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Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd Gig — Individual Eleven Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: Japanese Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
  • Subtitles: English (Full Dialogue), (Text Only)
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Manga Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: June 21, 2011
  • List Price: $34.98

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BestBuy.com:
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig - Individual Eleven [Anime OVA] -

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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd Gig – Individual Eleven is an OVA based on the second Ghost in the Shell series. Like The Laughing Man, which compressed the first series into one OVA, Individual Eleven compresses the second series into one OVA, this time making even stronger edits that rework the storyline to focus on Major Kusanagi and the mysterious character Kuze.

The story takes place in 2030, six months after the Laughing Man incident. There is a rising unease about the large number of invited-refugees living in Japan. These are refugees from other parts of Asia who were invited into the country after the devastating Third and Fourth World Wars to help fill the country’s labour shortage. Now, with the nation in economic recovery and invited-refugees finding it more difficult to get work, there is a growing nationalist sentiment, which leads to terrorist activities against the invited-refugees. A group calling themselves the Individual Eleven carry out a suicide attack that garners the attention of Public Safety Section 9.

Still, something seems not quite right to Section 9; there’s something deeper behind these attacks and they want to know what. They find that a leader of Individual Eleven, Kuze, has suddenly become a hero of the refugees and is turning against the Japanese government. What’s more, agent Kusangai feels a strange connection to Kuze that she can’t quite place.

As far as the GitS OVAs go, Individual Eleven works much better as a stand-alone piece, in my opinion, than The Laughing Man, but none of these really work if you’ve seen the entire series from which they’ve been re-compiled.

With that being said, this is still solid, sci-fi mystery in the truest, most faithful Ghost in the Shell vein, with intrigue and philosophical looks at the impact of technology on our lives.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

As with the other releases of the S.A.C.s to Blu-ray, Individual Eleven comes with a 1080i/60 AVC/MPEG-4 encodement that doesn’t quite look as sharp and well defined as it could given the often veiled look of the series itself, the interlaced format, and some issues with motion judder. Other than those things, it is relatively clean, with little video noise that isn’t an intended part of the image.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mixes in Japanese or English are typically aggressive making use of the surrounds and hefty bass. Dialogue is clean and clear even during the most active scenes, but as with the other releases the high frequencies are a bit harsh and become a bit fatiguing. Dynamic range is extremely wide even as the overall level seems a bit pushed towards the louder side.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

There’s nothing much here outside of the obligatory Archive that sums up the 2nd Gig and this Individual Eleven OVA plus the brief Tachikomatic Days.

  • 2nd Gig Individual Eleven Archive (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:29.50)
  • Tachikomatic Days (1.85:1; 1080i/60; Dolby Digital 5.1; 0:03.51)
  • Trailers
  • BD Credits
  • English Feature End Credits

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Another strong outing closes out this recent crop of GitS S.A.C. releases from Manga Entertainment on Blu-ray with Individual Eleven, one of the stronger of the series’ OVAs. It may just be for the avid collector though.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B004VDL7ZO[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig - Individual Eleven [Anime OVA] -

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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