Ghost In The Shell
Stand Alone Complex
2nd GIG - Volume 2

Starring (voice): Atsuko Tanaka, Osamu Saka and Akio Ohtsuka
Manga Entertainment
RRP: 19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 13 March 2006

The brand new series of Masamune Shirow's groundbreaking cyberpunk thriller
Ghost In The Shell continues in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG. This second volume of the seven-volume series features four more episodes (5 to 8) detailing the exploits of Section 9...

Inductance sees Prime Minister Kayabuki receive a threatening letter from the Individual Eleven implying that her assassination is imminent. Section 9 is called in to guard her. Despite the threat on her life, Kayabuki insists on making her scheduled annual visit to the local temple as normal. It is a decision that puts her directly in the firing line of a prosthetic-bodied man named Kuze.

In Excavations, Togusa is sent to investigate the death of a man allegedly responsible for making threats against the Energy Ministry. The dead man's ex-wife claims her husband was innocent but as she and Togusa dig deeper into the case, the hidden truth about the suspect's murky past and the forbidden government facility at which he used to work is uncovered.

Pu239 sees Section 9 called in to ensure a shipment of spent plutonium fuel rods doesn't fall into the hands of the Individual Eleven terrorist group. To Section 9's dismay, the enigmatic government operative known as Gohda is placed in charge of the operation. Things begin to go disastrously wrong when a member of the collaborating Self-Defence Force unexpectedly begins firing his weapon at a group of refugees.

Fake Food: During the ongoing investigations in the activities of the Individual Eleven, Section 9 apprehends a man called Kawashima. Placing him under 24-hour surveillance, Batou and Togusa learn that Section 1 also wants Kawashima. Could he really be one of the Individual Eleven?

Extras include staff interviews with character designers Takayuki Goto and Tetsuta Nishio, and trailers for other Manga releases.

I'm still at a loss as to why the Ghost in the Shell releases insist on being spread across two discs (with all four episodes on both discs). Disc one has both Japanese and English stereo and 5.1 soundtracks, and disc two has a Japanese and English DTS mix. With only around 80 minutes of actual episode time I can't work out why this needs to be spread across two discs.

This is not a disc that allows you to switch off your brain. You'll need to be paying attention if you want to follow what is going on on the screen. Those that have been following this series will not be disappointed.

Ray Thompson

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