In 2024, the terrorist incident known as “The Laughing Man Incident” occurred in which Ernest Serano, president of the groundbreaking micromachine company, Sereno Genomics, was kidnapped and ransomed. If you think you might be interested in Ghost in the Shell SAC this would be a great introduction to the series beyond the film, however, some segments of some of the stand-alone episodes are still mandatory to provide introduction and characterization. Although the plot is harder to follow in this format then it was as a television series, it is still rich and complex. One day, the case having remained unsolved for six years, Detective Yamaguchi, who has been investigating “The Laughing Man Incident,” sends word that he wants to meet with Togusa from Public Safety Section 9. However, soon after sending this message, Yamaguchi, crucial to the success of the case, dies in an accident.
I would rather recomend the 26 episode box set or individual disks from the SAC series first because while the Laughing Man story arc is great, the additional stand alone stories from the 26 episode series are equally entertaining. So what would you have to lose? There are some perks to watching this versus the series though as there are subtle modification such as development and voice acting. In some cases, like Aramaki and Ishikawa, the new voices are close approximations of the original. But in the case of Motoko, it takes a while for the ears to accept the nuances of the change. With Batou and Togusa, the voices are so off and generic that my ears were too distracted to even finish the movie. I take that back, maybe there are fewer perks then I originally thought.
Many days pass and in the midst of a police interview relay concerning suspicions behind interceptors, a forewarning is received from “The Laughing Man” of his next crime. The film really starts to pick up when the incorporeal hacker begins to move once again. There’s political drama, gun-fights, fist-fights, sexy cyborgs, and awesome music by Yoko Kanno as well. I like this one in particular because it has twists and turns that make it more interesting for anyone who stays glued to every detail of the story. For instance if you follow the trail of events you will then figure out early on that the scenarios make them a target of a false campaign of propaganda and violent retribution. Although that sounds intriguing, and it is, the tone of the movie isn’t as dark as other speculative series.
In terms of the Blu-ray, the audio is quite good especially with the score and certain action sequences which gives the audio depth while the dialogue levels were also loud enough. There are some slight instances of motion judder, though when it comes to anime and animation, it generally looks looks great in high-def, there’s always exceptions but here it does look alright, although I did notice some interlacing. To wrap things up, I believe this is the last of the Ghost in the Shell offerings and it is a nice addition to any GiTS fan. I will confess, I will miss this franchise. Good thing the running time is nice and drawn out, worthy of a purchase!