Major Motoko Kusanagi is a female cyborg and leader of Section 9, an elite
crime-busting team in 2030 Japan (we guys should all be so lucky to work for an
intelligent boss who runs around in a bustier and thong). Her cybernetic body
allows her to literally jack herself into computers and to communicate to her
team via her thoughts. OK, so theres not really that much all that new here,
but thats not to say that theres not a lot of creativity and originality at
work here. The stories included in the Stand Alone Complex UMD all touch on the
philosophical and ethical issues that will inevitably arise when the line
between man and machine becomes blurred. I really dont want to discuss
plotlines here are as that would rob you of the enjoyment that you get from the
way the stories engage your mind as they entertain. And Stand Alone Complex does
this without being preachy or heavy-handed. Answers are not forced upon you and,
in fact, the characters in the show themselves often struggle with the
ambiguities created by the new ethical frontiers of the near future. This is the
hallmark of good science fiction.
The quality of the shows animation and presentation is truly worthy of the
quality of its writing. When you first watch the opening credits youll know
that youre in for something that is on a level above what is typical for the
genre. An almost ethereal theme punctuates the haunting opening images that
capture your imagination before the story even begins. The mix of animation and
computer generated scenes is mesmerizing and one of those rare opening sequences
that you look forward to as much as the show.
The shows themselves are animated in the manga style, but a lot of work and
care has obviously been out into the animation. The scenes are all very
detailed, with attention even paid to making the skies look realistic. Many
shows would be happy to splash a blue field on the top of each frame and call it
sky, but the attention played to clouds and lighting shows that the animators
care about their craft and the story they are bringing to life. There are no
cheesy static frames or animation loops to be found here; every scene is
smoothly and fluidly animated.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex brings story, visuals, and sound
together to produce an engaging and high quality experience. It is a perfect
addition to the UMD library of any fan of animation or science fiction, and its
episodic nature make it perfect for entertainment on the go. Heck, its even
great when you need to kill a few minutes just cue up the opening sequence,
put on your headphones, and kick back and enjoy.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is highly recommended not just to sci fi
and animation fans, but to anyone looking to add some engaging and
thought-provoking entertainment to their UMD library.