Classic Anime Review: GHOST IN THE SHELL: STAND ALONE COMPLEX Complete Collection

Contributing Writer; Sydney, Australia (@HugoOzman)
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Classic Anime Review: GHOST IN THE SHELL: STAND ALONE COMPLEX Complete Collection
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GHOST IN THE SHELL: STAND ALONE COMPLEX is one of the best anime series ever made, and ranks above other classics such as NEON GENESIS EVANGELION and COWBOY BEBOP in my personal list of all-time favorite animes. It is simply superb in every single aspect, and satisfies greatly even on multiple viewings. 

Technically, GITS: SAC is just flawless. The animation is rich in colors and details. The human characters look life-like and their movement is natural. This is especially evident in the many action scenes, where the fluid animation, fast editing and clever camera placement work together to create some of the most memorable fight sequences ever made. The audio also impresses, and features both exciting music and nice sound effects.  

While having plenty of style, the anime is certainly not lacking in substance. The characters are uniformly cool and fun to watch, and the relationships between them are well developed. The futuristic world portrayed is believable, and the story raises some serious questions about the use and misuse of technologies including those that enhance the human body. At the end of each episode is 'Tachikomatic Days', a funny short featuring the Tachikomas, military vehicles with artificial intelligence. 

GITS: SAC is created by genius anime director and master story teller Kenji Kamiyama. He has co-written with Yoshiki Sakurai the script that is based on the manga by Masamune Shirow. While a lot of the intriguing concepts seen in the anime would have originated from the manga, it is how the ideas are communicated with the audience and the way action and adventure are combined so perfectly that distinguish Kamiyama from the other animators working in the world today. Perhaps not every single one of the 52 episodes is great, but all of them are good, and most of them are amazing.

Besides the two seasons of the anime series, also included in this collection are three feature length films based on the episodes: THE LAUGHING MAN, INDIVIDUAL ELEVEN and SOLID STATE SOCIETY. THE LAUGHING MAN and INDIVIDUAL ELEVEN retell stories from the two seasons of the series, focussing on the Laughing Man incident and Individual Eleven investigation respectively. SOLID STATE SOCIETY is a made for television sequel to the series. All three films are slick and stylish, but are really supplementary material to the series that contain far more interesting details. 

GHOST IN THE SHELL: STAND ALONE COMPLEX is so great an achievement in its entertaining and intelligent telling of a complex and compelling story that the abbreviation of its title 'GITS: SAC' may as well stand for Genuinely Impressive, Totally Spectacular, Sensational Anime Classic. 


GHOST IN THE SHELL: STAND ALONE COMPLEX Complete Collection contains all 52 episodes from the two seasons of the anime series and three feature length films based on these episodes: THE LAUGHING MAN, INDIVIDUAL ELEVEN and SOLID STATE SOCIETY. The collection is distributed in Oz by Madman Entertainment, Australia's leading distributor of anime, independent film, Asian cinema, National Geographic, Cartoon Network and other special interest genres.
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