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DVD Review: GITS: STAND ALONE COMPLEX Vol. 2

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PHOTOGRAPHY

GHOST IN THE SHELL: STAND ALONE COMPLEX VOL. 2

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 110 minutes, Interview with Osamu Saka, Interview with Yoko Kanno, and trailers

STUDIO: BANDAI/ MANGA/ PRODUCTION I.G.

EPISODES:

5. DECOY

6. MEME

7. IDOLATER

8. MISSING HEARTS

ANALYSIS: On this one disc volume are episodes 5 to 8. The Laughing man dominates episodes 5 and 6 while episode deals with Latin American revolutionary Marcello Jarti and episode 8 sees Section 9 go after what looks like an organ smuggling ring. The Laughing Man episodes (DECOY and MEME) are the strong episodes while episode 8 (MISSING HEARTS) takes a little look into the character of Kusanagi. STAND ALONE COMPLEX is at it's best when it is focused on the characters (and the Laughing man). Vol. 2 is just a warm up for the stellar episodes on Vol. 3.

VIDEO/ AUDIO: The episodes are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The animation is clear and sharp. No artifacts are visible.

Audio is available in 5.1 Dolby Digital and 2.0 Stereo in English and Japanese (the limited edition has DTS tracks for English and Japanese on disc 2, but this is only a review of the one disc release of disc 1). The stereo track is clear and you can hear the dialogue without any problems, but I like the louder 5.1 tracks better. There are also two English subtitle tracks (one for the entire episode and the other for the opening credits theme song.

The only problem is that I ended up with the wrong disc. Also this isn't an isolated problem since people have reported that the DTS and 5.1 DD disc have had their labels switched in the Limited Edition set of Volume 2. So if you do end up with a DTS disc instead of a 5.1 DD disc if you buy the single disc release, exchange it for the right disc. How could this one slipped through Quality Control is beyond me.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Other than trailers, two interviews are included on the disc.

INTERVIEW WITH OSAMU SAKA

INTERVIEW WITH YOKO KANNO

I would have been able to review them if I ended up with the right disc. I was hoping to be sent the right disc (hence the delay of this review) to give a more accurate review of the single disc release, but Manga didn't send me another disc to review.

FINAL ANALYSIS: Volume 2 is good as the presentation of Volume 1, and this disc features the continuing arc of the Laughing man as he will pop up in other episodes on upcoming volumes being released to DVD. Buy this volume and the first one if you can't wait for the series to premiere on Adult Swim on November 6th (or if you just saw GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE in theaters and really digged the movie). Please beware of some of the discs that have the wrong label on them.

this DVD Review is (c)10-11-2004 David Blackwell (delayed from 9-30-2004). this review cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com

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