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GHOST IN THE SHELL: SAC #1 - - Special Review

Music makes all the difference, no?

I caused a teensy bit of a stir a few months back when I finally put . It incurred rancor from some of you lunatics; but just as many of you agreed with me about the flick being over-rated. However, even those in my camp were quick to add a qualifier or two about how GHOST IN THE SHELL the show is actually far better than GHOST IN THE SHELL the movie. Not being one to leave any Hulu video un-streamed, I went ahead gave this pilot the benefit of the doubt.

So… maybe it really just comes down to the soundtrack? Or maybe, more specifically, it’s just that Yoko Kanno’s music can infuse any material with an irresitable wealth of gravitas? I unsuccessfully tried to watch GHOST IN THE SHELL several times and wound up falling asleep on each attempt. I blamed the music. They were going for AKIRA’s same conceit of ironically juxtaposing a cyberpunk cityscape with tribal chants… and I'd call it "hypnotizing" as a euphemism for "snore-inducing."

Here, the score gives everything a sense of art and color that provides so much needed counter-weight to the super-serious cyber-espionage. The removal of ponderous, prattling diatribes about the nature of identity and such are also helpful. The general plot is nearly as no-nonsense as it is in the movie - - Kusanagi is still walking around government offices and fierce battlefields in a dance party unitard without much self-awareness, after all - - but it does seem more fun on account of the music and fleeter pacing.

Watch this episode, “Section 09" below and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

kashif1on Sept. 7, 2012 at 8:07 a.m.

Yeah the music in the show certainly helps, as does the fact that the story has an entire season to play out. This is another show that should really be watched in English because the dub cast does an excellent job.

Count_Zeroon Sept. 7, 2012 at 10:21 a.m.

@kashif1: Agreed. The series does a really good job of developing the characters of all of Section 9, rather then the film, which just gave The Major her existential angst, Batou the role of The Big Guy (who holds a torch for The Major), and Togusa (the relatively normal by comparison guy).

In particular, the inclusion of the Tachikomas changes the whole show a lot in the long term.

Turambaron Sept. 7, 2012 at 11:58 a.m.

Considering Kusanagi is a cybernetic brain inside a cybernetic body, I think she has far heavier things to be self-aware about than dress code.

Fat_Magnumon Sept. 7, 2012 at 8:57 p.m.

I can concur that the soundtrack is quite likable, I listen to some bits of it time to time and have never watched anything of the franchise, save the opening 10 of the movie before deciding I wasn't interested.

Robot strippers and existential crises are a coarse mix, by my estimation.

Marshal Victoryon Sept. 7, 2012 at 11:20 p.m.

a movie producer on a radio show i heard just last month ( forgot his name ) said "movies are 3/4th music" It sets the tone an depth of the shot.If you cant connect to the sound odds are your not gona like the image as much. an example..

yeah ghost in the shells on the buy list.The movies ill get after the tv series.

jj_jacksonon Sept. 8, 2012 at 10:03 a.m.

@Fat_Magnum:

you really judged the whole franchise on the opening of the very first movie?...come on man its actually a pretty good series dont judge a book by its cover or rather a movie by the first 10 mins..

Fat_Magnumon Sept. 8, 2012 at 1:03 p.m.

@jj_jackson: That's what they told me about Twilight *shudder*

Nh, I'm sure I'll give it another go before too long, it's supposed to be the shiznitty, after all.

zaldaron Sept. 8, 2012 at 2:18 p.m.

Sigh you really don't have enough respect for the intellectual shows that ask the big questions...but then you do like fighting shows so there you go.

jj_jacksonon Sept. 8, 2012 at 6:38 p.m.

@zaldar: I agree with you.. I kinda noticed that too

Marshal Victoryon Sept. 10, 2012 at 10:51 p.m.

@zaldar said:

Sigh you really don't have enough respect for the intellectual shows that ask the big questions...but then you do like fighting shows so there you go.

Wait what was the big question in Ghost in the shell? Was it...

What makes a person a person when their is little flesh left?

Can government be as corrupt as corporations ?

Must all truth be exposed?

Are all things exposed the truth?

an yeah first go threw on the movie sound threw me off.Second full watch it fit.If it was not for the detail in the art tho that hooked me a second go would not have been doable. A whole sub gene of movies to books was helped along by Ghost in the shell.That is just cyberpunk 101.An i hope Steven Spielberg never does his "adaption " of it ... ever.

zaldaron Sept. 28, 2012 at 2:57 p.m.

@Marshal Victory: all of the above actually but the first mostly. (the answer to the second is governments are usually more corrupt, and the third is yes, fourth is most definitely no).

Dig Deeper into Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

Taking place in AD 2030, Stand Alone Complex is the continued adventures of Public Safety Section 9. S.A.C is considered independent and separate canon from the events of the 1995 Ghost in the Shell film.

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