Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Volumes 1-4

I love Ghost In the Shell; I rank it as one of the five best Anime films of all time. I have yet to see the second film, so I was a little hesitant to start watching a full new series that follows it. Well, to begin, this is really easy to jump right into. You know the majority of the characters, and the stories are cut into half hour episodes. The series is not as graphic as the film, but that’s understandable. I viewed the first four volumes of what it to be seven volumes at its completion. Each DVD features four sequential episodes, two interviews with voice actors from the series and a set of shorts called ‘Tachikomatic’ that are located at the end of the credits on each episode, so be careful not to fast forward through them. The story is about the return of a cyber terrorist called the ‘Laughing Man.’ The thing is, since most of Japan has had cyber parts placed in their bodies, terrorism can occur at the individual level and people can be forced to do things without their knowledge. It is up to Section 9 to stop the Laughing Man, or at least the person who they think is him. While there are several stories through the four volumes (including a story about a guy who skins his victims alive), all the stories lead back to the Laughing Man case. This is one of the most compelling Anime series I’ve ever started; I can’t wait for the next volume, and this should be a real pleasure for any Anime enthusiast. (Manga, Chicago, An Anchor Bay company) – Myk.

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