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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Ghost in the Shell - Stand Alone Complex, Vol. 7
Ghost in the Shell - Stand Alone Complex, Vol. 7
Starz / Anchor Bay // Unrated // July 26, 2005
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted July 10, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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P R I N T
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In a nutshell: Section 9 gets sold down the river and the Tachkomas return!

The Show:

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.

The DVD:


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 track.

Audio:

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 lyrics.

Video:

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.

Extras:

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.

Final Thoughts:

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. Highly Recommended.

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