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DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 109 minutes, animated short, featurette, trailers, storyboard subtitles

VIDEO: 1.78:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO: English 5.1 and 2.0, Japanese 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround

Subtitles: English

STUDIO: Bandai Entertainment/Magna Video/Production I.G.

RELEASE DATE: 7-3-2007

GHOST IN THE SHELL: STAND ALONE COMPLEX was one of the most intelligent sci-fi series I have ever watched. It made me want more. I am sad this anime series only made two seasons of episodes, but it now continues with the TV movie SOLID STATE SOCIETY. The movie is long enough for about five episodes of the series which isn't a problem since the series had stories that ran for several episodes. Fantastic English dubbing (and there is an option where Japanese onscreen text is subtitled) and a great script make this movie as thrilling as the series.

GHOST IN THE SHELL tackles a few issues that are present today and will have even more of an impact in the future in any country. Cyberterrorism is a real threat and so is the increasing population of retired people (how will that impact society and will it be taken advantage of). A potentional government conspiracy pops up in SOLID STATE SOCIETY as it is two years since Major Motoko Kusangi resigned from Public Security Section 9. Togusa is left in charge of investigations by deflaut and Batou only does cases that interest him. The Major is the engima here as Batou wonders if she could be the Puppeteer, a dangerous hacker who has been causing people to commit suicide. Soon it all leads to an advanced retired people facility and kids who have been abducted.

I love the series and I found the SOLID STATE SOCIETY a great blind buy. I wasn't disappointed. I want more GHOST IN THE SHELL: STAND ALONE COMPLEX films. I miss the series and I missed SOLID STATE SOCIETY when it aired on SCI-FI Channel. Now all GITS: SAC fans can now enjoy it on DVD.

SPECIAL FEATURES: I only have the one disc, but there is also a 3 disc edition out in release. The 3 disc has an extra DVD disc of extras (more featurettes) and a soundtrack CD (I love the score to SOLID STATE SOCIETY- made me swish that I bought the 3 disc now).

On the one disc is a UCHIKOMATIC DAYS animated short (which is dumb) and an ENGLISH PRODUCTION INTERVIEW (with the ADR Director and the English voice actors for Motoko and Batou) that has some interesting insights into the difficulties of an English dub (and the voice actors talking about the characters). Also included are the English and Japanese trailers for SOLID SATTE SOCIETY in addition to trailers for other releases (HIGHLANDER anime and DEAD LEAVES among them).

FINAL ANALYSIS: SOLID STATE SOCIETY is a fantastic entry in the GHOST IN THE SHELL: STAND ALONE COMPLEX series. I hope they make more films. Buy the one disc if you just want the film or the three disc (if you want the CD and more extras).

this movie review is (c)7-11-2007 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com