A few years after the end of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig, Major Motoko Kusanagi has left to work independently. With Togusa in command, the new, expanding Section 9 works on solving the mysteries of the Puppeteer, a super-hacker with a hand in a series of suicides. While investigating, Batou has a chance encounter with the Major, and she warns him to stay away from the Solid State Society or he, too, might end up killing himself…
summary by Mana
Highs: All the quality and fun of an episode of GitS: SAC stretched out into a movie
Lows: Nothing more than a glorified episode; the Major as deus ex machina
I loved the Stand Alone Complex series. It was fresh, innovative, and very adult, combined with a beautifully animated and well thought-out cyberpunk universe. Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society offers more of the same fun all over again, but, unfortunately, it doesn’t give you anything else.
The plotline involving the Puppeteer is as good of a mystery as the others, but it lacked the finesse and intrigue I’ve come to expect from the Ghost in the Shell franchise. Everyone from Section 9 simply goes through the motions of solving the case. Nothing new is learned or gained, and, at times, it even feels like the characters have regressed a bit from the development they gained in Stand Alone Complex, especially Togusa, the most human of the group (pun not intended).
As always, Major Motoko shines above the rest, but I’d go so far as to say she shined too much. Despite the fact that she had been missing from Section 9 for 2 years, it seems that the old group can’t do anything without her, and her interventions tended to clear up things too smoothly for it to be realistic. Combine this with some sloppy continuity errors from the TV show, and the whole second half of the movie felt underwhelming.
As to be expected, the audiovisual elements of Solid State Society were first-class. Kanno Yoko‘s music combined with the singing talent of Origa brought us a couple more pretty songs, even if some of the background music was ripped straight from the TV series. Production I.G.’s animation was as flawless as ever, making good use of cinematographic shots of cool scenes and plenty of CGI rendered effects. The action scenes were few but well done, if a bit melodramatic at times.
For fans of the Stand Alone Complex series, Solid State Society is an entertaining return to the Ghost in the Shell universe, just don’t get your hopes up. If you haven’t seen the series, or didn’t care for it much, don’t even bother.
Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.