Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex — The Laughing Man

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex — The Laughing Man is the latest in the long-lived animé franchise adapted from the popular Manga comic book series. The content of this DVD has been compiled from the Ghost in the Shell television series, featuring only episodes related to the Laughing Man character. In a futuristic Japan most of the population are fitted with "cyber” brains connected to the Internet. One of the organisations tasked with keeping this wired world safe from danger is the secret Section 9 police force. When the Laughing Man, the world's greatest hacker and social terrorist, causes trouble for the government and corporations that run future Japan, Section 9 is called in to stop the elusive genius. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex — The Laughing Man is as complex as its title suggests, made more difficult for the uninitiated by the fact that the story is a compilation of episodes from the televised series. The dialogue, translated from Japanese, jarringly contrasts with the complexity of the storyline, often lacking the subtlety or nuance of a well translated script. The second disc of this two-disc set is unwarranted, containing only an interview with the creative team, a bizarre segment that has three animated characters from the film pretending to do ADR (additional dialogue recording) over scenes from the film, and a few trailers for other upcoming animé releases. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex — The Laughing Man is designed for serious otaku (if you don't know that word then you won't like this film, trust me). The uneven, overly complex storyline and animé style visuals will not appeal to the average North American viewer. If you do feel compelled to explore this franchise, it’s highly recommended that you locate a copy of the original 1995 Ghost in the Shell movie before venturing into the world of the Laughing Man. (Anchor Bay)