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Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GiG

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Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GiG

"Stand Alone Complex" redirects here. For the fictional mental complex alluded to in the series, see Ghost in the Shell (philosophy)#Stand Alone Complex.
"Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (video game)" redirects here. For the PlayStation 2 game, see Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (PS2). For the PlayStation Portable game, see Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (PSP).
Ghost in the Shell:
Stand Alone Complex
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex poster
(Kōkaku Kidōtai Sutando Arōn Konpurekkusu)
Genre Science fiction noir, cyberpunk, post-cyberpunk, Action, Mecha, Military
Anime television series
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
Directed by Kenji Kamiyama
Written by Kenji Kamiyama
Music by Yoko Kanno
Studio Production I.G
Licensed by Template:English anime licensee
Network Perfect Choice (PPV)
English network Template:English anime network
Original run October 1, 2002 October 1, 2003
Episodes 26 (List of episodes)
Original video animation
The Laughing Man
Directed by Kenji Kamiyama
Produced by Production I.G
Music by Yoko Kanno
Studio Bandai
Released September 23, 2005
Runtime 160 minutes
Novel series
Written by Junichi Fujisaku
Published by Tokuma Shoten
English publisher United States Dark Horse Comics
Original run January 2004February 2005
Volumes 3
Anime television series
Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG
Directed by Kenji Kamiyama
Written by Kenji Kamiyama
Music by Yoko Kanno
Studio Production I.G
Network Perfect Choice (PPV)
English network United Kingdom AnimeCentral
Canada G4techTV Canada
United States Cartoon Network (Adult Swim) (Toonami)
Singapore India Pakistan Malaysia Indonesia Philippines Thailand Animax Asia
South Africa Animax
Original run January 1, 2004 January 8, 2005
Episodes 26 (List of episodes)
Original video animation
Individual Eleven
Directed by Kenji Kamiyama
Produced by Production I.G
Music by Yoko Kanno
Studio Bandai
Released January 27, 2006
Runtime 160 minutes
Written by Yu Kinutani
Published by Kodansha
English publisher United States Kodansha Comics USA
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Young Magazine
Original run December 2009 – ongoing
Volumes 5
Tachikoma na Hibi
Written by Yoshiki Sakurai
Mayasuki Yamamoto
Published by Kodansha
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Young Magazine
Original run December 2009 – ongoing
Volumes 4
Anime and Manga portal

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (攻殻機動隊 STAND ALONE COMPLEX Kōkaku Kidōtai Sutando Arōn Konpurekkusu?) is an anime television series produced by Production I.G and based on Masamune Shirow's manga Ghost in the Shell. It was written and directed by Kenji Kamiyama, with original character design by Hajime Shimomura and a soundtrack by Yoko Kanno. The first season aired on SKY PerfecTV!'s Perfect Choice from October 2002 to October 2003 and was positively received by critics. A second season titled Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG (攻殻機動隊 S.A.C. 2nd GIG Kōkaku Kidōtai Sutando Arōn Konpurekkusu Sekando Gigu?) aired on Animax from January 1, 2004 to January 8, 2005.

The series centers on the members of an elite cybernetic law enforcement unit known as Public Security Section 9 as they investigate cyber-crime and terrorism cases; these cases often are connected to their pursuit of an elite "Super Class A" hacker and corporate terrorist known as "The Laughing Man." A series of associated short comic animations, titled Tachikomatic Days (タチコマな日々 Tachikoma na Hibi?), aired after each episode. These shorts star the Tachikoma "think-tanks" from the main series, and they typically relate directly to the story of the preceding Stand Alone Complex episode.

The first season was also adapted into a feature-length OVA titled The Laughing Man, which was released in 2005 and two manga series in 2009. The series had also received video game spin-offs for the Playstation 2, PSP, and cell phone. 2nd GIG was also later adapted into a feature-length OVA entitled Individual Eleven, which was released in 2006;[1] Solid State Society, a TV-film sequel to the Stand Alone Complex series, was also released in that year.[2]


The series takes place in the year 2030, where many people have become cyborgs with prosthetic bodies. Primarily set in the fictional Japanese city of Niihama, Niihama Prefecture (新浜県新浜市 Niihama-ken Niihama-shi?), the series follows the members of Public Security Section 9, a special-operations task-force made up of former military officers and police detectives, while the group investigates various crimes, both seasons feature ongoing investigations into two incidents that embroil the group in corruption within other branches of the Japanese government.

