(aka "Kôkaku kidôtai: Stand Alone Complex Solid State Society" or "Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society" or "Kôkaku kidôtai: S.A.C. - S.S.S.")


directed by Kenji Kamiyama
Japan 2006

It's hard to watch the Stand Alone Complex without mentally measuring it against Mamoru Oshii's epoch-making original (and its frustrating sequel)—even more so now that the franchise's TV branch has its own feature-length film. However, the mind's habit of making mountains out of molehills of minutiae aside, they are probably best treated as simply two different takes on the same material. Where Oshii's films were philosophical ruminations wrapped in action-movie skins, SAC director Kenji Kamiyama's film is a police procedural with overtones of Byzantine politics and a whiff of cyberpunk mindgames. To allow an extremely nerdy analogy, SAC is Manhunter to Oshii's Silence of the Lambs.

It does move a little too quickly at times. The dialogue piles up as characters endlessly explain the details of their investigations, the cast crowds each other for screen-time, and past conflicts and events are horned into an already overcrowded storyline. And then all of the numbing politics and references to the TV series fall to the wayside—along with most of the peripheral characters—while the meat of the investigation gets underway. As Section 9 tries to puzzle out who or what the Solid State Society and the Puppeteer are, the movie becomes a reasonably exciting police thriller laced with surprisingly powerful scenes (Togusa's visit to the hospital with his daughter being particularly harrowing) and solid action. Who knew that the Tachikomas could make such effective action heroes? As a bonus, the concepts behind both the Solid State Society and the Puppeteer are intriguing enough that the time spent explicating them doesn't feel wasted, while also being brief enough that the intellectual undertones don't get overbearing.

The series may be called the Stand Alone Complex, but this film isn't a stand alone work. While the vast reams of dialogue can get confusing even with two seasons of the TV series under the belt, it's far worse for neophytes. The movie casually bandies about names, agencies, countries, and events from the earlier installments of the franchise, and without access to that information, the first half of the movie is a senseless jumble—especially with the number of characters that the film throws at its audience.

Excerpt from Anime News Network


Theatrical Release: September 1st, 2006

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Bandai / Manga Video (Special Edition - US Version) - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Luiz R. for the Review!

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Bandai / Manga Video

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 108 min

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 9.16 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese (DTSl 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1)
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Bandai / Manga Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• 3-Disc Package
• Soundtrack CD Included
• Double-Layered DVD
• Storyboard (As a subtitle option)
• Uchikomatic Days
• Work World File
• Designing the Future Car
• Making of Tachikoma Robot
• English Production Interview
• Mitsuhisa Ishikawa Interview
• Trailers
• Behind-the-Scenes Interview

DVD Release Date: July 3rd, 2007
Special Metallic Triple Disc Case

Chapters 29




This is an amazing and filled package that comes with a dedicated DVD to the supplements plus the original soundtrack CD by Yoko Kanno. I wish every single US anime release was like that.

This progressive transfer has a superb image quality with a very nice grained texture enhancing the 3D effects. Color tones have a soft and clean transition that is hard to find in other DVDs, even in dark scenes and spots the well balanced contrast helps providing rich colors and details.

Another strong feature is the audio, a 5.1 Dolby digital and a 5.1 DTS are available for the original Japanese version and English dub. But as usual, the dubbing work is unimpressive, like the one found in the original series (Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex). Anyway, I like both the Dolby and DTS options, with the DTS being noticeably more detailed and with a more balanced sub in some scenes. On the other hand, I had the impression the voices were more evident in the Dolby option, possibly making it a better choice for the dubbed sound version.

Among the supplements you can find the usual "Tachikomatic Days" episode found in the series, here called Uchikomatic, presented in the same quality as the movie is. The interviews are the most interesting part of the supplements in my opinion, but making-of and short documentaries that can be of some interest to the series fans while also offering some basic info to the newbies.

The soundtrack CD included can be considered as a treat if you consider the price of this whole package in comparison to the normal edition price. This is definitely not Yoko Kanno's best work for the series but is still interesting, eclectic and enjoyable, making it a very welcomed addition.

This special edition metal case is another plus, it has the same design style the GitS:SAC second season special edition DVDs have, really neat. This is a high quality and worthy release in my opinion, and even-though the movie looks like some kind of transition between the TV-series seasons, it should have some appeal to all anime fans.

 - Luiz R.








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Region 1 - NTSC


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