In a nutshell: Section
9 gets sold down the river and the Tachkomas return!
The last volume in the first season of Ghost in the Shell: Standalone
Complex has the plot moving at a fast and furious pace. Things
look as bad as they can get for Section 9, but the season wraps up in a
very satisfactory manner.
In the not too distant future, most humans are augmented by cybernetic
implants. These implants make people faster, stronger, and more powerful.
No longer do you have to spend excruciating hours in the gym to get the
perfect body, you can just order one. Crime is still prevalent in
this future society, and the criminals are now much more powerful.
In order to combat these criminals, a special division of the police, Section
9 has been created. Manned with state of the art cybernetically enhanced
officers Section 9 handles the cases that no one else is equipped to.
As the season wraps up, Section 9 is in a bit of trouble. They
have discovered a rouge element in the government; a faction that is heavily
armed and has access to the newest military hardware. This group
is out to get Section 9, and if they can't do it with brute force, they
will do it politically, painting the organization as a rogue outfit that
is answerable to noone. The political fall out for protecting Section
9 is just too high, so they get sold down the river.
Special forces raid the Section 9 building where all of the members
are stationed. After a fierce battle, the six people escape and agree
to separate, never to contact each other again. Section 9 is disbanded.
The government isn't going to be satisfied with that though. They
want all of Section 9 in custody, or preferably dead. So one by one
the elite members are tracked down and captured or killed. Can the
few members who are left manage to fight back? And did the Chief
really comply with the ruling party in order to keep himself free?
There's not a lot I can say about this last volume without spoiling
the series. Suffice to say, this was a great series. Absolutely
top notch. Every episode in the series was interesting and this last
volume kept me glued to the screen. Things happen at a fast pace
and the tempo is intense. The way that they wrapped up this season
was both elegant and very satisfying. Things come full circle in
a beautiful way.
This DVD comes in two versions. A regular version, which is the
version that is reviewed here, and a deluxe version. The deluxe version
has an extra disc with the same episodes repeated but with a DTS sound
The viewer has the choice of viewing this program with either an English
dub (5.1 and 2.0) or in the original Japanese (also 5.1 and 2.0.)
There is good use of the full sound stage on the 5.1 tracks, giving the
show a very encompassing feeling. Music and incidental effects come
from all angles surrounding the viewer, but these never become overpowering.
There isn't a trace of hiss or distortion, and everything is very clear
and crisp. I viewed the show in both English and Japanese, and I
had a preference for the original language, but the English dub sounded
great as well, with the voice talent doing a good job. There are
optional full English subtitles or just subtitles for the signs and song
The video on this show is absolutely stellar. The anamorphic widescreen
video was encoded from a high definition master and is just about flawless.
The colors were excellent, blending gracefully from shade to shade without
any signs of banding. The picture was sharp and the definition was
first-rate. This is a great looking show.
In addition to a series of trailers, this DVD includes a 15-minute long
interview with head writer Kamiyama Kenji. He talks about writing
the scripts, working with the other writers and the direction the series
takes. I really find interviews with the Japanese cast and crew much
more interesting than the English voice actors and writers who really don't
have any input on the actual creation of a series. The interviews
that have been included on the disc in this series have been great.
A great series that was solid all the way through. It is a complex
story with a lot of plot twists and political intrigue, but in the end all
the questions were answered in a satisfactory manner. One of the
top series that has come out this year, I can't wait for the second season.