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on 25 August 2008
GitS Standalone Complex is a truer companion to the original then the actual second movie Innocents. Anima TV shows & movies don't always co-exist in continuity terms. As many times they take the main themes & ideas reusing them in a new way appropriate to the storytelling medium. So don't get hung up on how all this ties into the movie as it doesn't, just enjoy it as a standalone story.

All the main Section 9 movie characters are here, plus a couple of new ones. Other then the Tachikomas, these new characters are mostly in the background not really being developed much beyond their Section 9 function. While the Tachikomas are used for comic relief and some of the philosophical ideas later on in the series about Ghosts; I really enjoyed these guys. They even have their own short at the end of each episode, though these are a bit hit & miss.

While there is a plot arc it doesn't dominate the series as different stories are mixed in throughout and they make a nice complement to the main arc keeping the series feeling balanced. There's lots of action packed storytelling, some philosophy, but apart of one episode it's actually philosophically light, this is good or bad depending on if you enjoyed this about the movie; although, there's none of those slow random scenes with music that were used in the movies. I found these enjoyed; quiet points for reflection on what had happened up to that point, or just sit back enjoy the pretty artwork & music. The art style is very similar to the movie but obviously being for TV the budget isn't in the same league, but that didn't stop this from looking topnotch. Music wasn't as striking as the movies but good enough.

Overall this is a very strong series and I give it full marks. But the ending, without spoiling it was the weakest thing about the series. Being episodically based it made use of cliffhanger endings that detract from the story but adding `What's going to happen next' moments. Those moments were unsatisfactorily resolved in my opinion.

All that said if you enjoyed the movies you should also get a good deal of enjoyment out of this box set.
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on 3 December 2010
I started renting this from Lovefilm having watched the two films and found myself enjoying them far more than I ever expected. The same was true with SAC. This is undoubtedly one of the best series I've had the good fortune to come across. An incredibly engrossing storyline (and repeat viewings really do pay off), rich charaterisation and a marvelously convincing animated world had me suffering from withdrawl after I'd finished the last disc.

Sufficed to say I lost no time in ordering 2nd Gig.

As I've said, the characters are rich and very well-acted; first time around I kept swapping between the English and Japanese voice tracks finding that both casts really do suit their characters (I wish the same could be said for Neon Genesis Evangelion - the American dub is truly nauseating). The animation is top-notch, Niihama looks beautiful and the mixture of stand alone episodes and complex episodes (those that follow one central plot) is excellent. Some of the stand alone episodes are weak in places, but I've found that at its worst, SAC is still very good.

The booklet included in the set contains a well-written and informative essay on the series, though don't read it before you've finished watching the series.

For fans of programmes such as The X Files, Evangelion, Doctor Who and even The West Wing, this has something to offer. As a relative newcomer to anime, SAC was the perfect starting point.
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on 13 April 2012
I'll keep this short - imagine The X Files blended with The Matrix and make it twice as awesome and you get GITS (love that acronym!). Admiitedly the indiviual (stand alone) episodes can be really hit and miss but the Laughing Man (Complex) episodes have you on the edge of your sheet. The writing is superb, the dub brilliant, the animation wonderful. I'd like to have gotten to know a bit more about some of the characters but its nice to see a show where you're not swamped by peoples backstories. And you have the amazing Tachikoma's!
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on 19 November 2005
I have to say i've only recently got into Anime and this series was one of the first ones I started watching, so when this collection came along I had to get it. This is a 7 Disk Collection featuring every episode from the First Season of Ghost In The Shell, the big advantage to having this box set is that its cheaper then buying each Volume of the Series individually (Saving around £110 i worked it out to be as each Volume is £20)
Each episode is great with stylish animation and great characters, a definate must buy.
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on 28 August 2013
This box set is awesome!

Contains all the 26 episodes from the 1st season / SAC 1st GIG in 7 DVD's.

The box is not too small nor too big.

