Ohayo gozaimasu and Welcome everybody to yet another one of Orca’s crowdpleasing consumer media reviews. Today’s
victim object of discussion shall be GitS2045, as I will call it from now on and to make things easier for me. =^.^=
If you know the first thing about anime you’ll know Ghost in the Shell … and if not: Go read up! Interwebz’s full with GitS info and this very blog you’re reading right now has contributed its fair share to the buzz. Just search it in the search function. 😉
Ok, let’s get into the new Netflix commisioned series. And let me tell you this right away: GitS has undergone another massive shift. Not as big as the total character change of Motoko when she transitioned from Manga to Movie, but in the tonality of the series. GitS2045 is much more action biased than ever before, and consequentially cares less about the metaphilosphical existential problem of the What am I nature that plagued our sexy major all through the movies and series. In her new reincarnation we see Motoko in the same style that was introduced with GitS Arise, which means an altered timeline and a much younger and less complex looking Motoko.
And with GitS2045 I guess they changed the setup again. By now I really stopped caring, just rolling with it and try to enjoy the show as it presents itself in this moment. So let’s talk about that, ok?
The series starts not in Newport City, the fictional Japanese megalopolis (not Tokyo) somewhere around Tokyo bay, but in the USA. Or let’s better say America. Because in all versions of GitS until now the USA and most other civilized countries ceased existing after WW4, and only a handful countries – among them Japan – survived intact but changed and facing now a lot of problems. Bragging and unruly America being one of those problems.
And here we come to the part I always loved most about GitS: That show is offensively patriotic, Motoko’s employer, the Police’s anti-terrorist Section9 being an almost fascistoid public agency, and the storylines don’t leave a straight hair on America’s image. 🙂
Particularly agent Smith of the NSA is such an ignorant, intolerable and incompetent but still obnoxious asshole, it’s a joy to watch him act out everything the world hates about the US. I have no friggn idea how Netflix could ever commission such an honest production by the Japanese anime studio. Among them GitS original inventor Shirow Masamune.
Anyway, the first 6 episodes of season 1 shows the major and parts of her team working as mercenaries in America, the second part of this 12 episodes season sees them back on hometurf. Agent Smith still meddling and sabotaging wherever and whenever it’s most distracting for our Section 9 team. It’s kinda small scale of what the US is doing to their “allies” in the middle east, enraging fun to watch. Rarely you see people so obviously wrong doing their destrucrive work with such vigour and conviction. 😮
The storylines aren’t neither really interesting nor leading to something big. Section 9 are doing their thing, adorably well of course. As I said earlier I’m old enough by now not to analyse every little flyshit on the wall anymore but just roll with the series and see where it takes me. So far it took me from America back home to Nippon and gave me decent entertainment. Nothing more. Wanna discuss the finer details? There aren’t any.
What I noticed this time around: Motoko Kusanagi, Batou and Chief Aramaki have a little less screentime, while Saito and Ishikawa and a new team member, the pretty anime girly Purin Esaki get more screentime. And Togusa’s going his own way, as typical. He also gives us a cliffhanger at the end of episode 12. As if we needed that. GitS is potentially such a great show, and even if the producers stay fairly below our expectations, true GitS fans won’t give up so easily. So you can count on us being back for the next season.
Talking about expectations. Mine were fairly low from the beginning on, and GitS2045 managed to stay below that. 😦 Still nice and exciting enough, it won’t insult your intelligence. And I’d come back for the always cute Tachikomas alone. 😉
Also I felt satisfied after each episode, not headscratching, like with the old SAC series and the Innocence movie.
CONCLUSION: Ghost in the Shell SAC_2045 is so far the weakest incarnation of the very old and time-honoured GitS franchise. But maybe it isn’t really. The mangas and first movie and the series Stand Alone Complex and Solid State Society where made for a vastly different, more dedicated and more demanding, geeky audience of connoiseurs, while today’s audience wants nothing but fast food, readily available, easily digestible and with no nutritional value.
In so far old farts like Orca should be happy to get some GitS at all. 😐
And here’s a review by Chris Stuckmann:
Well, he’s right about the 2D vs 3D animation. 😉 As I also briefly discussed in my blog.