Synonyms: Koukaku Kidoutai S.A.C. 2nd GIG, Ghost In The Shell S.A.C. 2nd GIG
Japanese: 攻殻機動隊 S.A.C. 2nd GIG
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jan 1, 2004 to Jan 8, 2005
25 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.561 (scored by 38886 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
action cyberpunk mecha sci-fi
SynopsisIn a futuristic world where the internet and cybernetics has blurred the borders between societies, the members of Public Security Section 9 are reinstated to assist in solving numerous cases of cyber crime.
A spate of similar crimes committed by separate suicidal groups known as "The Individual Eleven" becomes the core focus for Section 9 as war approaches in the form of refugees flooding into the country.
Related AnimePrequel: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
Sequel: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Solid State Society
Summary: SSJMaster vs. Xinil - A story of epic battles! Season 2
Spin-off: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG - Tachikoma na Hibi
Characters & Voice Actors
"She's the only one that I can be certain is human. I see something in her, something I connect with. It's as if she's stubbornly trying to protect her humanity just like I am. Everything else pales before her spirit. Even if you obtain her body through the power of money, you could never possess her will, her beauty, or her truth."
NOTE: If you haven't watched 'Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex' , you will have to watch that anime before the 2nd GIG since I will review only the second season.
After watching the the mindblowing and amazing 'Ghost In The Shell' movies and the very intelligent TV-series 'Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex' , I was really looking forward to watch GITS: SAC 2nd GIG.
The first season of GITS SAC had really one of the most original plots and one of the best executed stories I've ever encountered in anime so far. But the problem with the sequels, is that they are rarely as good as their prequels. So I was kinda worried that the second season of GitS: SAC would be a disappointment rather than a good watch. I was truly afraid that what made the first season so original and compelling, would be missing in 2nd GIG. But after watching this anime, all my fears were removed and I was surprised that Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG had even improved compared to the first season.
Just like I said before, GITS: SAC had such an amazing and very well executed plot. But even still, I prefer 2nd GIG over the first season. The story of 2nd GIG sets of a couple of months after the events of the first season. This time, the plot is more focused on political movements.
A suicidal criminal group, known as the 'Individual Eleven', becomes the core focus for Section 9 while the country is in a 'war' with the refugees which are flooding into the country. There were also plenty of twists in the plot, which made you keep guessing of what is coming into the next episodes. But be prepared, GITS SAC 2nd GIG is really a very intelligent anime so you'll have to pay a lot attetion to the explanation dialogues, or else you won't understand anything of it. I've already encountered several people who dropped Stand Alone Complex after 10 minutes, because the found it 'boring'. Also, the story telling is very complex and brilliantly executed, and the pacing was also very well done. The pacing was more steady than in the prequel. The mixture of action, science fiction, mystery and a touch of psychological was perfectly done in my eyes, and caused a very entertaining anime.
The art/animation is where the whole Ghost in the Shell franchise truly shines in all of anime. When watching the first season of GitS: SAC and Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, I couldn't believe my eyes. For its age, the animation was extremely well done and of very high quality. But, compared to the first season, the animation quality in 2nd GIG had even improved. The background art contained a lot of detail, a great usage of colors and was very rich. The animation moved very fluid and it fits the mood of the anime too.
But I had some problems with the character designs. If they kept the character designs just a little more realistic, the animation would be perfect. They should have put a little more effort in the character designs. For example, sometimes Motoko Kusanagi had really oversized eyes and that doesn't suit the anime, since GitS tries to be really serious. Very realistic animation suits the anime more like the animation style of the Ghost in the Shell movies. But after all, the character designs did a great job portraying the personalities of the characters and their emotions as well. Overall the visuals in GitS: SAC 2nd GIG are excellent and rich of colors, and the animation moved very fluid.
The second thing where Ghost in the Shell truly shines in all of anime, is the sound. Especially when it comes to the music. The OP and ED from both the first season of GITS: SAC and 2nd GIG, are fantastic. The opening song of Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex 'Inner Universe', (which is sung by Origa in 3 different languages!) is an incredible OP with such beautiful vocals. The OP from 2nd GIG, 'Rise' (Which is also sung by Origa in multiple languages) is also a really a splendid opening song, with excellent vocals. I don't know which of the two I actually prefer. The background music is also amazing. Definitely memorable and they suit the anime perfectly.
Voice acting is also extremely well executed. The voices from most of the characters fit them really well. The voice actors did an amazing job portraying the personalities of the characters themselves. So overall, the sound it GitS: SAC 2nd GIG couldn't have been done any better. In other words, perfect.
A strong point of GITS: SAC, are the characters. And I'll be mostly talking about the members of Section 9. Since the first season didn't provide much character development, the story itself could be developed very good. I think GitS: SAC is one of those animes that shouldn't provide much character development because that could be at the expense from the plot. But that wasn't the thing with 2nd GIG. The second season of Stand Alone Complex managed to provide great character development, and amazing story telling at the same time. Also the side characters got more attention and managed to get some more development. You could also find out about the past about several characters, which was really interesting. Overall the 2nd season did a great job providing better character development. Each and every character has their very own personality and interesting past.
