Friday, August 30, 2013

Ghost in the Shell SAC 1 & 2

Rewatched Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex 1 & 2  and find myself being a fan. Its not so bad when you consider when it was aired it was 2005! thas about 8 years ago! Much has changed since then and since then i learned more about Networks and Comsci.

After watching Good wife and downton where the structuring is very precise and they follow a "Show don't Tell" approach I found the GiTS very monologue heavy. Good Wife is a great example of talking politics and current events and trends without Talking, instead with showing.

If you watch the show, you will find it incredibly pedantic and I really ended up fast forwarding through most of the discussions that reitterate points already discussed through-out the show.


Structuring Dilemma
In one instance i SAC2 ep10 "Trial's" last scene when Bulma is seen giving keys and repair instructions to the AI a garage clerk where news was streaming of an accident (Why is the AI garage clerk listening to news, or is she a real person?). This was one of the best scenes ever written because it did a lot to show the "character" of the team and did it with a lot subtlety... they are special ops after all, and discretion should be their trademark. Doing vigilante work helped in their shades of gray parts, but they also "play by the book" which is confusing.

When they, the writers, kill witnesses, the leave it to your imagination. Why can't they make the subtle logistics and deception ploys be structured in this way. I find myself saying "Nope, don't do that." to the writers as I see a structure where enormous amounts of animation budget is spent on an elaborate scene when 2-3rd hand information about the event or just a 2 second scene would have sufficed. Save the budget for ass-kicking and establishing shots.

Pretty much the structuring you see in many shows these days, use 2-3rd hand information or Inference of the audience to convey what happened. Since the audience these days are more sophisticated, its better to spend "animation" budget on more moving scenes or background scenes since this is animation.

The Scene Structuring these days is highly condensed. What would have been 5 scenes is now 3, and the interaction serves the purpose of foreshadowing various elements and creating dramatic importance.

Of course when funding the show you want the biggest budget possible, but now that scene costs can be brought down, focus can be placed in dramatic effects and establishing shots.

Too many coincidences.
It feels like my games LOLz where there are so many coincidences. Its almost that every episode is dependent on it. These days the writing makes sure that the previous episode foreshadows a growing problem, and the next occurring problem happens pretty normally - not when they happen to be inspecting the place or on the scene. If feels a bit too much like a game, where the writer is improv-ing like a GM and not maximizing his creative freedom.

The GM kills off all the NPCs.
This is annoying, when the GM or the writers decide to kill off every NPC that has information and the PCs/Cast never learns from this mistake. they never take care of their witnesses is very annoying for me, also the fact that the Story's Initial Leads are from such loose ends that are killed after they talk. If the baddies are so thorough to kill every probably loose end, why is there Loose Ends to begin with?annoying. IMO there should be a 50:50 chance for NPC death to keep the audience guessing.

A Bit Preachy
Ack! Yeah, it can be a bit preachy. Try to avoid preachy shows, good thing there is fast forward. Strangely GITS is Pro-Mind Body Dualism and Ghosts are "Souls". Sadly when the writer exposes too much Philosophical Detail about their stance, he is also leaving nothing to be assumed and the holes of his argument show up. He could have just been vague so that I wouldn't have a hard time reigning in my BS-detection when i'm trying to enjoy the show.  Ghosts = Souls, yup... not very T^2 IMO.

Simplification and Propaganda
Because the heroes are so heroic, and not Anti-Heroes, it loses its shades of gray. The funny thing about Politics and Corruption, is that I find myself going by the ending of SAC2 "And thats what they told the media, making the Major a Saint and Hero". The story of the "Good Guys" Section 9, is as much spin tale, as much as the enemy's is also propaganda.

SAC2 Ending.
Wow its so inconsistent and you'r gonna kill your villain? Since "souls" aka ghosts are required, you cannot bring back a villain when you "Kill" him. Thats a waste of such reusable writing material.  Also it doesnt make a whole lot of sense to start shooting unprovoked, its so weird. Again the witness being killed automatically trope (no learning curve there).

SAC1's ending was a bit tighter, and the plot better IMO. They didn't need to escalate by season 2, they just needed it to be different.

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