>DVD Classics: Ghost in the Shell boots up for a 2nd Gig

>“Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex: 2nd Gig” is long overdue for a re-release, but thankfully Bandai has set up an Anime Classics release of the entire box set in September.

GitS: SAC 2nd Gig is the excellent second season of the GitS: SAC, with a compelling political plot on terrorism and the oppression of refugees.

Although GitS: SAC has always been known for complicated dialogue and complex idological conversation, 2nd Gig makes for a far more dramatic season. The new enemy faction in this season, the Individual Eleven, attacks the Japanese embassy in the first episode of 2nd Gig and holds the emissaries there hostage. Although Section 9 returns to save the day, the Prime Minister reinstates them in a haphazard fashion, ordering them to save the hostages in only 15 minutes.

This is a much more violent and intense season, focusing more on the plight of Japanese refugees, impoverished in the aftermath of two more World Wars. The devastation of these military attacks has left some cities of Kyushu nearly devastated.

Out of these attacks, an independent militarist group of terrorists, named the Individual Eleven, have manipulated information networks within the government. They have managed to use Section 9 as a tool for their own purposes, even going so far as to transport illegal weaponry, such as nuclear fuel rods. They’ve already attempted to assassinate the new Prime Minister. At this rate, terrorism in Japan can only get worse.

Although GitS 2nd Gig almost gets a little too wrapped up in conspiracies and meandering plotlines, the second season is far better than the first. Certainly, we’re not used to seeing Section 9 fail in their missions. As saddening and infuriating as it gets, anime fans will deeply sympathize more with this group as they try desperately to do the right thing, while the Individual Eleven finds more and more ways to cover their tracks. Despite what other people might think, there’s nothing more beautiful than watching Section 9 fight military battles in an already devastated landscape, with sunken buildings and crumbling freeways. The music is incredibly chaotic, with fantastically dissonant string sections, all arranged by the female superstar composer Yoko Kanno.

Best of all, there’s far more momentum in this second season. The first season had more of a fake egotistical coolness in all of Section 9’s operations, especially in the stand-alone episodes. However, this season is filled with some of the most creative plotlines and twists. Episode two literally takes place in the mind of a military veteran, who confuses the audience with his own bizarre fantasies of killing his employers. Episode seven and eight are mind-bending episodes of Section 9’s attempt to capture Kazundo Gouda, the shrewd head of the Cabinet Intelligence Service who always manages to stay one step ahead of them by dispersing misleading information to cover up his tracks.

Anyone who ever doubted that “Stand Alone Complex” would end up too complicated for its own good will be proved wrong with “GitS SAC: 2nd Gig.” This is another must-have series, available in September.

Image courtesy of espvisuals.blogspot.com


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Filed under action, cyber-punk, Ghost in the Shell, masterpiece, sci-fi, shonen, violent

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