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Anime: Ghost In The Shell - Stand Alone Complex DVD 5
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Age Rating: 15+
Company: Manga Ent. UK
Genre: Sci-Fi/Action
Running Time: 100 mins approx.
Region 2 DVD


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Motoko, Batou and Togusa return for more futuristic crime fighting action.


Episode Contents: (Includes Spoilers)

Episode 17: Angel's Share
Motoko and Aramaki on business in London find themselves in the middle of an armed siege of a wine cellar with the Mafia involved. Aramaki himself is a hostage for the two thieves in the wine cellar (attempting to steal rare wines), but actually teams up with them when it becomes clear the police are corrupt and intend to kill everyone including the hostages to cover up something for their chief. Motoko, on the outside steals a police outfit and gets in with the assault squad for a look. However when the assault squad break inside the cellar they find nobody there. Motoko notices a hidden compartment where she realises everyone is hiding but doesn't mention to anyone. Later she returns, opens the compartment and rescues the hostages and thieves. This episode was rather dull really, a proper fight would have been far more entertaining than the dull sneaking about that takes place. The only vaguely interesting thing was the rather odd relationship between Aramaki and the fairly young female owner of the wine cellar. They evidently knew each other well and had a history together, but what this entailed is never revealed. Although you could see the major guessing.


Episode 18: Lost Heritage
The daughter of a deceased friend of Aramaki's mentions to him that her brother is acting strangely, even addressing her like she was his daughter not sister, and acting very much like their father. Aramaki declines to help to begin with saying it unprofessional to use his crime fighting team to help. However when Motoko pulls up the girls brother as the prime suspect to be an assasin trying to kill a Chinese ambassador in Japan, Aramaki sends his forces into action. It turns out that the boy is sharing a brain with his dead father after getting it from a mysterious computer on his sixteenth birthday (his father was an expert fighter so that makes the boy have the same abilities). Unable to stop the boy heading to a place where the Chinese ambassador is taking part in a memorial, Section 9 guard the ambassodor carefully, and manage to prevent the boy from killing the ambassador an arrest him. Again, a rather dull episode, a few bits of action and big explosions at the end, but the whole thing felt rather rushed incomplete and basic.

Episode 19: Captivated
Many girls are being kidnapped without a trace, and one of them is the daughter of a former Prime Minister of Japan. The abductions are similar to some that occoured in his time as Prime Minister. In his time as Prime Minister he had said that a mysterious group had not been behind the actions and supported them, although this time he has to eat his own political words when the same group are proved to be behind the kidnap of his daughter. Led by a female cyborg who used to be a Russian special agent the girls are being abducted for organ trafficking. Lots of explosions and high octane action are the order of the day for this episode as Motoko, Batou and Togusa battle the cyborg and rescue the girls.


Episode 20: Re-View
I am rather unsure of exactly what happened in this episode, while I enjoyed it the most on the disc it had a lot of technical jargon and complicated parts that I admit went over my head. After seven "Stand-Alone" (which means "filler" in a fancy way) episodes we are finally back to the main storyline of the series, with Togusa on the trail of the Laughing-Man. The trial leads him to look into a drug which actually stops a disease thats incurable, and actually works, but for some reason the government is preventing its use (holding it back from the public). While investigating the drug the building where it's made is attacked by an armed and Togusa is injured. The episode and disc ends on a cliffhanger with Togusa laying in the street bleeding to death.


Overall Content Thoughts
This disc was a little hit and miss for me, much like the last one. The first few episodes were rather of a bad quality, I found myself wanting to fast forward at times. The second two episodes were a lot more fun despite the complexities of the final episode. This disc is certainly guilty of not enough action, too much pointless conversation and to much polotics. But it does manage to hang on in their and be entertaining overall.


Audio/Video
Considering the fact that these have been pretty dire on all my previous GiTS discs, its nice to see that Manga Ent. has actually got things right this time. While I only watched the dub (the subtitles on the GiTS disc were out of sync on disc one so I never bother watching it subbed), the audio was great quality and seeing as its a brilliant dub anyway everyone sounded excellent. The opening theme and closing theme for this show are both stunning, Inner Universe being so beautiful and haunting I can't stop listening to it.

No visual break-ups this time round, clear crisp and stunningly animated as you'd expect from a show with such a big budget. Beautiful attention to detail throughout.


Extras and Packaging
Extras on the disc include interviews with various members of the production staff, trailers, character profiles and a quiz (the quiz on the second disc). Quite a good quality of extras overall, interviews are always welcome.

The packaging is like all previous releases in the series wonderful. You get a slip cover over the DVD case (pictured above) displaying a slightly dull picture of a gun. The DvD case on the inside shows Motoko looking rather armed and dangerous. Lots of inserts of information and art inside (like a mini poster), the slip cover image adorns the basic disc while the DVD case cover image is on the DTS disc. The reverse side of the cover has various pictures of the show.

Overall Scores
Content:
7/10
Audio:
10/10
Video:
10/10
Extras:
8/10
Packaging:
9/10



posted by Mangaminx On Saturday, August 13, 2005  
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