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Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, 2nd Gig #7 PDF Print E-mail
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R2 DVD Reviews
Wednesday, 03 January 2007 04:00
GitS:SAC 2nd Gig2nd Gig reaches the end of the line, with the threat of going out with a bang hanging constantly over the heads of the Major and Section 9.  Will they be able to thwart the manoeuvrings of Goda and his friends in the cabinet?  Will Kuze co-operate with the Major?  Will the situation be resolved before the Americans drop a nuke on Dejima?  Only one way to find out...

24 - Nuclear Power / The Dejima Air Raid
With rumours of potential nuclear suicide bombing rife, the government increases its air-strikes against the refugees.  However, unbeknownst to most of the Cabinet, there is a lot more going on behind the scenes.  The Prime Minister and Aramaki have been taken into custody, and a major force is manipulating events from the shadows.  Stuck in the middle of a war zone, the remaining members of Section 9 must escape with the plutonium, but Goda has other ideas...

Under arrestWatching from the virtual world

25 - This Side of Justice
With the bombing increasing, Kusanagi finally catches up to Kuze in the middle of the battlefield, but before either can do anything an explosion leaves them trapped under rubble.  Meanwhile, Togusa launches a daring raid to rescue the Prime Minister and Batou tries to reason with Section 4, but the biggest threat of all is on the horizon, and only the Prime Minister can stop it...

First meetingSharing experiences

26 - Endless Gig / Return to Patriotism

As Batou searches the ruins of Dejima for the Major, she and Kuze have come up with a last-ditch plan to rescue the refugees.  Meanwhile, the Tachikomas have come up with their own plan, and the Prime Minister decides to take action for herself after being snubbed by her cabinet.  With the pieces in place and the possibility of impending doom hanging over all of them, who will cast the final dice..?

Tachikoma planningSummary execution

The basic idea is that it's Goda's plan to get the Americans to nuke the refugees, then portray it publicly as a suicide bombing, which should be enough to turn public opinion completely against the refugees and allow them to be expelled from the country with little or no comeback - but since the PM is still technically in power & no announcement has been made to the contrary, if Togusa and co can get to her and get her to instruct the Americans to back off it'll resolve that side of the problem.  So far, so simple.

The scenes where Kuze and Motoko are trapped under rubble give the two of them the chance to talk about what Kuze had been planning - which is somewhat different from what we'd been led to believe.  His "revolution" was to get people to fuse with the 'net, in much the same way that Motoko did in the first GitS movie.  It's not something that most people would do voluntarily, but when / if the nuke is dropped on Dejima, anyone within the blast zone (some 3 million people) would be forced to become a purely online entity.

But since no plan ever survives engagement with the enemy, that's not what happens, thanks to the Tachikoma acting quite a way outside the orders they had been given.  These episodes were a lot less action-focussed than I had expected them to be - SAC is the more action-oriented side of the GitS franchise, it's the end-of-series climax, so I reckoned on it being a non-stop gunfight throughout, but while there is a fair amount of action it's heavily interspersed with talkie scenes of the sort that would be more associated with the movies.  They're not always particularly useful or interesting, either, so they break up the story in a way that I didn't exactly welcome.

That's not a big enough fault to spoil the show, though, and overall this is one impressive ending.  The main plot details are properly dealt with and there's no use of the dreaded Big Red Reset Button, making it very satisfying to watch.  The only downside is that there's no sign of a 3rd Gig yet - while there's a one-off OVA, Solid State Society, on the way I suspect that's not going to keep fans happy for long.  With Ghost in the Shell being such a cash cow for all concerned, though, I doubt this will be the last we see of Section 9.

This disc is a great ending to a very enjoyable series, and I have no problems recommending 2nd Gig to anyone.  I was doubtful when I started - I'm very hype-adverse and had been giving all things Ghost in the Shell-related a wide berth, but I'm glad now that I took the time to watch this.  Well worth picking up.

Rating - ****

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