Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: SA: Runaway Evidence – TESTATION   Rewatch 
August 6, 2014 12:00 PM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

A heavy-assault multi-ped tank runs amok, Section 9 is called in to stop the tank.
posted by Pendragon (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Such a great episode. Probably one of my favorites from the whole series. It's so streamlined and put together so well you could turn off the sound and follow along through the visuals.
posted by P.o.B. at 5:54 PM on August 6, 2014

It's also the first of two re-appropriations of the tank sequence from the first Oshii film.

I've been rewatching this in the English dub which I hadn't seen before. I generally can't stand the English versions of anime but it's quite decent. Good actors, a pretty good translation (This is a show that puts downs some pretty esoteric concepts, and the fan translation I first watched this season in was maybe overly-literal and could be tough to follow during the more philosophical discussions. The dubbed version doesn't suffer from that, and it doesn't seem to have been appreciably dumbed down), and most importantly, lots of dialog that doesn't involve mouth movement. Spider tanks and cyborgs talking over internal radios don't need to be synced up to the visuals, so the delivery is way less stilted.
posted by figurant at 6:56 PM on August 6, 2014

Just noticed the rewatch here, and coincidentally enough recently started my own.

Agreed that it's one of the best episodes. The only downside for me, and this issue was mentioned in the thread for the first episode, was the gratuitous fish eye lens butt shot of the Major getting out of the Tachikoma. To compensate, I imagined a similar shot for Batou.
posted by audi alteram partem at 7:47 PM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

I was going to mention my amazement at having a whole short scene devoted to watching Motoko's ass move squarely into your face, but I think we're going to see that type of stuff regularly throughout the series.
I thought maybe there might be some kind of meta-commentary about a person within a robot or something. I think this is the first time we're introduced to a "human" character in a very non-traditional form, and Motoko shedding the larger body is an interesting way to highlight that theme. Then again I didn't need to see her robot colon to get that point across.
posted by P.o.B. at 10:55 PM on August 6, 2014

The voice acting of the english dub is indeed pretty good.

I really like the development of the Tachikoma. Batou sure seems to like them :-)
posted by Pendragon at 7:19 AM on August 7, 2014

This is such a melancholy episode done so well that that bit of gratitious butt feels like a turd in a puch bowl.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:16 AM on August 7, 2014

That scene didn't bother me as much as some people, but I've been of the opinion for a while that GitS:SAC is the best science fiction TV series of the last decade, my sole serious gripes with being the Major's outfits and a few bits of other associated gratuitousness with her. It kind of limits who I can recommend it to. There's also the issue that the show is best in the original Japanese with subtitles- the English dub isn't bad, but several characters are some degrees off from their original characterization. Mokoto sounding too nice (I like her, but she's not really that pleasant a person, if you take the long view and notice a lot of small implications), and Aramaki sounding too much like a feeble old man are the most prominent I remember.

On a different note, this episode has one of my favorite small shots in the entire series- when the tank is rampaging and the residential area is being evacuated, you can see a father comforting his child and people looking worried as they're filing out. It's a minor thing, but it humanizes the populace more than the cardboard panicked screaming masses you usually get in disaster scenarios, and makes the world seem more real.
posted by Wandering Idiot at 1:34 PM on August 8, 2014 [3 favorites]

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