Ok so I finally got the second season on DVD on Friday.
And yep I watched it all over the weekend. Theres 26 episodes each one is approx 25 minutes long. I’d rate it as excellent
I began watching it with a bit of trepidation, I kind of conviced myself it wasnt going to be as good as the first stand alone complex. If anything this was better! Whilst the show doesnt require you to have seen the first season or either of the two movies, it definitly does help if you have. There are references to the laughing man incident which the the first season was based around. Also the second season doesnt really contain an explanation for what a Standalone Complex is. So heres my definition: Standalone Complex is a theoretical mental complex which is attributed to the mass cyberisation of the public. The first series explained how standlone complex was a term used to describe copies that have no original and this is realised through copycat crimes that dont appear to have an original criminal, in other words they are based on the actions of an imaginary criminal. The first series was based around The Laughing Man, a mysterious cyber terrorist who Section 9 ( our heroes ) must battle against. (ok this is a spoiler less review!)
The second season which is a completely different story sees Section 9 investigating a terrorist group calling themselves the Individual 11, who are battling to see an independent state formed for refugees being exploited around japan. Both series deal with the corruption of government and the manipulation of public opinion through the manipulation of the media. Ironically watching the series made me think about current events and ask how much of what we are told is actually the truth or how much has been “spun” by politicians who are persuing their own agenda. But hey thats the topic for a different day.
The animation quality is awesome, the action mind blowing, but most of all the social and technological and ethical issues the show touches upon are not only thought provoking but do you force you to re-evaluate your own beliefs. Some of the discussions between the characters can leave you bemused though I did wonder whether I needed a degree in Pyschology and Politics to be able to follow some of the dialogue, but nevertheless it makes you think.
I thoroughly recommend it. And if you cant fork out for the box sets then theres always the Ghost In the Shell movies.