Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Box Set - 1st Gig (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Paul Jacques
Review Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Release Date: Monday, November 14, 2005



What They Say
Based on the manga by Masamune Shirow and directed by Kenji Kamiyama, 'Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex' takes viewers to futuristic society where technology has saturated citizens' daily lives. Along with the new technology comes new types of crime that exploits it, but female cyborg Major Motoko Kusanagi and her team of police, Section 9, devote their lives to chasing criminals, both on land and in cyberspace. In these episodes, the team must figure out the secret behind a spate of android suicides, stop a far-reaching hacker conspiracy, solve a hostage situation, and much more!

The Review!
This is a review of the box set, rather than the Ghost in the Shell Stand alone Complex story. If you require more information about the story, then look no further than our own Dani Moure, with his comprehensive R2 review of the series.

The same, but different: What we have are 7x individual DVDs, each in it’s own very thin slip case, contained within a stout cardboard box. In all, I would estimate the thickness of the boxset case to be roughly 3.5x standard case covers wide. As such it will certainly free up some space on the shelf.

The box set cover has an impassive Motoko Kusanagi\ Tachikoma (blue) graphic, which continues over and onto the spine. The rear of box holds the synopsis, credits and 6x stills from the episodes.

Each of the 7x individual (transparent) slip cases has it’s own unique graphics printed on a reversible cover. These graphics are a mix of new, as well as the original (single) volume releases graphics, with some effort made to put an interesting montage on all the reversible covers.

Unlike the original release, only one disc is supplied per volume, and as such we ONLY get the choices from the Dolby audio tracks- no DTS options (something had to go). Of course you still get the same episodes, menus and extras as supplied in the original release.

The individual discs are printed with the same graphic as the original (single) volume disc#2 graphic (albeit tweaked slightly). So we have the DTS disc#2 graphic, but with the Dolby disc#1 content. And despite what the box might say, this is a Dolby only sound track presentation.

Now, for the bad news- because the audio tracks are the Dolby selection, we get the original of those as well, minor warts and all. So anyone thinking this is the fixed audio\ subtitle version is going to be disappointed.

So, what new material do we get? Well, it’s the 10x page booklet written by Jonathan Clements. I urge you to take a few minutes out of your life to read JC’s comments on Masume Shirow’s work history, and the GITS SAC series- you’ll learn at least one new thing!

In Summary:
If you haven’t bought the series yet, then this is the no-brainer, slam-dunk, you’d-have-to-be-a-retard-not-to, must-have, perfect (anime) Christmas gift. At it’s full RRP it’s a bargain, at the current street price it’s indecently cheap, akin to stealing- go treat yourself. If you already own the individual volumes…… I’d hate to be in your shoes come shopping time!

Features
English Language DD 5.1 & 2.0,Japanese Language DD 5.1 2.0,English Subtitles,Jonathan Clements authored booklet,Extras

Review Equipment
JVC 28" Pure Flat Wide Screen TV, Pioneer 454 Progressive Scan code free DVD player, Logitech Z-680 THX DD/DTS receiver & Speakers. Secondary equipment, 19” Samsung 930BF LCD, ATI X700 & PowerDVD v4, Creative Audigy 2 & headphones and a duck.



Mania Grade: NA
Audio Rating: N/A
Video Rating: N/A
Packaging Rating: A
Menus Rating: N/A
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 15 & Up
Region: 2 - Europe
Released By: Manga UK
MSRP: £39.99
Running time: 650
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex