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Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Vol 1.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 11:09 pm    Post subject: Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Vol 1. Reply with quote


Disclaimer: I'm a total Ghost in the Shell Fanboy Smile

I've been following the production of this series since it was announced, and I've found it incredibly frustrating that there's been no DVD release with English subtitles up until now. These episodes originally aired on Japanese TV in 2002 where the second series has already finished. With 26 episodes in the first series alone, we have a lot of catching up to do, but it looks like there's going to be a DVD release every month or so to keep us happy Very Happy

For anyone who doesn't know: Ghost In The Shell was originally a comic by Masumune Shirow (Of which Dark Knight do an excellent translated Graphic Novel, ISBN: 1-56871-081-3), was then a major animated movie, that turned out to be pretty much the second great anime movie after Akira, and heavily influenced a lot of movies, most notably the Matrix trilogy.
Major Motoko KusanagiTachikoma Attack!****ing big gun!
Don't mess with the Major!!Tachikomas make a valiant attempt to stop a prototype tank.We need guns, lots of guns!
Will one really big gun do instead?

The TV series splits from the animated movie slightly, and doesn't directly follow on from it. Instead, it concentrates more on the world created in the comic book (Masamune Shirow was even drafted in as advisor to the series).

The Story is set in 2030, and technology has run rampant. It has become possible to encase one's brain in a metal life support system, and have a full prosthetic body. Major Motoko Kusanagi is one such cyborg, and heads up a team working for 'Public Peace Section 9' - a kind of Special Ops team within the government. This is a mixed group. Togusa - a former policeman, has no artificial parts, and, apart from the major, is one of the characters at the forefront of the series, and anyone who saw the original film will remember Batou who also makes his presence felt.

Even if this wasn't already one of my favourite anime series ever, then it's worth seeing just because it looks simply gorgeous, it'll remind you why DVD is so much better than video tape.

The DVD contains 4 episodes:
The first serves as a reintroduction to the world of section 9, and begins with echos of the movie: Motoko standing on a highrise rooftop and jumping off (although not naked this time) at the start of an operation. We also get to see glimpses of a new 'softer side' to Motoko which wasn't present in the movie and is shown in her conversations with other members of section 9. The next two episodes are 'stand alone' -self contained stories, that nevertheless flesh out concepts and background to the world, they borrow lots of ideas from other works by Masamune Shirow, and if you've read much of his work it's a real treat. In particular, the episode in which a a prototype tank sets off on its own is the real showcase for what's to come: great action, an incredible mix of computer shaded and traditional animation, and a story with heart. This episode also introduces the Tachikomas: one man spider tanks that have their own child-like AI. They play a greater role later on in the series, but for now it's funny to see them being 'wide eyed' at the sight of the prototype tank. In between each episode there is also a 'Tachikomatic Days' interlude in which the Tachikomas discuss various concepts in cyberspace -I'm guessing these don't translate well from Japanese as they come across a bit like the animators were smoking something, but they are fun and intriguing to watch nonetheless.

The last episode begins a more 'complex' story which will punctuate the series every fourth episode or so building slowly into the series climax. This episode illustrate the only real difficulty the series has - there can be incredible amounts of explaining politics and technology, and the background can get pretty confusing at times. In an odd way though, this makes the series fun to watch a second time round as you notice lots of little subtleties.

Other points worth of note: Yoko Kanno (do a google for her name and you'll find a pretty impressive resume !) did the sound track and it's really great - I've read that she got bad reviews for this in Japan, although I have no idea why. The interview with Atsuko Tanaka - the voice actor who plays Motoko, I found particularly interesting. She speaks so eloquently about her role and with a deep interest in the subtleties of Motoko's character, a character she appears to know inside out (I'd love to hear an interview with the 'actress' who did the English dub because I suspect she knows nothing whatsoever about the story - in fact she sounds like some tramp they dragged off the street and made read the lines from a card). I really enjoy hearing someone talk with such love and attention to detail about their work, and it's also of note how different she sounds to Motoko.
The only thing that I find really odd is when Motoko swans about Section 9 HQ wearing what appears to be a swimsuit, leather jacket, and thigh-high leggings (see last pic below), yet no one bats an eyelid. Seems like a bit of 'fan service' is going on here, Trinny and Susannah definitely wouldn't approve Wink .

