back to article Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society on Blu-ray

First released in its native Japan in 2006, GITS:SAC:Solid State Society (to contract its convoluted full title) was not created for cinemas but as a feature-length original video animation (OVA) destined for TV broadcast and DVD sales. Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society GITS:SAC:Solid State …


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  1. jai


    utterly loved Stand Alone Complex, utter genius! this has reminded me I need to watch it all again.

    is there no iTunes or similar digital only release for this? that's a shame, as i'd be interested in buying that. Not so sure i'd buy the blu-ray for this, but will definitely watch it one way or another

  2. adam payne

    Solid State Society is an awesome film. Not sure if I want to buy this knowing that there aren't any new features though, a shame really.

  3. MJI Silver badge

    I am puzzled

    Do I have it or not?

    I have GITS GITS sequel, SAC and SAC second gig.

    Is there a full listing with details so I can see if I need this?

    1. James Le Cuirot

      Re: I am puzzled

      Probably not. This film came after all of those.

      I absolutely loved SAC but somehow, I preferred the original film to this one. It's been a while though, maybe I need to give it another try. Not on Blu-ray though, I'm still a DVD luddite. =P

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: I am puzzled

        Bluray has a couple of advantages, one is I don't have to power off the PS3 to get audio from my DVD player.

        Yes receiver DVD coax = DVD, receiver DVD Optical = PS3 - socket shortage

    2. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

      Re: I am puzzled

      In case you hadn't already worked it out from the other comments here, Solid State Society is essentially a feature-length episode of SAC but set a year or so after SAC 2nd Gig ended. SSS was released straight to DVD as an OVA movie. It doesn't relate to the two cinema films.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Forgot about the music!

    I agree that the movie was a bit slow pased but in my opinion it wasn't bothersome. In fact; in my experience this really worked well to build up to the climax: the hospital raid.

    And this is what I'm missing out on in the review; the OST. The stuff by Origa is (in my opinion of course) totally awesome. /AND/ was very well laid out in this one.

    Meaning; during the raid the well known (amongst fans) 'Run Rabbit Jack' music ran, high speed, high tension and works very well for action. Heck; in a way the whole thing even went 'in sync'. And the longer this continued the more did you begin to realize that this wasn't providing enough time. Were they going to repeat 'Rabbit jack', were they going to put in another action (Surf, Velveteen, etc.) ?

    And then suddenly; silence (even though it was for a short moment) and the action also paused for a quick moment. The next thing 'Replica' starts beautifully, and before you can wonder "wtf is THIS?!" a Tachikoma screams "security-cyborgu desu!" and the action continues, this time under a totally different music score.

    I can still recall myself just staring and listening in awe....

    But I wouldn't get the blu-ray. The dvd has enough detail for me as it is; like the awesome scene in the beginning when you can actually /see/ all the rain specks.

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: Forgot about the music!

      A soundtrack set is available from Japan. It costs ££££.

      It's totally worth it. There is probably no other composer on earth so completely fluent is so many different styles and who makes music that's clever, accessible, emotional, and just plain jaw-droppingly good.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Forgot about the music!

        No need for that; back then I got myself the special edition steelbook DVD release. 2 DVD's (movie & extras) and a CD with the soundtrack.

        It was a bit costly but oh so worth it. "First gen" special editions are awesome. I collected the GiTS:SAC first season all in special edition releases as well. Got me tshirts, OST's and a very cool metal collection box. 2nd season was much less exciting (IMO) so I simply stuck with the normal release box (which I think is very annoying because the dvd's are cramped in there in small plastic packages).

        Same applies to this one ;-)

    2. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

      Re: Forgot about the music!

      Thanks for writing that! I wanted to talk about the soundtrack but had to cut my review to fit! Yoko Kanno is among my favourite composers too. Not all of it is accessible but it is always surprising. I think it was Macross Plus that sold me on her music.

      1. Greg J Preece

        Re: Forgot about the music!

        Don't forget Cowboy Bebop!

  5. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    I found this film a bit disappointing, though ultimatly enjoyable.

    The problem is that you can't really understand the entire story line unless you watch it multiple times, and spot the various 'bodies' that the Major may be using throughout the film. And when you have worked this out, you have the final enigma of whether the superficial conclusion is actually what is meant (this is probably intentional, but ultimatly leaves you with the feeling of a lack of closure).

    In many ways, the story expands on the question raised in the original 1995 film about identity and self, and as such is quite thought provoking. This is the basic theme behind the whole story ARC, and is also explored by the ultimately trajic Tachikoma story (in SAC) as well.

    BTW. On the timeline business, SAC 1st and 2nd Gig must be set before the original film, bearing in mind what happens at the end of that film. Innocence follows the first film after a gap of many months, and SSS is over a year later than the original film. So it is axiomatic that Togusa is in GITS (and he is).

