Noob Reviews: Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 (Season 01)
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
What is Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 (Season 01)?
Set in the year 2045, the future is bleak, and the main thing keeping the world’s economy running is a carefully choreographed ‘Sustainable War.’ A war that is being fought by the four largest nations after an event known as the Simultaneous Global Default, wholly destroyed any and all value given to both paper and digital currency.
Having left Public Security 9, the majority of the original team have established themselves as a mercenary group called Ghost. Who, using their cybernetically enhanced bodies and vast wealth of military tactics and battle experience, travel the world taking on the most challenging of operations other units don’t wish to touch.
Unfortunately, while on their latest mission, the team are unknowingly drawn into an American led black op that sees them thrust headfirst (and barely prepared). Into a fight for not only their lives but the lives of billions, against a newly emerging threat called Post Humans. An evolved form of the cybernetically enhanced that can perform impressive feats of agility, strength and supreme domination over the digital realms. Able to not only kill targets with a variety of means, and cloak themselves from surveillance, but also simultaneously hack and dominate groups of both military personnel and machines alike.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- Official Trailer -
You can also find the listing on Netflix here.
When did it come out?
Season one of Ghost in the Shell SAC_2045 was released on the 23rd April 2020 and consists of 12 episodes. Each episode has a run time of twenty-four minutes.
Although a second series has not been officially announced, many reputable online sources already suggest another season is ‘highly likely’ with some saying it is already in the works, but not providing any reliable details.
Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?
Borma (Japanese voice actor Taro Yamaguchi | English voice actor Dein Wein)
Ishikawa (Japanese voice actor Yutaka Nakano | English voice actor Michael McCarty)
John Smith (Japanese voice actor Kaiji Soze | English voice actor Roger Craig Smith)
Kurisu Otomo Teito (Japanese voice actor Shigeo Kiyama | English voice actor Armen Taylor)
What did you think of Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 (Season 01)?
I will be the first to admit that I am a huge fan of Ghost in the Shell but did not even see SAC_2045 was being released until the day it dropped, and the trailer appeared on my Netflix suggestions. However, it was a welcome surprise.
There was so much that I loved about SAC_2045, with both the story and its execution coming straight to mind. The story was both fun and engaging, but admittedly it is a bit tamer and less complex than the previous Ghost in the Shell entries. Whether or not this was to keep the pace running at the rate they set, or to make the series more accessible to a new generation, I am not sure, but there are subtle differences. It was good, however, to see the original team get back into the thick of it.
Some of my personal favourite storylines were Togusa leaving Japan to go find the Ghosts in North America and bring them home. Batou getting caught in the middle of a bank robbery and actually taking over the theft to ensure that it succeeds. After hearing the stories of the robbers and what drove them to such extremes. And last but not least the actual rise of the Post Humans. Not only the way agent Smith revealed their existence and introduced the team to them, but how underhanded and devious he did so. Then following through to the actual hunt for the Post Humans and seeing how they exactly became what they are, and the reasons that drive them. My apologies if that sounds very vague, but there are some quite significant spoilers I was trying to sidestep.
Another of the most considerable differences to SAC_2045 compared to the other Ghost in the Shell entries is the art style. Going more along the lines of Altered Carbon: Resleeved and RWBY. The producers have opted for a rather unique and more modern style that relies heavily on CGI but at times skims on details. For example, most character’s hair appears to be almost claymation in appearance with little to no motion. Short-range detail is fantastic and clear and yet large open spaces, and the outdoors can seem sparse and not have as much detail. Although it was quite a surprise (as with Altered Carbon: Resleeved) the art style is admittedly growing on me but has caused quite a split in the Ghost in the Shell fan base. With hardcore fans of the original entries disliking not only the new art style but also how the story structure has changed.
Overall though, I found SAC_2045 very enjoyable, the action scenes were very well performed, the voice acting was on point, and I would highly recommend it as I found myself binge-watching through five or six episodes at a time.
Just as a quick note on the voice acting, at the moment, although there are details for an English translation of Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045, only a Japanese version (with subtitles) is available in most countries. Netflix has advised this is because they have prioritised their voice actor's health due to COVID-19, which has had an impact on production time frames.
What rating would you give Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 (Season 01)?
I would give the first season of Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 4 out of 5 bananas.
All though I thoroughly enjoyed the anime and would recommend it to others to watch, whether you are a Ghost in the Shell enthusiast or new to the franchise. There were as mentioned before, some changes, such as how the story was written. And modifications to the art style that are sort of niggling away at me. Although very watchable, they just stop me short of giving SAC_2045 a full five out of five banana rating.
Thank you very much for checking out the review, and if you are interested in Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 (Season 01) and would like to check it out for yourself, to form your own opinion, you can check it out here.