I just finished watching the second season of Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Anyone here seen it? (spoilers if you haven’t!) Not entirely satisfied with that ending. All the Kuze/Major stuff felt a bit wasted to me, like there was no payoff maybe? The idea of uploading all the refugees to the net was interesting and mysterious and an unknown, and an inevitable question raised by the technology featured on the show. It was the Major taking an action that’s radically different to anything she’s done before, and it was something that would have irreversibly changed that world, which is what you want to happen on a season finale.
Instead, the problem is solved by the Tachikomas sacrificing their lives in what is supposed to be another “Wow! I think those machines have ghosts!” moment for the show. Except we already knew they were capable of self sacrifice, because they “died” to save Batou in the finale of the first season, so this was nothing particularly new.
So how does the the show leave things? Section 9 gets new Tachikomas. Batou and the Major still haven’t actually expressed any feelings for each other. Kuze dies and nothing he did amounts to anything (and he never learns the Major was the girl from the hospital? That was unclear to me). Finally, the refugee situation is, in the show’s own words, “back to square one”, back to the way things were in the first episode, with nothing progressed or solved. What the hell, show? Maybe it’s unreasonable of me to have expected the writers to nuke all their lead characters, but that ending just left me cold. Maybe that was the point, I don’t know.
Other random thoughts include: I liked that there were more stand alone (yep) episodes in the first season. It gave more chances to put the characters in different contexts and explore different ideas. The first season has a problem with too many indistinguishable suit-wearing politicians. Batou’s TV show haircut is cooler than his 1995 movie haircut. Wtf was that scene in s02e17 where the Major offers to have sex with a 15-year old kid while topless with him in bed? Like, what? Mostly though there was a lot less awful fan-service in season 2, which is nice. The episode with Batou in Berlin was most certainly inspired by the movie Wings of Desire and that made me really excited, it’s one of my favorite movies.
Ok that’s all I have to say about that. Going to check out the live action movie next. Hopes aren’t particularly high.