    I don't really believe that the stories in the original film and SAC and SSS are incompatible with each other. I would definiltly suggest that you need to be familier with some of the other (or even all) of the films and series before embarking on this one.

    The various GITS soundtracks are permanently loaded in my 'phone, and are probably listened to more than anything else in there. Brilliant writing, and the choice and quality of the artists is superb. Yoko Kanno (primary music for everything apart from the original film) needs more exposure outside of Japan and the Anime scene.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: I found this film a bit disappointing, though ultimatly enjoyable.

      I do so wish you could edit posts. Trajic?? Tragic, as is my spelling!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "On the timeline business, SAC 1st and 2nd Gig must be set before the original film"

      Well, officially the two stories play out in totally different time lines, which I think makes much sense due to the somewhat different approaches here and there. I mean; when looking at personality I think there is quite a difference between the Major as set out in SAC or the original movies, one which I would indeed deem incompatible.

      In the movie the human side is more explored whereas within SAC (and that movie) the focus is more based on the technological aspects and the flaws which that can bring us.

      I think SAC is best enjoyed as the name suggests: 'stand alone' :-)

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: @Peter

        Whilst I agree with you about the personality differences between The Major in the original film, and the entirety of the rest of the franchise, my personal feeling is that they should not be regarded as different timelines. The difference could be down as much to the different English voice actresses and animators as anything else. I wish I could understand Japanese so that I could judge whether this is the case in the original soundtracks.

        I have heard other people talk about this, but I can see nothing in the ARC of SAC that would conflict with the original film happening later in the same timeline, and it is quite clear that what happens in the original film is necessary for the two following films, inclusing SSS, which most people think is in the SAC line. I don't want to go into details, because some people here may not have watched them, and I would not wish to colour their experience (except to say you must watch them, especially if you think animation is just for kids - careful of the 1st Gig episode "Jungle Cruise" though)

        And I believe that if you watch the retelling of "The Laughing Man", and "The Individual Eleven", there has been some re-working of the SAC animation (new/different scenes) and some re-voicing of the characters (I was quite shocked at the differences in the bits I have seen). Both I and my daughter think that these later re-packages are significantly worse than the original. These again change the feel of the series.

        One thing I always find strange, and that is the way anime series are often re-cut to create a film, but the re-cutting, or re-imagination whatever you want to call it, results in a completely different telling of what looks like the same story. This started a long time ago, and the earliest I remember noticing it was Macross the series, and "Macross - Do You Remember Love". Wherever I can, I try to watch the original series in preference to the films, but that is entirely dependent on what is dubbed into English. This is why I sometimes resort to fansubs on P2P sites, as I don't speak Japanese (did I say that already?)

  6. Greg J Preece

    "Although it’s not quite like that notorious episode of the GITS:SAC TV series in which virtually the entire 30 minutes comprises internet nerds arguing around a table,"

    I loved that episode!

    Anyway, is SAC itself coming to BD at some point? I bought the special edition DVDs from the US ages back (the ones with the OSTs and t-shirts) and they're fantastic. Would love to see a BD re-release.

  7. Dick Emery
    Thumb Up


    Loved the two seasons and the movies. Very cerebral at times. Clever, witty and action packed when it's needed. I particularly loe the soundtracks. In my eyes Yoko Kanno and do not wrong. Sure she plagiarizes occassionally but it's hard to be totally original ALL of the time. Her work with various little known artists are amazing. I also love her forays into jazz. I think she also sings but under a pseudonym

    So much talent in one little lady. It's simply mindblowing.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: DAT OST

      Yoko Kanno, aka Gabriela Robin. Sometimes, music is credited to Yoko, and words to Gabriela. An elaborate ruse.

      BTW, you can see her in videos performing with The Seatbelts and also in some of the Macross Frontier concerts on YouTube. She is generally seen behind a keyboard.

      Other Anime she had written music for includes Cowboy Bebop, Macross Plus, A Vision of Escaflowne and Wolf's Rain (and more - these are what just comes to mind). Some of the best regarded Anime series, and a wide variety of music from full orchestral film scores to jazz, rock, techno, something akin to new-age and j-pop.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: DAT OST

        Heh saw her live at the Macross Frontier concert in Budokan (along with the rest of the Macross Frontier gang) t'was an epic night.

      2. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

        Re: DAT OST

        Legend has it that Yoko Kanno was the basis for the character Ed in Cowboy Bebop, specifically in the way she talks.

    2. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: DAT OST

      While we're all gushing for Yoko Kanno, don't forget Yuki Kajiura (Noir, .hack//{etc}, Kara no Kyoukai, fiction junction stuff...).

      I think the most epic soundtrack imaginable would be a Yuki/Yoko combination. With vocals by Origa and Kokia.

