GHOST IN THE SHELL: SOLID STATE SOCIETY - S.A.C. - 2006
Nov. 23, 2012
Bandai Visual Company, Kodansha, Manga Video, Production I.G.
Rated: Argentina, Germany: 16 / Australia: M / Brazil: 14 / Canada: 14+ / Finland: K-11 / France: -12 / Italy: VM14 / Japan: PG-12 / Netherlands, South Korea, Switzerland: 12 / Singapore: M18 / Spain: 18 / Sweden, UK: 15
GHOST IN THE SHELL: SOLID STATE SOCIETY - S.A.C., finishes another story in Masamune Shirow's 1991 ground-breaking comic, KOUKAKU-KIDOUTAI aka GHOST IN THE SHELL.
Once again, Batô plays a hard-boiled type instead of the comedy relief character he was in the Manga. Batô in comic form had his dark side, but it was offset by his perpetual childish nature around the major, for whom he kept a secret crush.
In GHOST IN THE SHELL: INNOCENCE, the major came back from the 'Net, using robots as puppet bodies, to assist Batô in solving a crime. There was an acknowledgement of Batô's affection but it wasn't clear if the major was recognizing Batô's loyalty and friendship, or his deeper love for her.
For those who don't know, Batô is more cyborg than human. So much so that even he doesn't know how much of the real him is left. Humans who are this far gone in cyborg enhancements rely on their humanity via their "Ghost": their actual true mind and identity that was transfered - not copied - to their robot mind (reproducing a copy or copies of someone's Ghost is illegal).
In the original manga, Writer and artist Shirow went even farther than that. Even the robotic parts of enhanced humans are fabricated from the individual's own DNA. In this way
the evolutionary identity of the individual is maintained and a successful hacker attack on one will not necessarily work on all - because all are slightly different.
Batô however, is discovering that he has more sensitivity to actual robots than any other enhanced human member of the force. Unlike the others, he cares if any robots come to harm during the course of the job.
GHOST IN THE SHELL: SOLID STATE SOCIETY - S.A.C is a careful edit of the many episodes from the TV series. Cobbled together to create a concise story out of only the full season's arc, that played out over a whole lot of episodes, it works well. There are moments where the characters refer to something we haven't seen, but in any story, we would accept that the people we are watching have full lives of experiences.
While less moralizing and expositional than the original, SOLID STATE SOCIETY - S.A.C. also brings considerably less innovation. The original GHOST IN THE SHELL wowed us with all of the new tech and new ideas. GHOST IN THE SHELL: INNOCENCE, to a lesser extent, did the same. SOLID STATE SOCIETY - S.A.C., only has its characters live in that world.
Still, I enjoyed the return!
This review copyright 2011 E.C.McMullen Jr.
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