Ghost in the Shell
Stand Alone Complex
Solid State Society

Starring (voice): Atsuko Tanaka, Osamu Saka, Akio Ohtsuka and Kohichi Yamadera
Manga Entertainment
RRP: 19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 20 August 2007

The year is 2034; two years after Major Motoko Kusanagi left Public Security Section 9, the elite counter-terrorist and anti-crime unit specialising in cyber warfare. Section 9's latest assignment sees the team confronted by a rash of mysterious suicides involving operatives of the disbanded Siak Republic, many of whom had sought asylum in Japan. They manage to track down Ka Gae-Ru, a former Siak Colonel who has taken a hostage in the hope of negotiating safe passage out of the country. Confronted by Section 9, a fearful Gae-Ru issues a cryptic warning that The Puppeteer is coming, before killing himself. Investigations suggest that The Puppeteer is an ultra-wizard hacker who is not only responsible for the recent spate of suicides but is also behind a series of child abductions. But who is the Puppeteer and what is the connection to the so-called Solid State Society? An unexpected encounter between Batou and Major Motoko leaves the former with his own theory, one that is almost impossible to comprehend...

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society is the third feature-length film in the Ghost In The Shell series. Written and directed by Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost In The Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG; Blood: The Last Vampire) and produced by the same creative team responsible for the hugely successful Stand Alone Complex series.

Major Motoko has left Section 9, and when Batou runs into her while on an investigation he is left uncertain as to who the Major is now working for - is she working for a darker power? And what does she know about the mysterious suicides and child abductions?

As the plot thickens it looks more and more likely that the Major may have all the answers to Section 9's questions - and could she actually be the mysterious Puppeteer who is responsible for so many deaths?

Extras include Anime and Car Design - Redesigning the Future Car (24 min look at how Nissan's concept cars were used in the film); English Production Interview (10 min interviews with English language cast and crew); Making of a Tachikoma Robot (17 min featurette that examines the work of one robotics company who were responsible for designing miniature robotic versions of the Tachikoma robots); Mitsuhisa Ishikawa (Production IG) Interview (9 mins interview); English and Japanese trailers; Uchikoma Days (5 min animated short in both Japanese and English); World Work File (30 minute behind the scenes featurette); and Storyboard (which is accessible while watching the movie).

Two of the features (Anime and Car Design and Making of a Tachikoma Robot) suffer greatly as the English subtitles are printed over the top of Japanese captions - which makes some of the text incredibly difficult to read - otherwise, this is a healthy collection of extras.

Each Ghost in the Shell movie just keeps getting better and better. The animation is very impressive, and it's great to see that the characters are growing with each instalment. Fans of the franchise will not be disappointed.

Darren Rea

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