Hello all, and welcome back to my review of the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Episode 5 is different from the previous episodes, but I did find out some cool things while watching it. I am not saying I didn’t enjoy it, but it’s obviously setting up a lot for future episodes, and I can accept that. However, I’m not sure if that makes for a decent review; let’s find out.
Aramaki attends a meeting with the Cabinet Minister about section 9’s future involvement in the Laughing Man case. There is growing hostility towards the Police Department after the interceptor device was revealed to the public. Luckily, the Minister already has a suspect, Ei Nanao, a former employee of Serano Genomics with an anti-corporate past. Section 9 are ordered to find out everything they can about the suspect and run surveillance on him. Aramaki has a feeling that is all is not right with this suspect and believes that the Police Department is using him as a decoy! Given that a threat to kill the Superintendent General is less than 36 hours away, Aramaki needs to find out why?
Togusa and Batou are assigned to run surveillance on Nanao’s apartment. Batou is frustrated with his duties, as the suspect sits around and sends emails all day. The Major visits her old friend, Kurutan, to use her external memory device to learn more about the Laughing Man case because the police files are a little dry. The Section 9 team slowly begin to build a picture of the suspect and some of his frustrations at Serano Genomics. It turns out they used the anti-establishment bullshit to fire him and take away his creation, the interceptor device. The Major asks Aramaki if she can be assigned to protect the General, given that her ghost is trying to tell her something.
Ishikawa discovers that the complementary views that people have spoken about Nanao have been implanted into their cybernetic brains! Aramaki orders Batou and Togusa to arrest the suspect, as they finally have all the answers they need to end this case. However, when the pair arrive at Nanao’s apartment, all they find is a sex doll, which contains an interceptor. Nanao is in another location and presses enter on his laptop. What looks like a virus can be seen on the screen as the numbers upload, Batou attempts to log and find the source, and the episode ends.
I have more questions than answers after watching this episode, which is fine by me. I have no idea what’s coming next, and I’m curious to see where it goes? Given the fact, I have to research the storyline for this review only adds to my excitement. There is a lot of exposition going on, so I understand it isn’t going to be as creative as some of the episodes I have watched previously. Still, it has given me a chance to look at a character’s background that I have avoided up to now.
Ishikawa is the information warfare and technology specialist for Section 9 and previously served with Batou and the Major in South America with Ground Self-Defensive Forces for the Japanese UN Contingent. I am still curious about his smoking and drinking problem and hope to learn more about him in the future. I’m not sure of the name of the machine he uses to log into the net, but it reminds me of the engineers from the Alien franchise.
However, it was learning about his Pachinko Parlour that put a smile on my face. I started this site to learn about a world I never knew existed. I’m a fan of pinball machines, but these real-life parlours are on another level entirely. It looks amazing, and is something I would like to try in the future, hopefully.
I have no idea where the story will go next? I do think Nanao is just a decoy, but I do think Section 9 will find themselves under more surveillance than the actual suspect they are hunting. My favourite part of the episode is when Motoko visits Kurutan and watches the video feed. Amazingly, the Laughing Man managed to hide his identity by hacking the cyber-brains of those around him and certainly gives the episode some WOW factor. Another impressive but creepy scene comes as a shop owner is interviewed by Section 9 officers. You can hear porn play on his computer, and you can see the reflection in his glasses, bizarre! I’m also wondering how a nurse at the local hospital can afford such a luxurious apartment?
Ghost in the Shell Anthology.