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Anime and animation fans - Read this!

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by PoochJD, Oct 1, 2004.

  1. PoochJD

    PoochJD
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    Hi,

    Anyone who enjoys anime or good quality animation overall, should check out the latest Manga DVD UK release. "Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Volume 1" is the first of a 6 or 7 volume release, with each volume containing 2 discs.

    Basically, disc 1 in each volume will contain the English DD 2.0, English DD5.1, Japanese 2.0 and Japanese 5.1 versions of each of the shows four episodes, plus the extras. The second disc, in each volume, will contain the English DTS and Japanese DTS versions of the same 4 episodes! Why Manga did this, is anyone's guess!

    However, regardless, let me just say that the DTS versions are superlative! They're all in anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1 ratio), with crystal clear prints. The animation is very good, with a good mix of CGI and standard 2D stuff. The audio sounds awesome, and the show will certainly give most people's sound systems a good work out. (Maybe not the best workout, but a good one, nonetheless!)

    The show itself, lasts for 26 episodes, and follows on - a few years later - from the original "Ghost In The Shell" movie, but is a prequel to "Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence", the new anime movie, that is out in Japan in about two months time! You need to have seen the original movie, as the show (which was originally made for Japanese prime-time TV transmission) goes straight in at the deep end, and expects you to know who most of the characters are, and their relationships. As such, newcomers to the show, will not find it easy going, as prior knowledge is assumed by the show's creators!

    The story follows various action adventure themes, and some episodes have multi-strand storylines that go through more than one episode, so think of this as more like "Babylon 5" than "Star Trek", for instance. Some episodes are pure all-out action adventure stories, whilst others are much lighter in tone, with plenty of well-timed humour. There's not as much violence or bad language as the original 1995 movie, but the show does deal with mature stories and themes. As such, despite the 12 certificate, many of the shows political issues, and subtects, may go over the head of youngsters. And one or two of the short violent scenes may cause emotional distress. This is animation for adults, just like "The West Wing" deals with politics, in a no-nonsence way!

    The opening theme song, by Russian artist "Origa" is simply astounding! It's lyrical, it's memorable, and it's truly haunting! At around 90 seconds, it sets the scene wonderfully, especially when combined with the fully CGI'd opening-credits scene. (Each episode on the DVD, alternates between an English-subtitled version of the lyrics, and the original Japanese, Russian and English language combo!) And for those who want it, the official "Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Compex" CD Soundtrack, is out later this month, for about £10-99 from any half-decent music website/high-street music store.

    The extras, are minimal: a couple of interviews with the cast and crew, of around 10 minutes each, and a 10-question quiz, which is actually genuinely challenging. (You must watch all 4 episodes first, otherwise you'll end-up failing miserably, just like I did!) Alas, the questions are written in a futuristic, white text, on a very light background, and it's very tough to read what the questions actually say. This is a real disappointment, and I hope that Manga rectify this, in the future.

    Also, the subtitling goes very quickly, and is very detailed, so you may end up using your pause button a fair amount. The English-dub is surprisingly good, but the original Japanese just sounds more realistic.

    All-in-all, a very highly recommended title, and I'm glad that we're getting a decent release of this brilliant series!

    Just one final treat: stay-tuned right through the end-credits of each episode, as a hidden gem awaits you! Trust me, the gem in question is hilarious, and almost worth the disc's price alone! (Watch it in Japanese, with English subtitles though, for best results!) If you know what the gem is, please don't spoil it for others, as it's simply too nice a treat in my opinion to ruin!

    Volume 1 is out now, and is definitely one of Manga's better releases. For more info, check out this website. However, only read it after you've watched the show, as it DOES contain LOTS OF SPOILERS!

    Enjoy!


    Pooch
     
  2. 7 of 9

    7 of 9
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    oh good it sounds good i the movie and absaloutly love it and i am defantly glad this is good as i was defantly going to buy the series
     
  3. FiggyD

    FiggyD
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    Thanks for all the info mate. Where did you get it from and for how much?
     
  4. PoochJD

    PoochJD
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    Figgy,

    I bought Volume 1 from my local MVC for £19-99, though on the Net it can probably be obtained much cheaper than that. As for the info, that was taken either off the back of the DVD cover, or else from me watching the episodes themselves. :)

    Pooch
     
  5. captaineyecatch

    captaineyecatch
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    Been out for a couple of months in the USA on dvd Superb Series - saw a few of them last year on Fan sub and loved them - The Dvd releases are superb apart from the odd glitch. The USA releases also available as limited editions with soundtrack Cd's / T shirts etc.
     
  6. PoochJD

    PoochJD
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    Hi Again,

    Captain EyeCatch is correct. However, the USA releases DO NOT include any DTS soundtracks!!!!! :laugh: Although the standard disc releases are only about £13-99 each, I'd much rather have the DTS soundtrack, and have all the episodes in anamorphic widescreen too. (Disc 1, in the USA, only has a 4:3 print, whilst all future releases will have anamorphic widescreen prints! Bit of a cock-up there, I think!)

    Oh, and the US Limited Editions aren't really that great, for their price, unless you absolutely have to have a GITS T-Shirt, CD or whatever else.

    I'll stick to the R2 versions, for this series.


    Pooch
     
  7. captaineyecatch

    captaineyecatch
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    Err no the USA releases do include DTS - The standard single disc is DD 5.1 and with 16x9 enhanced picture(widescreen). The Limited Editions include 2 dvds one DD 5.1 and one with DTS 5.1 plus a soundtrack CD Both dvds are widescreen 16x69 enhanced.
    I'm not a DTS whore :D like some people so just went for the Single disc DD 5.1 release. Picture (in Widescreen) and sound are superb with great well translated Eng Subs. The Single dvd editions are around £10 and the Limited editions are around £20.
     
  8. G Canavan

    G Canavan
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    Does anyone know when we can get our hands on Steam boy?
     
  9. Makaveli

    Makaveli
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    Stand Alone Complex is my favourite anime series.
    It's fantastic. It's far better than the film, which was somewhat lacking imo.
    The Laughing Man episodes are superb, and from episodes 20 - 26 it's rather exciting.
    I'm guessing the bits after the credits on the dvd are the Tachikoma Specials?

    Also, SAC 2nd GIG finished a while ago in Japan. I've seen 14 of the 26 epsiodes of that and it's great too. If you feel after watching SAC that some of the characters are a little thin, with 2nd GIG they've fleshed them out a bit. Episode 14 in particular is a great look into the past.
     
  10. captaineyecatch

    captaineyecatch
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    Seems the UK dvd of Vol 1 has some bad faults... Details from thedvdforums..........
     

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