Single Status Update
Since I'm on my weekend atm from the new job (after 6 days of hell, fuck this essential business shit people be crazy) I decided to watch the new Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 that was put up on Netflix last Thursday. Note that this is only half of what we're supposed to get so my opinions are only reflective of that and they may change come the release of the final 12 episodes. With that in mind lets begin.
As most of you know I'm a huge fan of the GitS franchise ever since I saw the first movie over 15 years ago and have since seen and read everything released since then with the exception of side stories never released in the US (and own all of that as well) so my opinions on this are coming from a long-time obsessive fan so please keep that in mind. Also I will refrain from divulging any spoilers as you'll probably watch this anyway when you get a chance (please note its in Japanese only with English subtitles due to the "rona").
Quite honestly I'm not entirely sure how I felt about this as a whole. On one end it's not bad I might go as far as saying it's pretty good for a cyberpunk show but this is not GitS and this is not SAC for me. Hell I never thought I'd say it but Arise is a lot better then this and I have way to many gripes about that show to even begin. At least Arise felt like a GitS show and story even if it was blandly done with some pretty bad writing (the Arise movie was grade A GitS though, I definitely suggest watching that).
My major gripe is they explain nothing of what happened in the 11 year time span between Solid State Society and this, nothing. They go over world developments and why things are the way they are but they in no way explain major plot elements behind why the Major and her crew are in the US (2045 starts out in the US, not a real big spoiler), they vaguely explain the main premise driving the plot forward from that point (a point that does not seem very GitS like to me), why certain characters are no longer seen or heard from (until later in the 12 eps), and just all around weirdness that is this post Solid State Society world. It's aggravating because the way things were left at the end of SSS you would of thought we'd be getting another procedural GitS season driven forward by strong character driven episodes and interesting plot lines, instead we're left with boring long winded arcs that get nowhere (and maybe 2 enjoyable episodes not part of the overall plot) and in the end we're left with a major cliff hanger at the end. It's aggravating honestly and it seems more like this season was made to pander more to western audiences with short attention spans instead of the original core fanbase (sorry, venting a little. I felt very betrayed by this). Like I said though if this was non-GitS related I'd say it was a good show if not a little pandering.
Music wise (yes I'm a huge fan of the SAC soundtrack, there's a reason I own all 4 soundtracks) I was utterly disappointed. Yoko Kanno is nowhere to be found here and it's extremely noticeable but it's to be expected as she's mostly retired from the industry. This left a sour taste in my mouth since, as I noted above, I'm a huge fan of the SAC soundtrack and it was one of the major reasons I enjoyed the first two seasons so much. Don't even get me started on the OP, not my cup of tea and certainly not something I'd associate with GitS (though I do like the ED).
Animation wise I can't stand the full CGI or the character redesigns. This felt way to much like I was watching cutscenes from a game 10 years ago. Not to say the CG isn't crisp or anything it's very well done and the fight scenes are a joy to watch. Sadly this isn't Pixar level CGI and it shows. Maybe I'm bitter because they went full CGI instead of the traditional/CG blend they did with SAC and 2nd Gig but I found this to be way more off putting than I thought it would be. Plus the Major's redesign makes her look like a 14 year old teenager and that's just not my jam (where's my hot, sophisticated badass woman?).
Thankfully the characters are the same and that was a joy to behold. Watching them interact with each other was extremely enjoyable and I'm happy to see they weren't changed one bit (this goes for the Tachikoma's as well so if you found them annoying they're still going to be annoying (I, personally, love the adorable little trouble makers)). The new characters are just as enjoyable and I just love Purin, she's beyond adorable with her little crush on Batou.
All in all like I said above I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the show. Part of me wants to destroy all the masters and make everyone forget this and the other part of me just thinks it's a below average GitS that just so happens to be somewhat enjoyable. Granted we're only 12 episodes in and my opinion might change once we get the last 12 episodes (did they ever announce when that'd be?) but those are my current thoughts on the show. If I had to give it a rating out of 10 it'd mostly likely be a 6 (which pains me to do considering how generous I was with Arise). Do I suggest watching it? Honestly that's for you to decide. I gave my honest thoughts so take them how you will though but if you are a major fan of the GitS franchise don't get your hopes up to much (then again maybe this is to your liking).
I didn't realize this was supposed to be a sequel to continue on the GitS series. I thought it was a standalone soft reboot or something? I guess the fact that theres a huge plot hole at the beginning not explaining why they're in the US might work out more for my benefit because I haven't watched any of the recent GitS shows or movies in years so I won't feel punished for not being current on everything. I really need to catch up, I just haven't gotten to it yet. x_x Maybe I'll try to watch this after I finally resume and finish Violet Evergarden. I recently finished a couple shows and now I'm backlogged on my youtube videos. lol. Thanks for the review! I'm not looking forward to the upscaled Playstation 1 animation or 14 year old looking Major though.
I'd go more like PS2 era animation then PS1. Like I said it's not overly bad but it's a definite negative for me considering how crisp the animation was in Stand Alone Complex and 2nd Gig. My major gripe with the CGI is the lack of texturing as everything just looks so god damn smooth and unrealistic.
As long as you have a passing understanding of the SAC universe you'll understand whats going on for the most part and how it connects to SAC/2nd Gig/SSS. Then again going in blind is probably the best way to enjoy this as I've seen most major fans of the franchise bashing 2045 (not overly harshly mind you, there's a few good eps in the first 12 but it starts out so bland and slow it's hard to keep interest beyond the first 2-3 eps). Most who have gone in blind only have minor complaints (animation, music, plot are the top three complaints I've seen).
Yea, the 14 year old looking Major is kinda hard to get used to. Especially considering the others actually look their age and somewhat resemble their original SAC designs. Granted the Major is known for having multiple bodies of various ages and genders so she might have gone with a younger looking one while in the US (she's pretty well known in the SAC universe in her normal body) but it's just so hard to get used to. Gah, give me her original SAC design.
Yes god dammit get Violet Evergarden finished man. I just finished watching it for the 4th time during my two weeks of unemployment. It's so fucking good and worth it for all the feels. I totally get the backlogged shit, I'm having a hard time keeping up with youtube and anime right now due to the new job as it's completely fucked my watching schedule of 3 years up.
Sounds good. I'll watch it after Violet Evergarden. I can't remember if Netflix has other GitS anime I haven't seen yet. I should check. lol. I'm only on ep 3 of Violet Evergarden, I think I'll start it over from the beginning since it was like 4 months ago when I last saw an episode.