Friday, November 9, 2012

ANI-MOVIES, *Ghost In The Shell: Solid State Society

As the Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex TV series achieved a level of popularity not seen in the franchise since the original GITS anime, a movie followup to the series was a no-brainer. Like some films that act as conclusions to an anime TV series like Fullmetal Alchemist, Ghost Sweeper Mikami, and Nadesico, this brings the entire original cast back together for one last ride.

About two years after the second season of the series(2nd Gig), Matoko has left Section 9 to go work on her own. Since then, Togusa has stopped bleaching his hair and become field commander, while Batou is off being picky about which cases he takes. A foreign colonel kills himself on Togusa's watch for fear of a master hacker called the Puppeteer. The colonel's father is an exiled aging dictator under Japanese asylum, who is soon found to be dead by a micromachine virus. Batou goes to arrest someone connected to the virus, but runs into Matoko. He keeps this a secret from the other Section 9 members because he thinks she might actually be the Puppeteer. The investivagation leads into something called the Solid State Society, which is a secret government orginization running under a project titled Noble Rot. where abandonned or orphened children are left to take care of eldery citizens with no one left to leave their inheritence to. The Solid State was actually brainwashing these children and grooming them to be a docile next generation, with the wealth and power coming from their foster parents. They're also responsible for kidnapping thousands of children from abused families. The true Puppeteer turns out to be an individual A.I. that emerged from the collected consciousness of all the puppet personas that Matoka herself used through prosthetic bodies she controlled over the last few years. The children are then sent back to their families, and Matoko rejoins Section 9.

Solid State Society was a fine continuation of Stand Alone Complex, it however was a little lacking in the kind of production seen in a theatrical release. The quality was too similar to the that of the TV show, and when you're taking an animated series and turning it into a movie, it has to be a better than the original format. Considering how realistic some of the shots in GITS: Innocence and the recent GITS 2.0 reproduction, SSS should've been more polished than it was. The story fits well together, but anyone who hasn't seen the original SAC series will be pretty lost on some of the nuiances of the plot(like what the hell happened to the Tachikomas!). Unless there's going to be anything more from the GITS anime world in the next few years, this was a fitting finale to Shirow's cyberpunk saga.

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