This set contains episodes five through eight of the first series/season from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Here the focal point of the series really comes to focus in earnest, the first two episodes in the set continuing the story from "Interceptor" and the Laughing Man storyline. The last two are "stand alone" episodes (the first two are called "complex," a nice take from the series title), featuring a little bit of character motivation for Major Kusanagi in the last episode and a peek into her private life - one she's seemingly too busy to dwell on. To comment on the US version so far: I don't particularly care for the voice acting. Utilizing some of the same talent (for Kusanagi and Batou at least) as in the Ghost in the Shell movie, the overused voice actors seeming disinterest in whatever project they're involved in carries over into their lines and Stand Alone Complex is no different. That being said, the work is acceptable - a project on this scope really should have gone a different route. A very small pet peeve is the American logo for the show, a horrific cyber/metal theme that needs to be junked as soon as possible. Another note: the Japanese episodes generally have a title and subtitle, the latter of which is occasionally used as the episode title in the US. Frankly the Laughing Man story is really what propels this show. It's an involved, interwoven and multi-faceted plot, with enough vague threads, diversions, and neo-technological philosophy to satisfy most.Read more ›
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Food for thought.Sept. 24 2004
- Published on Amazon.com
The issues concerning the internet these days may well be considered as precursors to GITS:SAC. Privacy, access, surveillance, information, internet morality, and humanity are all problems dealt with in "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex", except that the implications and legal ramifications are well established and things of the past. You will be compelled to outgrow the technological adolescence of the present very quickly to deal with the maturity and depth of the world of GITS.
I've seen the entire series, and it is by far one of the best anime series I've seen. The original movie was quite revolutionary by itself, but I have to say that the creators, producers, and studio have outdone themselves by a long shot with this series. The original characters are all there, Major Kusanagi, Batou, etc., with the addition of several others who provide support and round out Section 9, a futuristic FBI/CIA organization, as a unit. The series is very much like NYPD Blue, in that you get to know the characters and their cases quite well.
What's astonishing about the series is that the creators have provided an amazingly detailed premise: the world has gone COMPLETELY digital, and the world's population is now linked to the future version of the internet with implants to the point where the line between personality/self and this alternate space has blurred considerably. They then ask the mind-boggling question: what could possibly happen in this kind of world? They answer, of course, with half-hour case studies of cyber-crime, political intrigue, digital culture, and philosophical soul-searching.
Each episode is self-consistent and follows very stringently the physics upon which the series is based. By this I mean that this world has been constructed with a basic set of rules, and each episode tells a story based on these rules, but without bogging him/her down with details about the rules. Instead, the episodes tell their stories and the viewer is thus thrown in the proverbial deep end, inadvertently learning to read the fine print in between the storylines. The extrapolations, implications, and possibilities of such a world are explored to an incredible depth and detail that only anime can provide.
Of course, given the opportunity to explore, there are some episodes where the script becomes a bit too self-analytical, and that might detract the viewer from the storylines, but I think when you create such a world, you are somewhat obliged to ask them.
Can a machine ever have a personality? If your ghost (read personality) can be hacked, how can you tell what is real and what isn't? When your personality can be digitized and you can live immortal in cyberspace, what meaning is there to having a body? What kind of crimes will criminals commit and how will they commit them given such unlimited access? What will be the shape of politics in a wired world? Can computer viruses infect human beings? How do you define love/emotions in cyberspace? If you could choose to be a cyborg, would you?
If you've ever asked yourself these questions, find the answers in this technically brilliant series.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
It's a keeper for Anime fansOct. 18 2004
- Published on Amazon.com
As a fan of the orignal GitS, and of Stand Alone Complex Vol. 1, I really looked forward to Vol. 2 and I was not disappointed. The story continued where it left off in Vol. 1, but this time we learn even more about the Major, her skills and maybe a small scene to some, but to me when she blocked a blow and it...well, don't want to spoil it, but it shows how powerfully build she is. While the Laughing Man from the first vol. took up lots of the time, the other episodes showed more of her personality. Including a huge surprise about her love life that was cut-out of the US verison of GitS comic.
The art, action are crisp and clean, the US voice acting is very good, not perfect at times, but they've spend money getting some good voice actors. As for the sound complain in another review, I started off with no sound, then realised that I had set-up for DTS sound, which I don't have. After resetting to stereo the sound came on and it sounded great.
I recommend Ghost in the Shell for any anime fan.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Ghost -SAC is rockin'Oct. 11 2004
- Published on Amazon.com
So far, I've enjoyed this series very much, more so than the movie, it seems to follow the Manga more closely in both style and story ... I'm looking forward to the next installment as well ...
I see someone has had a problem with the sound, well copy and paste this address:
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A Review of the Special Edition FeaturesSept. 26 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
I 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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
NO Extras on DTS version?June 14 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
The show is great and DVD sound and picture are great. But, I noticed my DVD has no Extras (the interviews with Aramaki's voice actor andthe composer) even though the box says it is supposed to. Also, the DVD does not have 5.1 sound even though the box claims it does. Did I just get an old DVD in a new box? Maybe it was sitting int the warehouse for a long time? Series is worth having on DVD if you can afford it
****Did anyone else experience the NO EXTRAS problem?****