I'm in love with the whole Ghost In The Shell franchise and I really did enjoy watching all of them, especially GITS: SAC 2nd GIG. The main reason I prefer 2nd GIG over the first season, is because of the actual plot, which is more focused in political movements and the action. If you pay attention to the actual story, and you understand it, you will enjoy this superb series too. If you're more into Highschool shit, don't watch it. I would only recommend this to people who like to think to understand an anime. So if you dropped this anime, and found it nothing more than "boring shit" and "sleep aid", I would suggest to watch this once you are a grown up.
In my eyes, this anime is simply one of the best, if not the very best cyberpunk anime out there. The plot is simply one of the best in anime I've seen and is brilliantly well executed. Art and animation quality are astounding and beautiful and it suits the atmosphere of Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex perfectly. About, the soundtracks, perfect. Superb vocals and OST out of this world. Voice acting is very well done too. No complaints about the sound. A great cast of characters with very interesting pasts and personalities. The perfect mixture of action, sci-fi and mystery provided a very entertaining anime for intelligent people.
This anime is a very intelligent and complex series, and you'll have to pay a lot of attention to the political plot, or you'll probably won't understand anything of it. Also the first season of Stand Alone Complex has to be watched before 2nd GIG. So if you're really into some thinking, watch Stand Alone Complex now and I can guarantee you a fantastic watch which wouldn't be forgotten.
Feedback is higly appreciated. Especially from all of the 'not helpful' voters. read more
"Life without truth is not possible. Truth is perhaps Life itself" - Franz Kafka
One of the keys to creating a successful story is innovation, in particular, creating something that is both interesting and relevant, but approached from a different perspective. Of all the genres of the storytelling medium, science fiction is the only one that holds up a mirror to a possible future be it good or bad. It's for this reason that the genre is often lauded and derided, sometimes by the same person, as science fiction is predictory by nature, in other words, it posits how humans would behave in certain circumstances.
During the last twenty years there have been numerous sci-fi tales in one form or another, many of which came about because of the end of the millenium. Some of them were simply terrible, whilst some were only average. Of the good ones, only a few had a lasting influence on the stories that came after. One of those is Ghost in the Shell.
Following the phenomenal success of the original movie and the TV series Stand Alone Complex, director and chief writer Kamiyama Kenji, together with the staff of Production I.G., formulated the direction in which the story would progress. What they needed, according to Kamiyama, was a completely different direction to the first series, with new goals, a new focus, and a chance to explore the world of GitS. After discussions with Oshii Mamoru it was decided that, in light of the events of 9/11, the issue of war could no longer be avoided.
This decision ultimately paved the way for a sequel that is not only superior to the original, but one that is also far more relevant to modern society.
Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd Gig is set several months after the end of Stand Alone Complex. At this point in time Section 9 is training, however the changes to the Special Forces bill mean that they are still not a legal force, and their status is akin to that of a terrorist organistion. The chief, Aramaki Daisuke, is attempting to resolve this but, like any modern society, the paperwork needs to be in order (gotta love bureaucracy).
During this time, a new Prime Minister hascome to power, and she has promised to fix the problems caused by crippling taxes and the waves of Asian refugees who are coming to Japan because of the Fourth World War (or, the Second Vietnamese War).
One of the areas where 2nd Gig deviates from SAC is that the story is based far more on world events and history than before. SAC is essentially the platform from upon which this series stands, and it's advisable to watch that series first before watching this one as the viewer is then familiar with the characters and the work of Section 9. Unlike SAC, the focus in 2nd Gig isn't on the work of Section 9, but rather on the society itself. I mentioned in my review of the first series that the phenomenon of Cyber Brain Sclerosis was also a metaphor for the gradual deterioration of society, and while SAC alluded to this, here it is made all too clear.
2nd Gig is nothing if not brutal in a certain sense. The series has a more defined sense of plausibility than anything before, and also a sense of inevitability. The power plays, politics, machinations, plots and plans are as complex and devious as they were in SAC, however here they have more of an edge to them because of the parallels with real world events. There is a lot of action in 2nd Gig, however like SAC, the action is not the important part of the show. The focus is on political and social movement, so when the action happens it's usually the result of a series of circumstances or plans. Here, taking action is an effect for the most part, not a cause, and this is one of the key plot elements in the story as the "reactionary" mentality of society is tested by the Individual 11.
As with SAC, and any other GitS project for that matter, the pacing and flow of the story is excellent. Each aspect of the plot is very clearly covered, used and acted upon. Each element of the story is involved and well thought out, especially in relation to other elements. In this respect the series shares a few things with SAC's Laughing Man Arc, however this aspect is carried here for 26 episodes with almost no let up.
One interesting point to note is that the history given in 2nd Gig is the same as that given in the Appleseed Databook. This suggests that both stories take place at different times in Earth's history and, when one considers the technology used and applied in Appleseed, it gives the entire GitS story a slightly different perspective.
