Section 9 is back for a 2nd GIG
Xeon Negotiator | MA, USA | 07/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"That's right the whole gang from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is back. Fans of both the movie series and the original televised series are going to love the second season. Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2nd GIG is amazing from the first episode to the very last, and it all starts out right were the first season left off. But this time the threat is far greater to Japan and Section 9.
This DVD set includes the following:
Disc: 4 episodes in Dolby Digital (English and Japanese); bonus material
2. Night Cruise
3. Cash Eye
4. Natural Enemy
Ghost in the Shell: SAC Official Log 1 - scheduled release date 10/25/05
Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2nd GIG Vol. 2 - scheduled release date 11/22/05
NOTE - If you see any anime items for sale that seem to cheap, they are BOOTLEGS. DO NOT BUY!"
2 Season of the GITS TV Series
indanthrene | Salt Lake City, UT United States | 10/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For a little more background:
Movies (The Puppet Master plotline):
Ghost in the Shell
Ghost in the Shell: Innocence
TV Series (The Puppet Master in the movies never existed):
Season 1: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
Season 2: Ghost in the Shell: Second GIG
Ghost in the Shell: Different than the first movie, but related.
Ghost in the Shell: Innocence (I have not read it).
Ghost in the Shell: Man Machine Interface (a story set a few years after the first movie, it follows the Major in some later activities; it appears to take place after the second movie, but the second movie was published afterward, and they don't refer to each other as far as I know).
The second movie picks up after the first movie (the puppet master affair plotline).
I have seen almost the entire 2ng GIG series. It possesses a more gritty and tight feel and story than the first season. The animation style is markedly different. In fact, the whole production value, while quite high, was still lower than the first season. This was something of a disappointment to me, as I had expected them to exceed the past, not fall behind it.
The story, though, is still interesting as Section 9 fights for its own life and survival. We learn a great deal more about the past, and every episode is, like the first season, crafted with what I think is a certain sort of genius.
I await the end of the second season with great anticipation."
Sesho | Pasadena, TX USA | 04/16/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The second season of Ghost in the Shell gets off to a very slow start, filled with talking heads that inform us how the political situation has changed since the previous series ended. It couldn't be more topical to contemporary America. You see, the main conflict of the show is being caused by a refugee problem. After the last war lots of Asians immigrated to Japan in search of a better life since their countries were poor and Japan was relatively rich. They were welcomed at first as a cheap labor force but over the years the Japanese began to think twice about the situation and realized that the immigrants are a huge tax burden. A new Conservative government has been formed, promising to deal with the problem once and for all. But there are elements within and outside of the government who are not prepared to wait for legislation. So, in the first episode here, a group called the "Individual 11" takes the Chinese Embassy hostage to protest against the parasitic immigrant population. Section 9 is called in to rescue the hostages, and if no innocents are killed, they are promised full reinstatement by the new Prime Minister. In the second episode, another human being/cyborg scarred by the war and its effects, fantasizes about mattering in a society that doesn't recognize the need for love in individuals. He constantly daydreams about killing all the people he despises and even falls for the Major, who he mistakes for a prostitute. In the third episode, "Cash Eye" is the name of a thief who is so good that she even tells her victims when she is going to rob them! It's up to Section 9 to stop her from robbing a multi-millionaire who will be busy giving a sex-doll soiree at the appointed time attended secretly by very high-up dignitaries. Lastly, in an episode reminescent of an early episode last season, an attack helicopter whose pilot has had a heart attack is taken over by its AI and suspiciously, is joined by other unmanned aircraft in the immigrant district of the city. Their purpose....unknown. Section 9 is called in by one of the government intelligence services who seem very aware of the situation. As though they knew about it before it happened?
2nd Gig has a very different feel from the first season which seemed obsessed with Catcher in the Rye references and cyber crimes of sometimes Enron complexity. This first volume seemed firmly grounded in real-world problems. Namely, what do you do when the equivalent of a slave labor force begins to revolt against its masters and demand more rights? Some people believe they have the right to be here. Some that they should all be kicked out. When a population sees itself as threatened, they fight back, whether this population are the legal citizens or the immigrants. Of course, this show came out in Japan long before the current immigration issues that are now plaguing America. But it's just eerie seeing this. The situation in the US could very easily slip into the conflicts we see in Volume 1 of 2nd gig. Everything about this second season is top-rate....except maybe the writing. The second episode in particular is really slow, since Section 9 is hardly in it at all. While I liked the experiment they did by doing that, it's too early in the show to take the focus off the main characters. Yoko Kanno's music, while masterpieces, seemed to strain to make boring scenes dramatic, but most of her score improves the show, especially a homage to the first Ghost in the Shell movie when the Major falls backwards out of a high-rise, turning on her Predator-like camouflage as she descends after blowing a terrorist's head off. This show looks like it might be great, once it gets past the exposition.
Extras: Interviews with the director and two designers who worked on the show.
I would also recommend: The first season of Ghost in the Shell SAC. The two GITS feature films. The SECOND edition of the manga which features panels cut out of the original American release.
The Matrix trilogy."
The Best Contemporary Work of Science Fiction
The Dilettante | 06/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Masamune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell- in all of its incarnations- is an exceptionally literate and stimulating franchise. But the best of these incarnations is the second season of Stand Alone Complex, directed by Mamoru Oshii. Even at the most superficial level, the visual and sound design of the series are pathbreaking. But Shirow's vision for the manga was deeply informed by artificial intelligence theory and philosophy of mind. This series continues to explore these themes, even as Oshii has added on layers of international politics, speculative history, diplomacy, systems theory, law, bureacratic infighting, Japanese culture. The final product is even richer intellectual and dramatic material than its closest rival, the new Battlestar Galactica. Unlike the Matrix, this series gets better with each installment, with a bit more of the puzzle revealed in each installment. This is because - also unlike the Matrix- there is a POINT. This is not an endless symposium on the dualing natures of technology and humanity, it is thesis-driven and these questions are ultimately RESOLVED. The stories are so complex and the pace of the series is so quick that many viewers complain that it is impossible to follow. But this is merely an invitation to multiple viewings, and they repay the effort with interest."