Friday, 5 October 2012

Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society OVA
Released By: Manga Entertainment UK
Rating: 15
Running Time: 105 Mins
Audio: English & Japanese DD 2.0
Release Date: Out Now!
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes

In the futuristic world of Japan, the year is 2034 and flights in and out of Japan are put on a holding pattern as the suspicion of terrorist activity sharpens the senses of Section 9, the elite counter terrorist and crime Police unit who are looking for suspects and their officers are scouring the area. As the Police gather in the airport terminal they are assured the suspect they had been following has willingly submitted to be questioned. Section 9 uncover a kidnap plot by one Colonel Ka - Gael who has taken a hostage to negotiate himself out of the country. As they try to corner him, he screams that the Puppeteer is coming to get him, and as they come forward to capture him, he shoots himself in the head. Operatives swearing allegiance to General Ka - Rum have begun committing suicide one after the other in Japan and with the deaths of Ka - Gael there is a rumor of a link between them.

At a blood-spattered crime scene Section 9 officers discover the body of the 13th tattooed male with the "true believer" glyph in the palm of his hand. Thinking that he is the next suicide.The Police decide to go to the hidden location to find out what they can about the suicides to get more clues.

Major Motoko Kusanagi has been away from Section 9 for two years since she left the service. The personnel have got 20 individuals along with Togusa who is their leader and they have been getting on with things in her absence.

Motoko though has recently been seen around listening in on conversations Section 9 have been recieving, and turning up in places where other Section 9 officers have been investigating. Is she ready to come back, or is she working undercover. No one really knows, but she is around at certain moments during the movie.
The officers come across another dead body who was recieving treatment of an illness and was hooked up to a machine keeping him alive. He looked to have pulled out the cables tot  he machine, killing himself in the process. They also find he had been using a computer trying to get through a backdoor in the system. Ka - Rum was communicating with his people through the Comm Log. They believe he was planning a terrorist strike using a micromachine virus.

Motoko spends time listening in to conversations and finding clues as to the events.
Section 9 think there is another rumour circulating that someone is going around assasinating the people who are members of the society as they did not want anyone else to know Ka - Rum was dead. Then something mysterious happens. Underneath the body on the floor are the characters for "puppeteer" written in blood.
They remember Ka - Gael spoke of a puppeteer before his death and think it is the codename for one of his men.

Batou watches Major Motoko and she tells him that they are on the same case about the tattooed suicides, giving him a polite warning not to go near the Solid State or he would end up killing himself just like the others did. Ma - Shaba is dead too which rules him out as being the puppeteer as they once thought. Batou wants to know who the puppeteer is supposed to be when one of the points out it is a rebel's codename, he is the one who hacks other folk's cyberbrains forcing them to commit suicide, believing him to be the Wizard - Class hacker.

The plot thickens later when they uncover a secret place where children have been kept against their will and are implanted with micromachines in order that Ka - Rum could spread his virus. A Raj Puhto who has not entered the country is also under suspicion of being the puppeteer.

The animation is in perfect balance with the richness of colour that address the eyes of the viewer, as the layout and composition of the buildings and robots is one to be enamoured by. There is an air of surreality as this is usual with the Ghost in the Shell series phenomena and it keeps the tension as it builds up throughout the movie.

This has solid plot, exciting characters and a story that can be interepreted in many ways as the murders have many suspects. Who is the very elusive puppeteer? Will be the question on the lips of those who watch this, and they will be fulfilled with the outcome.

Bonus Material: This two disc set has its own separate disk full of extras, such as: Work World File, Making of Tachikoma Report, Anime and Car Design, English Production Interview, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa Interview, Uchicomatic Days, English Trailer, Japanese Trailer, Trailers, and English End Feature Credits.

Verdict: Brilliant action and thrilling suspense all rolled into one gripping movie!

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