Review of 'Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Solid State Society'

gits_solid_state_society.jpg Following on from the second Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex television series, Togusa (voiced by Kôichi Yamadera) is now leader of the Section 9 team following Motoko Kusanagi's (voiced by Atsuko Tanaka) departure. They are investigating a series of suicides involving the followers of Colonel Ka Gael of the Seok Republic. However, all is not what is seems when they discover his long-dead body beside the word “Puppeteer” written in his blood. A micro-machine virus is attributed to the Seok Republic though when they find that more than 20,000 children have gone missing, abducted into the mysterious “Solid State Society” the plot thickens even further. Batou (voiced by Akio Ôtsuka) believes the Puppetmaster is none other than the major, but hopes he is wrong…Where has the major been for the past two years and why did she steal the virus?

Yet another confusing and complicated plot in the Ghost in the Shell series (though the Stand Alone Complex was no spring picnic either) sees the Section 9 team yet again tracking down terrorists determined to bring about the elimination of man-(and cyborg)-kind. The action is great though this made-for-TV film is more the quality of the television series it follows than of the first few films with greatly simplified animation. To be fair, you can forget the plot, ignore the frequent talking scenes (fast forward) and simply enjoy the team as they take on the bad-guys.

“Solid State Society” is as much a commentary on contemporary Japanese issues involving the ever growing number of the elderly and the declining birth rate. Because of this the relevancy to the rest of the world is perhaps a bit lost. This commentary I feel is a bit confused with the thought that the aged here are quite brutal and their involvement in the plot is never entirely explained (though perhaps if you are watching this in English the details in the original Japanese may have been lost in translation).

One, I think, for the fans rather than newcomers which will no doubt be extremely confused. It is OK but nothing like the first films, Ghost in the Shell (Kôkaku Kidôtai) and “Ghost in the Shell: Innocence”.

Rating: “A bit better than average”

Review Date: 2020-06-28

Directed by: Kenji Kamiyama

Studio: Production I.G.

Year: 2006

Length: 108 minutes

Genre: Japanese Animation