Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG

Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG
Like the first season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, the second of this Matrix-like anime series stands separate from the feature films directed by Mamoru Oshii, and is at least a little easier to follow than the first film, perhaps due to a longer length, which allows for more exposition. However, confusing the comprehension issue is a dialogue track that’s often buried beneath the much louder background music, which, in addition to being obtrusive, can also be inappropriate and not really original — I’m sure I heard at least a small portion of "The Imperial March” from Star Wars mixed in with the other somewhat familiar tunes. Also like the first season, this second season contains stand alone episodes that delve a little deeper into the back story of the main characters and the history of their world, mixed in with the episodes dealing with the larger overarching storyline that eventually connects the plot elements of a virus, a terrorist group calling themselves the Individual 11, a charismatic potential messiah and the puppet master pulling all the strings. While the animation still looks good, though not as nice as in the movies, there are too many instances where scenes are dominated by still shots thanks to numerous cyber-telepathic conversations between the good guys, as well as a bad guy who can’t, for all intents and purposes, move his lips. Even the Tachikomas, the annoying, child-like mini-tanks that also appear in the little comedy shorts at the end of each episode, show a much greater range of expressions. But aside from that, GitS: S.A.C. 2nd GIG is a great cyberpunk thriller and another quality addition to the Ghost in the Shell universe. The box set doesn’t go crazy on the extras but each of the seven DVDs contains one or two round table interviews with cast and crew and comes individually packaged and collected in a stylish box. (Anchor Bay)