imagination in my down time. I like anime that's made for adults like: Big O!, Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Outlaw Star, Tenchi and Ghost in the shell.
I was watching either watching Family Guy or Aqua Teen Hunger Force when I saw previews for this show start to air on Adult Swim, I thought thought it looked cool, it featured what looked to me like a cool futuristic take on robots and the humans that are seamlessly integrated with cybornetics to make them almost immortal, But I didn't know the half of it.
What I got was a cyber-punk version of the old black-and-white film noir mysteries. The series receives its subtitle from a theoretical mental complex attributed to the adaptation of cybernetics into the mass public. In the story, 'stand alone complex' is said to describe copies with no original and is portrayed by copycat crimes with no original criminal, or in other words, an imaginary criminal. It also refers to the structure of each episode: Each episode can be viewed independently of each other, and there is little catch-up (if at all) given in each episode to keep the viewer up to date.
Taking place in a fictional city of Japan called "Niihama-shi" (New Port City) in the year 2030, Stand Alone Complex tells the story of a special operations task-force called Public Security Section 9, or simply "Section 9". The series follows the exploits of Section 9's agents who range from ex-military to ex-police as they address each case and how it affects them on a personal level, eventually leading to the mysterious figure dubbed by the media as "The Laughing Man".
Public Security Section 9 is an elite domestic anti-crime unit tasked with the charge of preemptive prevention of technology-related acts of terrorism and crime. Their duties include response to serious cyber crimes (i.e. Cyberbrain hacking, cyber-terrorism), investigation of unlawful acts of those in public office and of high profile murder cases. From time-to-time they also serve as protection to foreign VIPs.
If you have seen the movie then you know that the TV series differs from the cinema adaptation in its focus upon issues created by the advance of technology. Instead of the intensely focused and personal examination of technology, presented is a look at society and technology as a larger whole. The series of 26 half-hour TV episodes has a larger budget of time to explore the concepts and ideas found in the original manga. In comparison to the film version, the series is considered by many to be easier to understand. Also, in comparison, the series can be found to be closer to the manga; due to the presence of some humor, the usage of the Tachikomas (Fuchikomas in the manga, and referred to simply as "tanks" in the one scene a derivant version makes an appearance in), the design of the characters, and also, the usage of the characters Paz, Bouma and Saito. Stand Alone Complex exhibits the accumulated experience and expertise of Production I.G. in their application of computer generated imagery. This is evident in their digital color grading, environmental effects, and cell-shaded computer models. Their work has been highly praised for its subtle contribution to a scene, which adds greatly to the atmosphere.
I think a lot of people will try to compare this to Cowboy Bebop as with so many other anime and mangas, but that's foolish. Stand Alone Complex is no better or worse than Cowboy Bebop, it's just a different story, different style, different sets of charactors and there places.
if you like anime or manga you'll definitely like this show. It's complex, has views on modern terrorism and how to deal with it, and not to mention the technology! Even if you don't watch anime just give a chance and take it for what it is.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
The writing of the entire series is outstanding, and outdoes any kind of storyline I've seen in any kind of fiction on viewable media (tv, movies). Sounds lofty but that's just how high I am on the complexity of the writing. Part of it would have to do with the ability to add more depth through many episodes, but certainly there are other TV series that have that opportunity. The episodes can be watched over and over again because of the richness of the storyline and because of how easy it is to miss something on one viewing. Repeated value after one viewing is a sign of a great episode/movie.
I agree with JC that the very end was a bit odd but the final 3 episodes overall were awesome. Look forward to 2nd Gig.
PS - Tachikomas rock.