There was a lot to talk about yesterday, so I skipped over the fact that I finished my rewatch of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex this weekend. I’ve been on a bit of a Ghost in the Shell kick, readying myself for the hopefully not bad Hollywood movie coming out. At any rate, I also started watching 2nd Gig, because I’ve never seen it before.

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is one of my favorite anime of all time. The year is 2030, and nearly everyone is cyberized in some way, whether it be prosthetics, or cyberbrains. The world of Ghost in the Shell is dark and dirty cyberpunk at its finest. You follow Public Security Section 9, a sort of task squad specializing in covert, stealthy, and hacking operations. They’ll also do jobs that the police force can’t handle. Each character in GITS:SAC is unique, not only among each other, but when compared to other anime as well. Very few tropes exist in GITS:SAC, and those that do are often thrown on their heads, like the cutesy Tachikoma Think Tanks. The world and characters come together to build a memorable setting for a very interesting story.

Episodes are broken up into two types: Stand Alone episodes and Complex episodes. Stand Alone episodes are one-off, self contained stories, while the Complex episodes cover the large overarching story of the mysterious Laughing Man case that occurred 6 years ago involving kidnapping and cyber terrorism. The Complex episodes are the meat of the story, but the Stand Alone episodes are also stellar. This set-up ensures that there’s a little something for everyone. The conflicts throughout the episodes vary pretty dramatically, but the main overarching theme is human’s advancement in technology and the existence of a soul, or as they say in GITS: a Ghost. It’s all very interesting and through provoking, and when it’s not, it’s action-packed and exciting to watch. The last few episodes are absolutely heart-wrenching and hard to put down (one more episode, just one more!), but it wraps up very nicely. If you’ve never touched the Ghost in the Shell series, Stand Alone Complex is a great place to start.

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