The first season of Stand Alone Complex focuses on the Laughing Man incident, wherein a hacker ultimately reveals to the Major that he had discovered that several micromachine manufacturing corporations in association with the Japanese government suppressed information on an inexpensive cure to a debilitating cyberization disease in order to profit from the more expensive micromachine treatment. He abducted one of the owners of the company and attempted to force him to reveal the truth on live television, resulting in the hacker live-hacking everyone's vision and cameras at the event to cover his face with the stylized laughing face that became synonymous with his image. His popularity spawned several genuine imitators, resulting in the series' titular Stand Alone Complex. When Section 9 discovers that these companies and several Japanese politicians later used the Laughing Man's image to garner public support and profit, they begin a campaign to disseminate the truth, ultimately leading to the Cabinet labeling them as domestic terrorists and forcibly disbanding them, resulting in the capture of several members and the apparent death of Motoko Kusanagi. However, it is all a ruse to deceive the government, and the very alive and well members of Section 9 regroup to bring the micromachine corporations and corrupt politicians to justice, resulting in the dissolution of the current Japanese government.[1]

The second season, 2nd GIG, set two years after the events of the first season, explores the political and social ramifications of the two world wars that took place prior to the events of the series.[3] At the time of the Third and the Fourth World Wars, about three million Asians became refugees and were invited into Japan as a source of cheap labor. These "invited refugees", based on the reclaimed island of Dejima, soon became unemployed in the post-war period, and their social unrest borders on outright war.[4] Section 9's involvement in the refugee issue begins after they successfully stop a hostage crisis caused by a terrorist group known as the Individual Eleven, after which newly elected Prime Minister Yoko Kayabuki officially reinstates the organization. The group seems to be modeling themselves after the May 15 Incident, where a group of naval officers assassinated the Prime Minister and then gained the support of the public, and hope to stir up the refugees' spirits by fighting for them against the Japanese government. The group also comes into contact with Kazundo Goda, head of the Cabinet Intelligence Service, who gets assistance from the group in defusing several instances between the refugees as well as assisting him in transporting plutonium through Dejima, result in several failures and refugee deaths, further straining relations. Section 9 ultimately discovers that Goda has been manipulating both events behind the scenes, leaking the social virus that creates the Individual Eleven ideology and creating a new Stand Alone Complex, as well as the intentional failures with the refugees. However, he cannot account for the charismatic Hideo Kuze who genuinely believes in the best for the refugees and helps rally for their independence from Japan. Throughout the investigation, Kusanagi discovers she may know Kuze from her childhood, and ultimately, Goda is found guilty of his part in the refugee incidents and killed before he can defect to the American Empire, but not before his ministrations also result in the death of Kuze.

In the film Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Solid State Society, taking place two years following the resolution of the Individual Eleven incident, the Major has left Section 9, and Togusa is now field commander, leading an investigation into several deaths of refugees from the Siak Republic, which results in the discovery of a government computer system coordinating the kidnappings of 20 thousand abused children who have had their cyberbrains replaced and placing them under the care of several senior citizens made comatose by another government program that takes care of all of their bodily needs. Their investigation, which brings the Major out of hiding, reveals an entity known as the Puppeteer behind the kidnappings, but the Puppeteer is a rhizome formed by the collective will of the senior citizens, and it was only the Siak Republic's intent to use the kidnapped children in their plans that led to their downfall. However, the investigation further reveals that a member of the House of Representatives is also using the children for his nationalistic purposes, and Section 9 with the Major infiltrates a welfare center where the MP brainwashes the children, resulting in the Puppeteer revealing his own identity that the senior citizens wished to give the children free will in their future, with the politician interfering in that new plan.



Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex was animated by Production I.G, and produced by Bandai Visual, Bandai Entertainment, Dentsu, Nippon Television Network, Tokuma Shoten, Victor Entertainment, and Manga Entertainment.[5] The series was directed by Kenji Kamiyama and written by Yoshiki Sakurai. Masamune Shirow, author of the original Ghost in the Shell manga, provided plot for several episodes, sketches of characters and mechanical designs (including the Tachikoma), and gave his approval to the scripts before production.[6] The TV series received a breaking record of 800 million yen investment. Kenji Kamiyama decided to make the anime TV series as a "relative" to the manga and film, serving as a separate parallel world from both.[1]

The anime television network Animax first licensed and broadcast the series in 2002 across most of Asia, as well as in Latin America.[7] It was subsequently licensed by Bandai Entertainment/Bandai Visual and Manga Entertainment in the North America,[8][9] and Madman Entertainment in Australia.[10] It was broadcast in the United States on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block,[11] in Canada by YTV[12] and in the United Kingdom by AnimeCentral.[13] A series of associated short comic animations, titled Tachikomatic Days (タチコマな日々 Tachikoma na Hibi?), aired immediately after each episode of the series. These shorts star the Tachikoma "think-tanks" from the main series, and typically relate directly to the story of the preceding Stand Alone Complex episode.

A feature-length OVA titled Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - The Laughing Man was released in Japan on September 23, 2005, and in North America on October 2, 2007. The OVA retells the first season of the TV anime series with minor alterations to the storyline to accommodate an abbreviated take on the Laughing Man affair. Some additional animation and voice work was also added. Although the Japanese-language version retained the voice cast from the anime series, the English version has a new cast of voice actors. The dialogue recording for the English version was produced by Ocean Productions.[1] A Blu-ray version was released on December 22, 2010.[14]

The second season of Stand Alone Complex, titled Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG, aired on Animax from January 1, 2004 to January 8, 2005. The production of a second season was immediately decided after the first season's TV airing.[1] For the second season, Mamoru Oshii had contributed with his ideas to the concept of the entire series and initial planning stages.[15] The second season was initially hinted when Bandai has extended the episode list to 52 episodes at Otakon of 2003.[16] On Halloween of 2003, Production I.G officially announced a second season for Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.[17]

It premiered on January 1, 2004 in Japan on SKY PerfecTV!'s Perfect Choice (Animax), on a pay-per-view basis.[1] The series was later aired on the terrestrial Nippon TV from April 6, 2005. Animax also later aired the series across its other networks worldwide, including its English language networks in Southeast Asia and South Asia, as well as its other networks in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Latin America and several other regions. 2nd GIG was also later aired in the United States on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block. Bandai Visual owns the DVD distribution rights in Japan, while Manga Entertainment owns the distribution rights in North America and Europe. The show began airing daily on AnimeCentral beginning November 4, 2007 in both English (two nightly screenings) and original Japanese (one late-night screening).

Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG – Individual Eleven is a feature-length OVA which retells the events of S.A.C. 2nd GIG, altered to focus on both the Individual Eleven investigation and the relationship between Hideo Kuze and Motoko Kusanagi. Newly animated scenes and a remixed soundtrack are also included.[4]

A TV-film sequel titled Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society was released in 2006.[18]


The soundtrack for the series was composed by Yoko Kanno and produced by Victor Entertainment. The first season's opening theme is "inner universe" performed by Origa (written by Origa and Shanti Snyder). The lyrics are in Russian, English, and Latin. The first season's ending theme is "lithium flower" performed by Scott Matthew (written by Tim Jensen). When the series was later re-broadcast on terrestrial television in Japan, "inner universe" was replaced with "GET9" performed by jillmax (written by Tim Jensen), while "lithium flower" was replaced with "i do", written and performed by Ilaria Graziano.

