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Ghost in the Shell: Stand alone complex - Anime Review

Updated on March 29, 2015


The Ghost in the Shell series was produced by I.G and based on a manga written by Masamune Shirow. In this particular review I will be going over the series "Stand Alone Complex". (SAC) This is a very dynamic anime and has been catered towards the older audience as it contains very real and mature themes such as, politics, crime, terrorism, individuality etc. This anime gained immense recognition for it's mature and scy-fi theme.

As you continue to read this review I will be going over important events, climax, character and conclusions for this series as concisely as possible. So please read on and enjoy.


This series takes place in a futuristic reality(2030) where cyborgs and humans co-exists. Prosthetic are all the rave in this era as machine's capability are far superior to that of humans. This series follows the main character Motoko also known as major and her organization Public Security Section 9. This squad consists of 8 individuals including the major, Paz, Borma, Saito, Batou, Togusa, Aramaki, and Ishikawa. Section 9 is an organization that has carte blanche within Japan and oversees the public's safety.

The first season of the series focuses on the "Laughing man" who is a class "A" hacker who is determined to reveal the truth of behind the back dealings of certain Japaneses Corporations. The Laughing Man(vigilantly) reveals that these Corporations were concealing an inexpensive way of curing a cybernetic disease in order to gain huge profits. Section 9 investigates these allegations and the concrete truth is revealed and it turns out these accusation hold merit. These micro-machine Corporations and corrupt bureaucrats are brought to justice.

The Laughing Man's Identity is revealed through Motoko's elaborate scheme. It turns out he is a child who has some serious hacking skills.

Themes & Philosophy

This anime resonates with philosophical themes and thought provoking ideologies. First off "ghosts" is rendered as consciousness within the series.The SAC series continually questions the true meaning of being "alive". In a world where mechanical bodies and biological brains assimilate. (cyborg) More questions about whether the common beliefs of cultures, values, ideology and religion are evidence of human collective consciousnesses, and whether an "individual" can truly exist when everyone's brain is connected via virtually by the internet.

The stand alone complex can arise from any individual, various related thoughts and feelings that lie deep in the unconscious yet reflect the conscious This phenomenon can be described as a desire to change prevailing cultural values , norms or popular beliefs. In essence unrelated actions, yet very similar actions create a cohesive whole of a congruent effort. -I know, this is indeed very deep material to digest and wrap your mind around, but again this is why I really enjoyed the series.

Second Season

The second season follows the Major, section 9 and the antagonist Goda. Goda attempts to ignite a full blown revolution, through manipulation of certain volatile and "keg powdered" situations followed by civil unrest. In this case the hostility between the refugees and Japaneses citizens. By manipulating fear and frustration of the Chinese refugees Hideo Kruze manages to gain enormous support from these refugee and becomes the "people's champ" in regards to the refugees. Within the series a group called the "individual eleven" arise and are the product of the "stand alone complex". A group that have their own self interests and desires, yet the operate synonymously and collectively toward the main goal. They had no prior ties nor connections upon meeting, but seemingly operate for the same reason of existence.

Goda mentions this as a tendencies for a stand alone complex. As masses tend to project their ideologies, experiences of inequality and oppressions to an appointed leader who becomes the figure or "people' s champ".

At the end of this series we find Hideo Kruze trying to elicit this revolution through the means of accessing nuclear arms. He uses an ingenious method of extracting money from bank accounts by the nano cents and manages to amass enough money to buy nuclear arms from the black market dealers.


Overall, I would give this anime a 8.5 out of 10 stars. This is definitely worth while as you will be bombarded with thought provoking thoughts while watching this series. Very complex, intricate and philosophical themes.There is enough action in this anime to keep it from being stale and perpetuate the excitement. I would recommend this epic scy-fi thriller series for adults only in the age range of 18+. Unless you are one of those early bloomer intellectuals, I would not recommend it to anyone younger due to the complexity of themes and anyone under the age of 18 will most likely get bored out of their skull trying to comprehend the dialogue.

So this is my concise review of the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex anime. I hope you have enjoyed it and will give this anime a go! It has my approval and thumbs up for any of you adults out there looking for a mentally/psychologically stimulating series.


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