Blade Runner Blues TachikomaWhat not to wear.
'Droid LoveThe tachikomas are turning out to be some of the real characters of the show.Pssst: Major - you forget to put your trousers on!

Anyway, if you are considering buying any anime whatsoever, this has to be top of your list. There's already a movie by the same team which hopefully will see subbed a DVD release sometime before I'm old and grey, and Masamune Shirow's Ghost In the Shell 2 manga is now available from Dark Horse - although I'm waiting for them to collect it in graphic novel format.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

are you telling me thay REPLACED the fuchikomas Shocked
whith a retarded blue cube on legs NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

evil evil evil evil

the best part of GITS was the fuchikomas, I loved how they argued about taking over the, and tried to buy a computer whith a manipulator (maybe he should've also thrown in an leg Laughing )
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

icarus wrote:
are you telling me thay REPLACED the fuchikomas Shocked

Tachikomas are essentially Fuchikomas and exhibit the same traits. The really cool things is they sometimes have their own episodes, and so there are far more possibilities to show all the cool stuff they did in the book.

In fact:
Spoiler (highlight to read):
Towards the end of series one, the tachikomas start to exhibit such diverse personalities that they have to be taken out of service. By this point they have developed a strong attachment to Batou, who keeps giving them little gifts like natural oil instaed of synthetic. When Batou ends up in trouble, 3 of the tachis set out to help him, breaking their assigned duties (working in an old people's home, or as a construction droid). This was my favourite episode in the entire first series.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yah but thay still arnt fuchikomas

fuchikomas wer cool robotic spider tanks
these are just stupid cubes on leags
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahh, are you confusing this, with this?
The former is a prototype tank which escapes from the military test compound where it is being built, and the latter is the tachikomas. Trust me, they are the Fuchikomas you know and love from the manga, and are just as bonkers as the original ones, only now we get to see much, much more of them Very Happy The Episode I mentioned in the spoiler above will not leave you dissapointed if you are a fan of the original fuchis Very Happy (and who wouldn't be Wink )
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

no i am not counfusing
this, with this?

i think the tachikomas are ugly and clunky looking (and thay are to big)

well anywhays what happened to the fuchikomas anywhay
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

icarus wrote:
well anywhays what happened to the fuchikomas anywhay

Well, If I'm right (I'm about 80% certain) Stand Alone Complex predates the original films, so I guess the Tachikomas predate the Fuchikoma design, and are an early incarnation of it. I've not got a copy of the film to hand, so I can't say when it is set.

I wouldn't dismiss them from one image though, they are one of the coolest things about the series, and I'm pretty sure that if you loved the fuchikomas you'll love these guys.

Here's a clip of the tachikomas Vs the Prototyype tank. (Sadly with the ultra-sucky English voice-overs Sad Man they are really bad)

There's more info on series 1, series 2, and the second movie over at the Production IG website.

Here's a few trailer links too:

Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex Series 1 (9.8 Meg)

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence 13.1 meg (Trailer for second movie)

Trailer for the 'been and gone in Japan, still waiting for a release in the West' Appleseed Movie.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

of topic:

maby you should have a fuchikoma ish unit in battlescape
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

icarus wrote:
maby you should have a fuchikoma ish unit in battlescape

I'd quite like to have a go at some kind of single man tank unit if I get the time, although I think I'd lean more towards something like the Bonaparte in Dominion Tank Police (although that had 2 crew).
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i was thinking more like this
as a fuchikoma is to destintive and would atract copywrite lawers plus fuchis are beter for a comando raids not oppen warfare
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally got hold of the first DVD yesterday. I've only watched one episode so far, but it looks to be very good. The Tachikomas are great (although you don't see much of them in Ep 1 other than the post-credit bit).

It's a cracking DVD, too. Looks really clean, and the Dolby Digital is very effective. I didn't bother with the two-disk DTS version, but I hear there are problems with the audio on that one anyway.

I agree with you about the soundtrack. It works really well. Makes me want to watch Cowboy Bebop through again.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

do you know ware i can download a version of the trailer with sound
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

icarus wrote:
do you know ware i can download a version of the trailer with sound


The one above: http://www.manga.com/ghosttv/trailerpop.php?trailer=gitssac480.mov&width=480&height=360

has sound on my machine - although there's no sfx or vocals anyway, just part of the soundtrack playing.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the sound wont work on mine
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd guess you need the latest version of quicktime: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/

I think they are on version 6.5
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