The opening theme for S.A.C. 2nd GIG is "rise" performed by Origa (written by Tim Jensen), while the ending theme is "living inside the shell" performed by Steve Conte (written by Shanti Snyder). 2nd GIG also used alternate opening and closing themes when it was re-broadcast on terrestrial television, with "rise" was replaced by "CHRisTmas in the SiLenT ForeSt" performed by Ilaria Graziano (written by Shanti Snyder), and "living inside the shell" was replaced by "snyper" performed by Ilaria Graziano (written by Tim Jensen).[Note 1]

Video games

Main articles: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (PS2) and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (PSP)

Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex has received two video game spin offs, both under the same name. The first video game is for PlayStation 2 and was developed by Cavia. It was released on March 4, 2004 in Japan and November 8, 2004 in North America.[19] The second video game is for the PSP, was developed by G-Artist, and is titled "Kōkaku Kidōtai Stand Alone Complex - Karyūdo no Ryōiki -" (攻殻機動隊 STAND ALONE COMPLEX -狩人の領域-?, lit. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex -Hunters Territory-) in Japan. It was released on September 15, 2005 in Japan and on October 25, 2005 in North America.[20] On March 29, 2012 a social game by Mobage titled "Ghost in the Shell S.A.C. Tachikoma Wars!" (攻殻機動隊 S.A.C. タチコマウォーズ! Kōkaku kidōtai S. A. C. Tachikoma Wōzu!?) was released.[21]

On December 13, 2012, Nexon stated it had obtained the rights of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex for the purpose of the creation of a massively multiplayer online game.[22] On February 12, 2013, the first details were released through Online Gamer Japan. Titled Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Online,[23] the game will be a first-person shooter with a heavy basis on hacking and customization of the player's cyberized body.[24]


A three-volume novel series based on the TV anime series was written by staff writer Junichi Fujisaku. The novels were published by Tokuma Shoten and distributed by Dark Horse Comics in the United States. The first volume, titled Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - The Lost Memory (攻殻機動隊 STAND ALONE COMPLEX 虚夢回路 Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex Imaginary Dream Circuit?), was released on January 21, 2004 in Japan and on May 24, 2006 in the US.[25][26] The second volume, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Revenge of the Cold Machines (攻殻機動隊 STAND ALONE COMPLEX 凍える機械 Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Frozen Machine?), was released on July 8, 2004 in Japan and on September 26, 2006 in the US.[27][28] The third volume, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - White Maze (攻殻機動隊 STAND ALONE COMPLEX 眠り男の棺 Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Coffin of a Sleeping Man?), was released on February 4, 2005 in Japan and on January 2, 2007 in the US.[29][30]

Two manga series based on Stand Alone Complex have been published by Kodansha. The first series, Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. Tachikoma na hibi (攻殻機動隊S.A.C. タチコマなヒビ?), is based on the associated shorts Tachikomatic Days. The manga was drawn by Mayasuki Yamamoto and was launched on December 9, 2009 in Monthly Young Magazine.[31] Three tankōbon volumes were released on November 5, 2010, March 4, 2011 and August 5, 2011 respectively.[32]

The second manga series, titled Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (攻殻機動隊STAND ALONE COMPLEX?), was drawn by Yu Kinutani and launched on December 14, 2009 in Weekly Young Magazine.[31] The manga is an adaptation of the first season of the anime series. Three tankōbon volumes were released. The first volume subtitled "Episode 1: Section9" was released on on April 6, 2010 in Japan and on May 24, 2011 in North America.[33][34] The second volume subtitiled "Episode 2: Testation" was released on November 5, 2010 in Japan and on November 29, 2011 in North America.[33][35] The third volume subtitled "Episode 3: Idolater" was released on August 5, 2011 in Japan.[33] The fourth volume subtitled "Episode 4: ¥€$" was released on March 6, 2012 in Japan.[33]


An official guidebook to the first 19 episodes of the TV series titled Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Official Log 1 was released by Bandai and Manga Entertainment on October 25, 2005[36] Another guidebook titled Ghost in the Shell SAC Ultimate Archive (攻殻機動隊SACアルティメットアーカイブ Kōkaku Kidōtai SAC Arutimetto Ākaibu?, literally "Mobile Armored Riot Police SAC Ultimate Archive") was published by Tokuma Shoten and released on March 31, 2007.[37] Another guidebook titled Gentle~men! Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex Tachikoma's All Memory (しょく~ん! 攻殻機動隊STAND ALONE COMPLEX TACHIKOKMA'S ALL MEMORY Shoku~n! Kōkaku Kidōtai Sutando Arōn Konpurekkusu Tachikoma Ōru Memorī?, literally "Gentle-men! Mobile Armored Riot Police Stand Alone Complex Tachikoma's All Memory") was released on October 2008.[38]

