Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

Season 2 Episode 2


Aired Sunday 12:00 AM Nov 27, 2005 on Cartoon Network
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Episode Summary

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is put on full display. A Japanese National named Gino, who suffered through the horrors of Non-Nuclear World War IV, the Second Vietnam War, now passes his days as a helicopter pilot for the chairman of a media conglomerate. His cushy job, however, does not take away the sheer internal pain that Gino is facing. As he moves through his isolated existence, Gino leaps between reality and fantasy. However, he keeps his dementia solely to himself. Having no one to help him, his condition continues to worsen.moreless

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  • A mindblowing and incredibly thought-provoking noir episode, one that will stick out in the GitS series for a long time. RESET THE WORLD.

    One of the best quotes in a show ever:

    "Cyborgs use food products. If you think about, they're VICTIMS too. They were called to serve a Non-Nuclear World War IV, the so called Second Vietnam War. Campaign regulations provided them with high-performance cyberbrains and partial prosthetic bodies. It's often said that, 'war is a trade fair for multi-national corporations. A proving ground where cyberisation and prosthetic technology advances by leaps and bounds'. That's what the last war was REALLY about. Without realising that they were guinea pigs, they lost their human bodies, their families, even their homelands. Now they cling out to the skimpy benefits and jobs that are doled out to them. At the first glance, they seem happy, but tehy don't have a clue that it's a fake pleasure. Created by a virtual personality. Composed of a cyberbrain and a prosthetic body."

    Gino, a soldier from the Second Vietnam War suffers from all the pain caused during the battle and can't keep it inside. An incredibly smart individual, you'll sympathise with his search for the truth against mass media and the military. This is pure noir, right here, you internalise yourself with the character and see his motivations and struggles. He comments on the prosthetic culture, the process of a human made to machine, and why prosthetic people need to eat, their eagerness to feel their old human self as much as possible. With the tendency to fall into daydreams much like the Six Feet Under series, Gino can't help but wish these came real. He wants to give it to the conglomerates, the corrupt corporate so bad, that he's set a single date on the calendar. 25 of the month. I can't spell everything out for you, because this is one of those genuine episodes that you fall in love with and never forget, even after two years when I first saw it. The immense blend of jazz, drums, orchestra, and techno music is the hallmark of this show, and it shows incredible depth in this episode. They're a real tearjerker, especially about half-way in the episode where he wants the helicopter to crash down into doom. Set perfectly to the scene, it internalises you even more into Gino. There are some shocking moments, especially one involving him trying to pay for a brothel. He can't fulfill the job because of his prosthetic organ, and is thrown out into the trash. The pimp lingers a gun to his head, with his money in the other hand, and makes Gino beg for his life. The music in this scene is PHENOMENAL, and just needs to be recognised. Did that happen in fantasy or reality? But sadly, this happened for real, and you don't know whether he's hypocritical for paying off a hooker, or just a sexually frustrated simple man who's got nothing in life. Batou explains this, that he didn't lose his private organs during the war, but by catching a STD.

    There's a very sweet moment when the Major cameos with Gino in the helicopter, and then you see him drop straight into fantasy where he's dripping in blood everywhere. "He's just one of the countless number of pinnacle souls who harbour fake dreams of greatness and is frustrated by reality. He'll never carry out his plan. He's a member of the Proletariat, who's just out of touch with reality."

    And that's just the thing, this provokes your mind with the excellent writing and the possiblity of such a thing happening. It's a disturbing episode, the psychology and gruesome violence is not for everyone. In many ways, this show is not for everyone. There is immense humanism here, and it takes more than just Shinji whining from NGS to appreciate how heart-felt and insightful this show really is. Is this the real motive to a terrorist? Is it just some guy who's misunderstood in the world, and wants to prove that he can do something worthwhile by sticking it to the man? We might never know, but we can say this is one of the best episodes in the entire Ghost in the Shell series. A prime example of what this cyber-philosophical show has to offer to the naive person watching this behind a computer.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


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  • NOTES (4)

    • Japanese Title: 「飽食の僕」 - 「Hōshoku no Boku」

      The DVD translates the title as 「I, Glutton」

    • Original Japanese Airdate: January 1st, 2004.

    • Kanji in First News Report: 招慰難民居住区 連続爆破事件で犯行声明 (Shōi Nammin Kyojūku - Renzoku Bakuha Jiken de Hankō Seimei) - Shōi Refugee Residential District - Responsibility Claimed for Criminal Incident of Series of Explosions. The DVD translates the kanji as "Claim of Responsibility for Refugee District Bombings". Shōi is the name of the District. It means "Comforting Invitation" in Japanese.

      The kanji 難民居住区 or Refugee Residential District will be seen again at the beginning of episode 4.

    • Kanji in First TV Report: Upper left reads 新浜市上空 (Niihama-shi Jōkū) - New Port City Aerial View. Bottom of screen reads 炎上する庁舎ビル (Enjō suru Chōsha Building) - Swift Blaze at Government Office Building. The DVD translates the bottom kanji as "Government Building on Fire", and does not translate the kanji in the upper left.

      Kanji in Second TV Report: Upper right reads 生中継 (Namachūkei) - Live TV Broadcast. Left side of screen reads 庁舎ビル襲撃! (Chōsha Building Shūgeki!) - Government Office Building Attacked! The DVD translates the kanji on the left as "Sneak Attack on Government Office Building", and does not translate the kanji in the upper right.

      Kanji in Third TV Report: Upper right reads 新浜市 (Niihama-shi) - New Port City. Bottom of screen reads 庁舎ビル前より生中継 (Chosha Building Mae yori Namachūkei) - Live TV Broadcast from the Front of the Government Office Building. The DVD translates the bottom kanji as "Live from the Scene", and does not translate the kanji in the upper right.


    • "NIGHT CRUISE": Taxi Driver

      The entire episode is a homage to the 1976 movie Taxi Driver, directed by Martin Scorcese. Taxi Driver is a movie about a Vietnam War Veteran so alone and so lost in the world that he has returned to. Gino is a veteran of the Second Vietnam War, Non-Nuclear World War IV, and the way that he moves through his life are all references to the protagonist of Taxi Driver, Travis Bickle (played by Robert De Niro).

    • The Major's Undercover Residence: Flatiron Building

      The building that the Major sets up shop in is a Flatiron Building, which takes the name from the way it is shaped. The most famous Flatiron Building is located at the intersection of 23rd Street, Fifth Avenue, and Broadway in New York City.

    • Poster: Che Guevara
      Gino has a poster of Che Guevara on a red background in his apartment. The one time leader of Communist insurgents in the 1950's and 1960's, who was instrumental in the "26th of July Movement" that brought Fidel Castro to power in Cuba in 1959, Che Guevara (his full name is Ernesto Rafael Guevara de la Serna) was assassinated in Bolivia in October of 1967.