    3. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Re: DAT OST

      The soundtrack to 'Innocence' is incredible - as are the visuals such as the shoot-out in the convenience store and that amazing parade.

      Not sure I entirely understand it, but sometimes you just have to go with the pretty.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This was an awesome TV series and films; I was obsessed by the TV series theme tune

    It may be on P2P.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Good ... but.

    I have just about every disc based (and book based) version of the GITS output, plus quite a large and valuable collection of merchandise. I've had the USA copy of this Blu-Ray for months (as an import, I'm in the UK) so it's entertaining to see the UK catching up.

    Here's my opinion. GITS in all its incarnations is a classic and streets ahead of most other anime. I like Solid State Society, although it's really just an extended and average episdode of SAC, worth seeing though. Some old friends reappear.

    However, what I am becoming increasingly furiously annoyed about is this: Japan has had Blu-Ray releases of SAC-1 and SAC-2 for a couple of years. SAC-2 was broadcast in Japan in HD so is entirely legitimate on Blu-Ray by the way BUT there are no SAC Blu-Ray releases in the US or UK. The only offerings are the stupid beyond belief cut down versions of 'The Laughing Man' stories and 'The Individual 11' which are SAC-1 and SAC-2 butchered on 2 discs with poor dubbing and not worth the price. Because few people want the latter 2 discs they didn't sell well in the US and therefore (I'm guessing) it was presumed the appetite for SAC on Blu-Ray was limited and the full series weren't released. In actual fact everyone has been WAITING for the full series and would buy them in great quantities. GITS-SAC is one of the GREAT anime series and yet hasn't got a Blu-Ray release in the west. 'Strike-Witches' has ... Go figure. The Japanese Blu-Rays were £300 per series by the way, so £600 for SAC1 & SAC2, plus import charges. They're now not available even at that ludicrous and greedy price.

    1. Ramazan

      Re: £600 for SAC1 & SAC2, plus import charges

      Well, for that money you could get several Japanese girls making you a BJ

  10. BOYD1981

    "It’s a cyberpunk military police thriller set in a futuristic Japan..."

    This is going to seem really anal BUT the first GITS movie is actually set in Hong Kong.

    1. Brian Miller

      Movies in Hong Kong, manga & TV series in Japan

      They changed the setting when they decided to do the movies. I forget the reasoning why they moved Section 9 from Japan to HK. I doubt that a Chinese version of Section 9 would look anything like a Japanese version. Ah, well.

      You want nit picky? The first cyber implant "was" in 2016, GITS is set in 2030, and Kusanagi underwent a full body prosthetic at 6yrs old. So just how old is Kusanagi?? How long would medical technology have taken to move from a simple cyber implant to an experimental full body prosthetic for a small child? And then to top it off, she was full cyborg, and an experienced adult, during pre-Section 9 in Central and South America combat.

      Time line? What time line? We don't need no stinkin' time line!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never got around to watching Solid-State-Society.

    Utterly loved all the rest of the GITS stuff though, including the stunning musical backdrop to the weird and wonderful scenes.

    For those that find it impenetrable, well I always enjoyed it with a jazz-cigarette. It doesn't help, but you don't mind so much.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Never got around to watching Solid-State-Society.

      > For those that find it impenetrable, well I always enjoyed it with a jazz-cigarette. It doesn't help, but you don't mind so much.

      For that sort of thing I recommend Excel Saga, FLCL and possibly Welcome to the NHK.

      1. Sigmund Fraud

        Re: Never got around to watching Solid-State-Society.

        FLCL is the bees knees..... One of the Best made anime ever....

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cheap, messy, inept cover

    Who on earth decided that cover was a good idea?

    The lettering is abysmal- looks like a reject from the 90s (cheap-and-synthetic early Photoshop doing Cyberpunk) mixed with general bad design.

    The rest of the cover isn't much better- inept lens flare overuse, picture looks messy rather than detailed, crappy "double play" banner.

    I've only ever seen the first Ghost in the Shell film (and it didn't excite me that much), but as far as this release goes, I suspect anyone will be buying it in spite of- not because of- the crap packaging.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cheap, messy, inept cover

      I went through a phase of choosing what to watch based solely on the box covers too.

      Then I turned ten.

  13. janzini
    Thumb Up


    I am a huge fan of ghost in the shell. The motion of the animation is sick. Coming out as blue ray sounds like a great plan, but I really can’t distinguish blue ray display. I will def check it out on the LG LM660T. The 2d hd display will be a perfect fit.

  14. pSy

    Nissan plagiarize?

    Couldn't help noticing the concepts specially designed by Nissan bear a striking resemblance to a Ferrari F430 (on the left) and a Ford GT.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Manga - kiddy porn for nerds.

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