Numerous figurines have been released for Stand Alone Complex versions of the characters with Motoko and Tachikoma being a central focus. Various figures have been produced from CM Corporation,[39] and Kaitendo.[40] Tachikoma figures have been produced by various companies, including one by the Good Smile Company in cooperation with Nendoron.[41] A 1/24th scale plastic model kit of the Tachikoma was produced by Wave in December 2005.[42]

Other merchandise includes clothing, key chains, notebooks, patches, bags, posters and body pillows.[43] A music app called Character Music Player - Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. Section 9 is being developed for iOS. The app uses music from one's music library and adds background image of a Section 9 member.[44]


Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex received a generally positive reception from reviewers, who praised the series' high quality of animation and the musical score by Yoko Kanno.[45][46][47][48] In particular, reviewers reacted positively to the world of high-technology that Stand Alone Complex presents,[46][47][49] described as "believably futuristic".[46] Lawrence Person from Locus Online wrote that "the world of [Stand Alone Complex] is recognizably our own, or rather, one recognizably extrapolated from modern Japan. While parts of the technology seem unlikely in the time-frame allotted, none seems impossible."[49] In addition, several reviews mentioned what they perceived to be overarching themes explored in the series as a result of the setting; specifically, the meaning of humanity in a world where the lines between man and machine were becoming increasingly blurred,[47][49] as well as various societal issues that might emerge as a result of advances in technology.[45][49]

Reviewers agreed that the main "Laughing Man" storyline was satisfying, characterizing it variously as "interesting",[49] "complex",[50] and "engaging".[46] Reaction to the series' "Stand Alone" episodes, however, was mixed: some reviewers considered these episodes to be boring and, in some cases, the worst episodes of the series,[46][49] while others contended that they allowed further development of the characters and the futuristic setting.[45][50]

Certain commentators specifically focused on the series' success or failure in achieving the high standards set by the critically acclaimed 1995 film Ghost in the Shell. Opinion in this regard was divided: although these reviewers took an overall favorable view,[45][46][48] some reviews criticized the quality of animation,[46] while others felt that the series' story lacked the depth of the original film.[48] This "lack of depth", however, was attributed to the fact that Stand Alone Complex is an action-oriented series with a limited episode length in which to explore deeper themes.[48]

Bolstering the generally positive reviews of the series, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex won an Excellence Prize (Animation Division) at the 2002 Japan Media Arts Festival,[51] a Notable Entry Award at the 2003 Tokyo International Anime Fair,[52] and was featured in June 2004 by Newtype USA, with a "double scoop" cover story.[53] The Japan Media Arts Festival provided a brief summary of Stand Alone Complex, calling it a "completely original television series...entertaining and easy to understand".[51]

Chris Beveridge of Mania gave 2nd GIG an overall score of A praising its coloring stating, "Colors are gorgeous and solid, especially all the various areas of large soft colors that look to be amazingly solid and with no visible break-up even during pausing."[54] Mark Thomas of Mania also gave it an overall score of A stating,"It has plenty of good action and thought provoking plot points."[55] Andy Patricio of IGN rated the first DVD volume 9/10 praised the animation stating,"Artwork is richer; this is easily the best-looking anime Production I.G. has ever produced. CG is richer and more widely-used. Animation is more complex and fluid, although it's still a little jerky, which is common in TV shows."[56] Joe Luscik of Animefringe ranked the series 4.5 out of 5 praising the animation stating it "is just awesome".[57] Adam Arseneau of DVD Verdict praised the direction of the 2nd season compared to the first stating, "The tongue-in-cheek humor that made the show clever and endearing is still present, but the atmosphere feels more violent, more urban and dystopic, as if no longer afraid to address the social problems of the future."[58]



Further reading

  • Template:Query web archive

External links

  • official website (Japanese)
  • official English website
  • website
  • Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
  • Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
  • Internet Movie Database

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