Need some Ghost in the Shell feedback

Discussion in 'DVD' started by John Pine, Jan 5, 2007.

  1. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Messages:
    988
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just joined Netflix (I know...what took so long?!) and I wanted to know if there is any piticular order I should watch this movie/series? All I've seen so far are several episodes of Ghost in the Shell:Stand Alone Complex on Cartoon Network and I liked what I saw very much. Does it even matter, or should I just watch it in the order listed at the Netflix website?

    Ghost in the Shell (1995) NR
    Kokaku kidotai

    Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004) PG-13
    Inosensu

    Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (7-Disc Series) (2004) NR
    Kokaku kidotai: Stand Alone Complex

    Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: 2nd Gig (7-Disc Series) (2005) TV-14

    Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence: Music Video Anthology (2005) PG-13
     
  2. Matt Czyz

    Matt Czyz Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2003
    Messages:
    902
    Likes Received:
    0
    John,

    I love the entire Ghost in the Shell universe. It possesses some of the most complex, and narratively satisfying sets of storylines out there. You're in for a good time. So:

    The two movies-Ghost in the Shell and Innocence (both directed by Mamoru Oshii) are directly connected and should be watched in order (you'll notice that Innocence has almost the same title sequence, but updated to reflect modern special effects capabilities). The first movie might seem dated now, and when I first saw it (after years of hearing how amazing it was) I was pretty underwhelmed. However, I've since completely turned around on this, and it's now one of my favorite films, period. Having now watched the Stand Alone Complex series (see below), the show has strengthened the original movie in my mind, as one now knows the characters better than ever.

    Innocence follows a pretty straightforward plot, and is not as good as either the first movie or the series (nothing is better than the series [​IMG] ). However, it is absolutley gorgeous. Stunning visuals throughout. Find yourself a nice big tv to watch it on and just sit back and enjoy. I don't want to mention anything plot related, as it directly ties in with the end of the first movie.

    The Stand Alone Complex series take place in a sort of a parallell universe to the movies, wherein the events of the first movie never took place (I'm trying to remain spoiler-free here). The series is more of a CSI:/crime procedural show, with "stand alone" episodes stringed along with a "complex" storyline that permeates the entire season. This goes as well for 2nd Gig (which is simply a fun way to say "Season 2") and is even more incredible than season 1. There is a Stand Alone Complex movie that just came out in Japan ("Solid State Society") which is supposed to be fantastic and takes place something like 4 years after 2nd Gig. A 3rd Season is on it's way as well. 2nd Gig had a lot of input from Oshii, but he did not direct or write any of it. Both seasons of Stand Alone Complex are immensely entertaining and require you to pay a lot of attention to what's going on. Nothing is spoon-fed, and there's a lot to keep track of.

    All of the music for the series is done by Yoko Kanno, who did the music for Cowboy Bebop, and all of the soundtracks are worth hunting down. The opening themes for Season 1 and 2 are some of my favorite anime tunes of all time.

    The Innocence: Music Anthology is simply musical cues from that movie (the soundtracks for the two Oshii movies were both done by Kenji Kawai) set to scenes from the movie, pretty much like music videos. It's more of a "extra", and definitely should not be watched prior to seeing the film.
     
  3. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Messages:
    988
    Likes Received:
    0
    Matt thanks for the detailed breakdown! This is exactly what I was looking for. Hmm…I might also enjoy the music, as I’m an old closet Final Fantasy (1-6) soundtrack fan.

    Also read some good things about the Cowboy Bebop series but have never seen any of them. Should I rent that series as well? Is it anything like the Trigun series? I really liked that one.

    p.s....so Matt...do you bleed Orange?
     
  4. RickER

    RickER Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,130
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Real Name:
    Rick
    Wow, Matt said it all. Cowboy Bebop is great by the way.
     
  5. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    3,998
    Likes Received:
    0
    Matt's detailed analysis is right-on, but I have to disagree on a personal, subjective basis about "Innocence". Not only do I think it's the greatest of all Oshii's works (and, yes, I do have an excellent, er, "custom" DVD of "Angel's Egg" and also love it very much), I think it's the greatest anime film ever. Again, a purely subjective opinion, but one that I hold deeply!

    While the "plot" of "Innocence" may be straightforward, I don't think it's any less so than the first film or the series. After all, the plots of both films (less so with the series) are really little more than frameworks out of which the many philosophical inquiries more-or-less naturally emerge. In other films (the Matrix, for example), the philosophical concerns are more like digressions from the action and almost purely expository. Here, they are the primary concern. The series, as wonderful as it is, is far more conventional and plot-oriented, with much less of the high-minded discourse, and not a few elements meant to appeal to a much younger, less adventurous viewer.

    And if there's ever been, in any other anime, a more gorgeously rendered visual tapestry than the pageant that is "Innocence", I'd love to see it. It's jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring stuff.
     
  6. Matt Czyz

    Matt Czyz Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2003
    Messages:
    902
    Likes Received:
    0

    As a huge fan of the Final Fantasy sountracks myself, I can't recommend Yoko Kanno's work enough. Her work on Bebop and GitS:SAC is simply genius.

    Definitely rent Bebop, as it's top-drawer anime as well. It actually follows the same kind of episode structure as GitS:SAC, with a lot of individual episodes mixed up with a show-length "main plot". It's also the rare anime that has an English dub that's just as good as the original Japanese voice-work. I have not watched Trigun, so I cannot comment on any comparison there.

