August 06, 2004

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Episode 2

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

"Runaway Evidence"

Stand Alone Complex is more proof that anime creators are allergic (or completely incapable) of creating a show that has constant style, theme and mood throughout. Despite the fact that I do not like the mech designs for the Tachikomas, I can understand why they might be designed that way, and don't really feel like it takes away too much from the presentation of the show. But then you take their voice into account, and I suddenly have the urge to scratch my eyeballs out.

This is more of my gripe with anime in general, however. You just can't have a show (with a few exceptions) that resists these silly grabs at humor. I don't think a squeaky, helium-sucking computer voice makes this show better. I don't think there's really anything particularly funny about that voice.

I mentioned that I wasn't crazy about the mechanical design in this show so far. Ghost in the Shell (the movie) had a very dark feel to it. The rounded curves of the designs for Stand Alone Complex, feel quite out of place to me. Yes, these are different entities, but given the connection, I expected something closer to the movies.

Also, even though characters in the movie did some superhuman things, the over-exaggerated anime super bounciness is in full effect in Stand Alone Complex, in everything from Makoto and the rest of Section 9, to the bouyant, hyperactive tanks.

The weakness of the show's format is apparent in this episode. Having each episode stand alone (get it?) breaks up the continuity of the show. There's no connection from segment to segment, so you don't feel like you're really going anywhere (at least not yet).

On the postive side, Yoko Kanno's music is brilliant, as expected. It accents the action of the show while not dominating it, and Kanno's versatility as an artist shows through in the various themes and songs from Stand Alone Complex. The animation is also very good, doing the action scenes well, detailed and sharp.

I have a few gripes with the show, but it's still well worth a watch.

Rating: B

Posted by Kei at August 6, 2004 10:02 PM

What ! The Tachikomas are my favorite part of the show. I think their voice matches their personalities perfectly: childlike and excited. Reminds me of the scene later in the show:

Tachikoma: Blam blam blam blam whee ! blam blam
Bouma: Tachikoma ! Our mission is complete. We're leaving.
Tachikoma: Aww ! But I can still fight ! Blam blam blam hop hop whee !
Bouma: See that guy over there ? He's got an anti-tank weapon.
Tachikoma: Aieee ! Run away, run away ! *scrambles up the ramp into the dropship*

They're just so cute, yet dedicated, at the same time. And of course, there was that one episode when Tachikoma became a little girl's pet... brilliant. And, of course, the 5-min Tachikoma shorts are sheer genius.

Anyway, just watch the show a bit more. You'll find that these little blue guys will really grow on you.

Posted by: Bugmaster at August 7, 2004 02:10 AM

Just wait till you get to "AI Senshi Tachikoma-man"... Once you heard the song, you just cannot get it out of your head.

Posted by: BigFire at August 9, 2004 08:16 PM
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