Saturday, September 22, 2007

Anime — Ghost in the Shell : Stand Alone Complex

Two things I don't like about watching anime on DVD. First, the slow and lumpy release schedule; second all the menu navigation stuff.

I had watched this series before, but the aforementioned lumpiness really broke the flow. I have re-watched it in a more concentrated batch, where it can be appreciated, and usually managing not to get caught into the "I have fought through the set-up and am playing episodes back-to-back, so let's watch the whole disk…" trap.

This series vaguely follows some of the thrust of the manga and the first of the movies; but is rather more police procedural (for a Total Information Awareness society) in approach. This does not stop there being episodes spent in just philosophical discussion (and some of the procedural-style episodes are pure vehicles for the philosophy) of what memory and identity become in this age where parts of us are distributed (see blog title). And, possibly unintended, despite the political angle behind the main plot (the Complex Episodes, as opposed to the StandAlone ones), showing what even an inherently benevolent organisation can do in a highly recorded and monitored environment.

In the earlier episodes, the animation is occasionally a bit skewed and off-model (QUALITY, if you know what I mean), but there is usually enough going on for that not to detract.

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