Sunday, August 20, 2017

So, about SAC 2nd gig

I'm referring to the second season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex(not done yet, just a rant from what I've seen). And while it's entertaining, and has emotional rewards for the viewer, part of the overacing story is just driving me nuts. This will have spoilers, but it's been out for awhile, so too bad.

The big bad group set up as movers in the series is called the Individual 11. A bit odd, but whatever. Theyr'e supposedly a bunch of individualist, with no command structure. Stretching credibility a bit here, individualists usually want to be left alone. Here's the kicker: they're socialists bent on redeeming the massive number of refugees, or rather, pushing them toward redeeming themselves.

NO. Individualists are not socialists. Pretty much ever. Socialism requires a rigid authority structure, and ignores the individual. This requires a great misunderstanding of individualism, socialism, or both.

So yeah, I found the moment that was discussed a bit immersion breaking. In other respects, however, the series is somewhat prescient. Massive numbers of refugees have been brought into Japan at this time, and they're on the dole, and also competing for jobs with citizens. Meanwhile, the veterans of the last war get bad jobs and bad care from the government, being seen as a suspect class by some in fact.

Now, the show so far doesn't make a big political statement. It's largely a police procedural with some cyberpunk elements, though there are moments where the characters are trying to understand the some of the conflict motivations, and somewhat sympathize with each side.

It is refreshing to see entertainment even address the issues, and see them as real problems with the unpalatable solutions. Also seeing the government/commercial cooperation in corruption and actively acting against the people is far removed from most Western entertainment. Usually, when such things are even broached, it's one ore two individuals in government involved, not the much more likely high concentration of corruption in government at all levels.

Thanks for reading my mild rant.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.


  1. You want your mind blown? Look at the date it was originally released.

    Someone saw this coming over a decade ago, and this series was their warning. (And yes, 2ng GIG is worth following to its end; setup is paid off.)

  2. Thanks for reviewing 2nd Gig. GitS: SAC isn't just my favorite anime series, it's my favorite police procedural.

    Somehow, I missed the inherent contradiction of the Individual 11 all these years. Good catch.

    Fun fact: the show's writers would plot each episode through role-playing. They'd split into teams--Section 9 and that week's antagonists respectively--and game out the scenario.