Ghost In The Shell 3: Solid State Society

Ghost In The Shell 3: Solid State Society

DVD Rating: ****1/2

Reviewed by: Paul Griffiths

Read Paul Griffiths's film review of Ghost In The Shell 3: Solid State Society

While the film may not be able to live up the expectations downloaded to it by its predecessor, Manga Entertainment’s two disc DVD release of Ghost In The Shell 3 certainly does. The presentation’s picture and sound quality are consistently high throughout, but it is the comprehensive features package that stands out more.

The Storyboard Subtitles make for a pleasing little feature, showing storyboard shots throughout every scene. The final piece unerringly corresponds with the original designs. Car Design is a generous featurette on how the animators worked with the Nissan Motor Company to design two Nissan concept cars that were used in the film. Very much a creative collaboration, rather than one party designing with the other copying, it has the key talking heads going into satisfying detail.

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Tachikoma Robot features renowned robot creator and engineer Tomotaka Takashi. It’s a fascinating mini-documentary about how Takashi was commissioned to build a functioning scale model of a Tachikoma robot. There’s a special focus on Takashi’s pioneering SHIN-Walk, or bipedal locomotion technology, that allows robots to balance, walk and dance like humans. Takashi is an able commentator on his work and on robot design aesthetics meeting human expectation and manga comic sensibilities.

Uchikoma Days is a short story narrated by and starring Tachikoma robots. It’s an ugly duckling story, with an emphasis on individuality and long-hidden talents finally being brought to the fore. A musical oddity to those unfamiliar with the TV series, it goes some way to explaining Batou’s soft spot for them.

The two production interviews are comprehensive packages themselves that enrich your understanding of the work that has gone into the production throughout its many stages. Interviews with the Western cast and crew add further nuances. For example, discussions on the difficulties of translation and pronunciation highlight the different Korean, Japanese and Russian names and dialects bouncing around the Blade Runner-like original screenplay, revealing further layers and convolutions perhaps not readily apparent at first.

Finally, the World Work file is an all-inclusive look at the world of Ghost In The Shell and its various inhabitants, from bit players to webmasters. It’s a potent but accessible introduction for new comers and a refreshing run through for franchise fans.

All in all, a steady and well-packaged bit-torrent of features that more than make up for the film’s lack of cinematic scope.

Reviewed on: 22 Aug 2007
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Ghost In The Shell 3: Solid State Society packshot
The latest feature length instalment of the renowned anime series.
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Product Code: MANG5050

Region: 2

Ratio: Anamorphic widescreen

Sound: English 2.0, 5.1 & DTS; Japanese 2.0, 5.1 & DTS; English subtitles

Extras: Storyboard Subtitles, Uchikoma Days, English Production interview, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa interview, Anime & Car Design – Redesigning the car of the future, Making of Tachikoma Robot, World Work File

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