    I don't bleed too much Orange these days, but I used to love going to games back when I was at UTK. Fulmer throwing his hat and headset to the ground when he gets upset is more entertaining than the games these days! [​IMG]
     
  7. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Messages:
    988
    Likes Received:
    0

    Yeah'...but do have the FFIII soundtrack on your MP3? [​IMG]


    That settles it. My second and third Netflix rentals will be Ghost in the Shell and Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.

    Queue updated!
     
  8. Matt Czyz

    Matt Czyz Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2003
    Messages:
    902
    Likes Received:
    0

    I do own a fair share of the offical Final Fantasy soundtracks on CD (along with Chrono Trigger's for god's sake). If I had an mp3 player, I'm sure something from that series would make it's way over.
     
  9. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    3,729
    Likes Received:
    0
    I saw Innocence on the night it opened in Dallas (had to drive more than 100 miles round-trip). I also own the 2-disc CAV LaserDisc special edition of the first movie. They're definitely worth watching, but I wouldn't say that either of them is the best anime movie ever made. I don't think anyone who has seen Wings of Honneamise could say that! [​IMG]
    One thing I noticed about Innocence, that I have noticed about a lot of animation lately, is that the CGI has a very "dark" appearance ; in other words, even the brightest segments give a kind of impression that they are painted over black (as opposed to cel animation, which is painted over white). It's a different visual sensation, and I personally found it productive of a certain difficulty is seeing.
     
  10. Matt Czyz

    Matt Czyz Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2003
    Messages:
    902
    Likes Received:
    0
    One other point regarding Innocence that sadly must be mentioned--when Dreamworks first put out the dvd, the movie's English subtitle track included closed captioned sound effects ("helicopters flying", "footsteps", "water dripping"...) and there was no option to get rid of them. They offered a replacement where you could switch it out for a disc with normal English subs (and in a smaller, less intrusive font, to boot). I don't know which version you're going to get with Netflix. It's still watchable, but they can get pretty annoying, especially right in the beginning.

    Also to clarify, I do enjoy Innocence, and have watched it many times. To me, it's the weakest of the GitS incarnations, but it still rewards multiple viewings.
     
  11. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Messages:
    988
    Likes Received:
    0

    Ahhh...Chrono Trigger! What an awesome SNES title!


    Chris couldn't find Wings of Honneamise at Netflix.
     
  12. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2000
    Messages:
    4,118
    Likes Received:
    0

    Not a surprise. I think it is out of print, since I think Manga lost the right to it. A good thing IMO, since that DVD looked awful.

    Jason
     
  13. Glenn R

    Glenn R Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Did anyone pick up the Ghost in the Shell SAC Complete 1st Season Box Set? I can't find anything regarding whether it collects the regular or limited (with DTS) editions as well as anything on extras. I've been holding off on the single discs waiting for the box set. I didn't realize it came out this October.
     
  14. Brandon B

    Brandon B Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    263
    Likes Received:
    0

    Are current versions in stores like this, or are they pretty much moved out of the retail chain?

    I am in Tokyo right now and may pick it up here if they are still pushing the bad disks in stores stateside.

    BB
     
  15. PhilDB

    PhilDB Auditioning

    Joined:
    May 20, 2006
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    They have. The rights have reverted back to Bandai, who highly likely will release a top notch release of the film in the future. Bandai Visual created a new labelled called "Honneamise" and did awesome R1 releases of Patlabor 1&2 last year and will release Gainax's Gunbuster in February.

    The Patlabor releases are frickin' sweet. Gorgeous anamorphic transfers (a revelation in comparison to the letterboxed Manga releases), great director-supervised 5.1 remixes. The LE sets (which I opted for, barebones one-discers also available) each came with a massive book full of interviews and the such and with a book featuring the complete set of Oshii's storyboards translated into English.
     
  16. Charlie O.

    Charlie O. Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 13, 2003
    Messages:
    509
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just wondering if Netflix is sending out the the repressed discs of Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence or do they still have the recalled ones with the wrong subs?
     
  17. Matt Czyz

    Matt Czyz Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2003
    Messages:
    902
    Likes Received:
    0

    Honestly, the only way to know is to actually buy it. I didn't get the impression that many fixed discs made it into stores, and I have no idea what ended up in Tokyo. Sorry.
     
  18. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    3,998
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here's the thread with all the return info: http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showthread.php?t=402085

    However, when I clicked the link that used to bring me to info about exchanging the disc - and which I successfully used to exchange mine - it appears that all that info is now gone. Look to the end of that thread and you'll find a few recent posts inquiring about this. I suspect any new information will be posted there.
     
  19. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2000
    Messages:
    4,611
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex is my favorite SF series of all time. Just an incredible series. I've introduced the show to a few of my friends - and all of them loved it.

    I'm hoping they release this on HD-DVD or Bluray (I'm guessing the latter) - I had the amazing privilege to watch heavily compressed hidef versions of the second series (well, most of the episodes anyways), and in many ways they are vastly superior to the DVD versions. A full-bitrate hidef version would just floor me.

    If you like BSG and Babylon 5, don't miss this show.

    I find it has the perfect balance of action, philisophical musings, political backdoor deals, social commentary, believable technology, mystery, and a little bit of humor. I would say it is the best SF show ever made.
     
  20. Terry St

    Terry St Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    0
    It looks like the complete 2nd season of SAC comes out in a couple weeks in the U.K..

    Does anyone know when something similar will come out in region 1?
     

Share This Page