Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex 3

Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex 3
The only problem with the Stand Alone Complex series is that it's so good that making North America fans wait months between the release of each "new" volume is almost mean. Featuring art that is nearly as stunning and detailed as its cinematic counterparts Ghost In The Shell and Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence (and better than any animated series on TV), less abstract and more linear plots than the films and strong one-off episodes, the entry point for the series for the uninitiated may just be the TV series and not the higher profile films. Featuring four new episodes, Stand Alone Complex Volume 3 continues to focus on the cybernetic Major Motoko Kusanagi and the Section 9 unit battling the unexpected in a futuristic Tokyo. Volume 3 furthers the overarching plot of the criminal hacker the Laughing Man will diverging into strong one-offs, featuring a little less of the Major and focusing on her cohorts — the equally cybernetically enhanced Bateau, the ex-cop Togusa and even one of the Tachikoma (the child-like intelligent tanks of section 9) — giving more depth to the characters. While the nature of man and machine and the philosophical expositions are less pronounced than in the films (although, opener Chat! Chat! Chat! does feature a lot of exposition on the Laughing Man, living up to its title), making the series easier to digest for the ADD-addled, it is by no means abandoned. Unfortunately, the extras are still lacking (actually, there are none) and will probably be so until the inevitable box-set of all the volumes is released somewhere down the line. However, each episode continues to feature a Tachikomatic Days short, showcasing the child-like Tachikomas in absurd situations, and they are unquestionable cute and amusing. (SMV)