Really good quality product (Manga entertainment always delivers :) )

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on 31 January 2006
Many moons ago now I saw and fell in love with the original Ghost in the Shell movie. This led me to buy the original manga book upon which the film was loosely based but the TV series Stand Alone Complex is heavily based. This series, and from what I've seen its follow up 2nd Gig, sets a new benchmark for the anime and indeed Sci-fi genres. If your serious about your Sci-fi then this is a must have item. For me everything works in this series from the great animation to the brilliant music score, the individual plots and characterisations are strong and the overall story arc is as enthralling as it is incredible. Section 9, a secret government taskforce, which are a mixture of the Professionals meet Blade Runner, battle against the forces of terrorism, cyber-crime, political corruption and intrigue, whilst slowly but surely uncovering the truth behind the mysterious puppetmaster incident which culminates in an end as explosive as it is unexpected. This is a series that will have you hooked from start to finish.
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on 1 November 2011
I saw the GITS films first before buying this and although there is some overlapping of the story-lines included in the episodes here (the laughing man plot) for the most part the characters and stories are more fleshed-out, detailed and draws to some solid conclusions.
The actual Stand-Alone-Episodes themselves play out like a detective show, albeit one with hi-tech cyborgs and weaponry and hi-brow original ideas. There's a lot of variety in these stories from the future that are all beautifully animated and detailed, as is the wonderful cast of characters where even tanks have a sense of self and ponder death and where sudden flashes of violence is forever threatened. The English dub is perfect and there are plenty of behind the scenes interviews with cast and crew which proves to be interesting and informative.
I think this box-set is also very good value with 26 episodes of the entire series, I doubt you could find it much cheaper.
Well recommended for anyone into anime in any form and also a good spot to start from if you're new to the whole anime concept. Enjoy. Thank you.
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on 22 July 2006
The title "Stand alone Complex" suits this series perfectly. First off for those of you who don't know Ghost in the Shell is about an elite team of investigators known and section 9. They specialise in the information crimes that have exploded as technology becomes so great in this furturistic time that people have cybernetic implants.

The films focused on the major and her experiences. This is where Stand alone Complex really stands alone from the films. Not only are the episodes unrelated in terms of story and progression to the films but they give us a better insight to section 9 and the characters. The canvas of 26 episodes has really allowed the creators to give us the true face to section 9.

At first it may seem like your ordinary anime series, you know nothing special. Let me tell you, that you'd be wrong... After about episode 4 the really story line that ultimatly constructs the series is unvieled and will get you hooked. Most episodes have their own storylines (stand alone) but a lot of them play a part in the main story line (complex). Not to mention it does follow the films slightly in the sense that they storyline is extreamly deep and may take a good sitting to soak in, but thats what I love about this the most. Non of your steriotypical bull.

IF your looking for amazing animation, awsome music by yoko kanno, deep storylines, and a box set that you will watch over and over again. Get this one, and for the price you may as well. This is by far the cheapest anime boxset i have seen, and the best.

i'd give this 10/10 everything works so well! I am eagerly awaiting the boxset for the second series. I can't wait. Once it comes out I am setting an entire week aside just for that.
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on 23 October 2011
Its been out a while but I finally got around to buying / seeing this.
There's a lot of hype surrounding it what with the success of the movies, but let me tell you now its completely necessary. So basically what I'm saying is, if you're thinking about purchasing this just go for it you wont be disappointed. A must for any animé fan.
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on 4 February 2006
This series stands head and shoulders above the other anime from Japan I've seen. I warmly recommend buying the box set since:
a) The care taken with the drawing is exemplary, e.g.,
o some of the textures are quite stunning
o the voice and lips are synchronised better than other anime in both English and Japanese.
o The characters have realistic dimensions (no one sports shoulders a meter wide)
b) Many of the plots of the various episodes are good (& believable in their context).
c) You get great value for money
d) Hope you get as much satisfaction as I
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