In terms of visuals, 2nd Gig is nothing short of excellent. The animation is ever so subtly better than SAC, especially the blending of 2d and 3d, with movements and actions flowing as freely as they did before, but without any of the clashes that occured from time to time. The colour scheme is extremely well suited, and reflects the grim reality of the story, while the level of detail in the back and foregounds pushes the bar even higher than it was before. The visual effects are also excellent, and way above those used in other sci-fi series.
In addition to this, the art direction is superb throughout the series, especially in the smaller moments before action is taken. In one episode the team from Section 9 is seen gearing up to respond to a hostage taking. The animation and detail in this one sequence in particular, highlights the level of detail and quality, as well as the sense of realism that Kamiyama was aiming for.
Sound is, once again, way above par. The effects are extremely well used and, whilst some people may be a little overwhelmed by some of the explosions, most will find them quite satisfying. One thing I do like about the effects in both series is that of the bullets fired from different guns, as they do sound different to the naked ear (because they are).
As I've already talked about the voice acting in my review of SAC, I'll skip that part as the acting in 2nd Gig is at least equal to the first series, and the main roles are essentially the same. I will, however, mention Koyama Rikiya (who plays Hideo Kuze), as he gives the character a kind of reserved charm that is very much in keeping with the story.
The music is, once again, composed by the one and only Kanno Yoko, and her style and flair is such that the series just wouldn't be the same without her compositions. The OP, "Rise" (sung by Origa once again), has actually split opinion as to which of the two is the better song - "Rise" or "Inner Universe" (personally I love them both). The ED, "Living Inside the Shell" (sung by Steve Conte), is also a great track, but I have to admit that I prefer "Lithium Flowers" from SAC.
One thing to note about the OP and ED for 2nd Gig is that it actually has three of each. The original broadcast featured the two tracks mentioned above, however the second, terrestrial, broadcast featured two different tracks. The second OP, "Christmas in the Silent Forest" (sung by Illiara Graziano), is a more haunting track than the martial "Rise", and has a very Bjork-esque quality about it. The ED, "Snyper" (sung by Iliara Graziano and Steve Conte), has much the same feel as the OP.
The third OP and ED, "Torukia" (sung by Gabriella Robin), and "I Do" (sung by Iliara Graziano), only appear in the final episode.
As far as the characters go (and it's pretty damn far to be honest), they are simply astonishing. Because of the groundwork laid by the movie and SAC, the each member of Section 9 is an almost complete persona from the start of the show. Now, hardcore fans of character development probably won't like what I'm about to say next, but the truth is the truth. Sometimes character development gets in the way of the story proper, something which we have all seen happen in other anime. The fact that almost every character is not only an adult, but also an almost fully realised characterisation, means that there is nothing to hold back the story. Granted there are times when the characters come into sharp focus, but the series deals with these times with aplomb, grace, and sometimes violence.
I have seen, on occasion, people remark that the episodes that focus on a particular character are often slow and boring. I disagree with this view as, in any story, there are occasions when a character becomes more "audience friendly" and accessible. These "slow" episodes also help modify the pace of the story as a whole, and invite new routes down which it could progress.
I will freely admit that I actually prefer 2nd Gig to SAC. This isn't because I found SAC inferior though, it's simply because I related more to the events, action, social and politcal movements and impact, and overall sense of realism in the second series. Where SAC focused on both society and individuality, this also did the same, but from a slightly different angle. One of the things that I have been impressed by in both series is how, in the main story arcs, the "bad guy" isn't quite as evil and bloodthisrty as we initially believe him to be, something which calls the definition of "evil" into question.
This is, like every other part of the GitS franchise, a superb anime. The blend of action, drama (both political and otherwise), intrigue and mystery is on a completely different level to most other anime.
As with SAC, 2nd Gig continues to be an intelligent series for intelligent people. In addition to that it is also a scathing criticism of how wealthy nations have coped with the global refugee crisis, as well as a visionof how bad things can get if society is not more aware of it's own failings.
Both are from Production I.G and have the similar futuristic police thriller theme to it. In Psycho-Pass the police's special team that are comprised of Enforcers who are latent criminals who are specialized to hunt down other latent criminals. In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: 2nd Gig this special unit works for the organization called Public Security Section 9; a division that exist under the Ministry of Home Affairs. The unit is a group who specializes in fighting technology-related crimes like cyberterrorism.
Both have a cyberpunk setting.
Both revolve around a police department in a cyberpunk world, and deal heavily with political themes.
Opening Theme#1: "Rise" by Origa
#2: "Christmas in the Silent Forest" by Ilaria Graziano (Japanese Terrestrial Broadcast)
Ending Theme#1: "Living Inside the Shell" by Steve Conte
#2: "Christmas in the Silent Forest" by Ilaria Graziano (ep 26)
#3: "Snyper" by Ilaria Graziano (Japanese Terrestrial Broadcast)
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