Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Volume 6

Starring (voice): Atsuko Tanaka, Osamu Saka and Akio Ôtsuka
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
MANG 2035
Certificate: 12
Available 17 October 2005

Japan 2030 and female cyborg Major Motoko Kusanagi operates as a key agent of Section 9 of internal security under Chief Aramaki. Together with her support crew she must tackle the numerous threats facing Japan...

Volume 6 of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex contains only three episode (Eraser, Scandal and Equinox).

In Eraser, the shoot-out at the Sunflower Society offices has left Togusa hospitalised and in a critical condition. His Section 9 colleagues manage to get to the hospital in time to access a memory grab from his cyber-brain and view the events that led up to his ambush by the Narcotics Suppression Squad. The information leads the team to a government official by the name of Imakurusu Hisashi, who is in hiding and may hold a clue to unravelling the entire Laughing Man case.

Scandal: After a shoot-out with the Narcotics Suppression Squad and the arrest of its team leader, Gayle, Section 9 must face the subsequent political fallout and repercussions. Meanwhile, Kusanagi seeks to repair her prosthetic body, severely damaged during a battle with Gayle and a MSDF 303 mobile battle suit. During the repair process she discovers that someone is deliberately tampering with her programs and that her life is in peril.

In Equinox, Section 9 focuses its attention on an extremely powerful and corrupt politician who Aramaki suspects was behind the assassination of Imakurusu Hisashi and the attempt on Kusanagi's life. The investigation leads Section 9 back to the Laughing Man kidnapping incident of six years ago. The final piece in the puzzle appears to be the President of Serrano Genomics Inc., the man who was held at gunpoint by the Laughing Man during the stand-off.

Extras include interviews with Junichi Fujisaki, Yoshiki Sakurai and Noauyasu Terato (screenwriters); interviews with Jai Sato, Shotaro Suga (screenwriters); character profiles; Ghost In The Shell video game trailer; a nightmarishly difficult quiz; In Conversation With Richard Epcar; and a DTS soundtrack.

I'm at a loss as to why this (as all other releases in this series) DVD is released as a 2-disc set. The episodes are repeated 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 one hour of actual episode time I can't work out why this needs to be spread across two discs. They managed to include the same number of audio tracks (including DTS) as well as a 40 minute 'making of' featurette on the recent release of Millennium Actress, so why couldn't they manage to do the same here?

While the English soundtrack is pretty good, I did feel that the actors had a little too much dialogue. There were a number of long speeches where the actors seemed to race their way through without drawing a breath.

Ghost in the Shell fans won't be disappointed, but if you're new to this series, now is not the time to tune in.

Ray Thompson

Buy this item online
We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal!
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£14.99 (Amazon.co.uk)
£15.98 (Foxy.co.uk)
£15.89 (Thehut.com)
£16.99 (Moviemail-online.co.uk)

All prices correct at time of going to press.