Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex #6 Print
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R2 DVD Reviews
Wednesday, 31 January 2007 00:00
GitS:SACThe further Section 9 dig into the Laughing Man's trail, the higher into political life it seems to lead, and treading on political toes is never the wisest of ideas - as Togusa and the Major are about to discover.  The Laughing Man they've been trailing doesn't seem to be the genuine article, either, and the real man behind the logo is about to put the record straight...

21 - Eraser / Deserted Tracks
Following the shootout at the Sunflower Society officer, Togusa's investigation into the Laughing Man case leaves him in critical condition.  Section 9 gets to the hospital in time to access a memory-grab from his cyberbrain and view the events that led up to his ambush by the Narcotics Suppression Squad.  They follow up on his investigation, leading them to a government official named Imakurusu Hisashi who is in hiding and who may hold a clue to unravelling the entire Laughing Man case.  However, powerful forces are at work and will stop at nothing to hide the truth, and S9 must act quickly.  In order to find Imakurusu in time, Ishikawa must make use of an unorthodox and illegal technique for accessing additional parallel processing power, while Kusanagi must face off against a fully-functional mobile battle suit.  Can they reach Imakurusu before it's too late..?

Togusa injuredAnger

22 - Scandal
S9 face the political fallout and repercussions of their run-in with the Narcotics Supression Squad and the arrest of the team leader, Gayle.  Aramaki serves the head of the Drug Enforcement Agency with an arrest warrant for his involvement with the Sunflower Society raid and the acttack on Kusanagi.  Meanwhile, the Major seeks to repair her severely damaged prosthetic body after her battle with Gayle.  During the repair process, she discovers that someone is deliberately tampering with her programs and that her life is in danger, while during his visit to the DEA Aramaki learns that the Laughing Man conspiracy goes much deeper than even he expected - but his attention is diverted from the case by an urgent family matter.  Is he being led into a trap..?

TrapLaughing Man

23 - Equinox / Beyond Good and Evil
History is about to repeat itself as the search for the Laughing Man continues.  S9 focuses its attebtion on an extremely powerful and corrupt politician who Aramaki suspects was behind the assassination of Imakurusu Hisashi and the attempt on Kusunagi's life.  Their investigations lead them back to the Laughing Man kidnapping incident from six years previously.  The final piece of the puzzle would seem to be the President of Serrano Genomics Inc, the man who was held at gunpoint by the Laughing Man in that incident - his company is a world leader in the treatment of cyberbrain sclerosis, and during his investigation Togusa had discovered that Serrano was responsible for suppressing the Murai vaccine, which had been clinically proven to help in the treatment of the disease but which was in direct competition to Serrano's own micromachine therapies.  Aramaki orders S9 to infiltrate the house where Serrano's President is being held under house arrest, and to extract him before the Laughing Man does...

Past eventsEnd of mission

The real Laughing Man - by appearances your typically idealistic college student - is quite the little hacker.  If you've got a cyberbrain, then even the input of your own eyes is suspect, as he's capabale of hacking the system and simply making it look like he's not there.  Nifty trick, particularly if you were truly criminally-minded, which he doesn't seem to be.  Rather, he's just trying to make an idealistic point, but the name and image have been hijacked by the more corrupt elements in political life for their own ends.  Knowing that, and that the connection between current "Laughing Man" incidents and the original incident years previously that S9 were originally looking for doesn't really exist, things begin to slot into place and become considerably more clear.

Episode 22 takes a bit of a detour with an attempt made to frame Aramaki on drug charges, using his brother as the lure.  Of course, his brother hasn't really been picked up - but the possibility of seeing him again is enough to get Aramaki's attention.  That's maybe a little out of character for him - he's always seemed so wedded to his duty that family or personal concerns would be of wholly secondary importance, so I wasn't convinced by his drop-everything response when he learnt of his brother's arrest.  The episode itself is a good one, though, with a few good twists and turns along the way before it becomes clear what's going on.  The episode also covers Motoko's first real contact with the Laughing Man, which is a key scene.

The final episode here begins the process of tying all the evidence together to give S9 the ability to finally tie up their investigation.  With 3 episodes still to go, I'd guess it's not all going to go entirely smoothly for them, but thanks to events on this disc everything's set up nicely for what will hopefully be a good conclusion.  GitS:SAC's been consistently good throughout, so I don't have any doubts on that front - I just want to see it now.  Highly recommended.

Rating - ****

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