Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

As is often the case for anime moving from OVA or theatrical release to TV, GITS:SAC is neither a sequel nor a prequel to either of the GITS movies, but a sort of 'alternate history' involving the same characters.

All the Section 9 characters from both movies are here, and instead of focusing on 'what is it like to be a cyborg?' as GITS does, or on a dark undercurrent of a society where the boundary between man and machine is largely gone as GITS: Innocence does, we get a full view of a 'cyberized' society. Only the homeless poor don't have computer-brain interfaces.

In the course of the series, we meet such characters as the head of an organ-transplantation company (both donation brokers for the bodies of those who choose to go 'full cyborg', and producers of transgenic organs) who insists on subsisting in an early model cyborg body as a cube with robotic arms and legs; children who are too at home being connected to the net; and a notorious, but socially conscious hacker, named 'The Laughing Man' on the basis only of a graphic he used to cover his identity.

The series is good high-adventure.

One curious feature of the series is the decision to lodge all of the usual philosophical issues surrounding constructed persons in the 'comic relief' of the series--the artificially intelligent robotic tanks called 'tachikomas'-- which also appear in comic shorts following each episode.

The series strikes a nice balance between an overall plot involving The Laughing Man, which ends with a startling twist, and episodic stories about other investigations by Section 9. Similar violence warning to parents as with GITS.

Ratings (out of 5, 1 being worst, 5 being best)

Plot 4.9
Voice-Acting (original)4.5
Voice-Acting (English dub)N/A

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