- Series: Stand Alone Complex (Book 1)
- Paperback: 213 pages
- Publisher: Dark Horse; 1st DH Press Ed edition (June 6, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1595820728
- ISBN-13: 978-1595820723
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #760,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ghost In The Shell - Stand Alone Complex Volume 1: The Lost Memory (v. 1) Paperback – June 6, 2006
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This book can be ordered for extremely cheap!
And unlike the 'Stand alone complex' manga, this short book series is composed of entirely new stories.
This book is written by Junichi Fujisaku, who actually wrote a few episodes of the anime. And for the first time ever ghost in the shell is offered in a non-visual format! this is a full text novel, with no pictures or illustrations whatsoever.
And the transition from a visual median could have been a bit smoother.
Here's what I mean, in this book, much like many other novels, quite a bit of time is spent going though the main characters mind, and you see things how they would see them, also a good amount of time would be spent on explaining the scene when a character enters.
This is in start contrast to the formula used in SaC, where IG's incredible art department's backgrounds speak for themselves, and in an instant, you could digest all you need to, focusing on smaller details if needed.
but this is to be expected.
As for the writing it's self, it starts out similar to some of those split-direction episodes, where you follow two groups of people thought the story,
often times section 9, and another party.
The book starts off very strong, with a scene that feels like it could have been ripped right from an episode,
yet, you start to pick up on a few oddity's as thing go on.
the first being Kusanagi's dialog, it's possible that this is due to the translation, but some of the way here dialog is worded, it will pull you right out of the story, and remind you, that this is not the Stand alone complex that you're used to.
As the story progresses, Kusanagi starts here investigation of the events that happens at the start of the book, the investigation it's self feels pretty stale, as we just see here looking through information, and talk to people who had a connection to the subject of the investigation.
but at this point, we meet another character, one with only a very small connection to the subject, and the story begins to follow him as well.
We find out that he was only able to get a cyberbrain very recently, and spend the majority of his life without one! and we're given some very good detail as to what living in the GITS universe without a cyberbrain is like. it's done extremely well and really make you think.
It's a plot idea that's never really been done before in any other GITS media that I've seen.
but after that great chuck of info, and character development, we're taken back to section 9's investigation, and the tone shifts back to some what slow paced police procedural, you're given small blips of back story on the members of section 9. and I mean blips, as in just small story bits in the show, and there not even big enough to introduce the characters to people who are new to the GITS universe, it's just enough to be like "hey do you remember this person?" "Remember when we told you this about them (already...)" Basically, this is only for existing fan of GITS,
not even just for people who have seen the films.
the character dialog between the section 9 members is mostly flat, with a few more out of place dialog from Kusanagi, and the looking at here mindset bits are very out of place, they almost feel as if they are from a whole separate character.
and at this point I almost just stopped reading the book, altogether.
But then the quality picks right back up again when we transition back to the other character and when following him, you can really feel the authors passion for this universe, the characters feel much more three dimensional, and the world comes alive. But we can't stay with him too long, because this is 'Ghost in the shell' right?
however this transition back, is a little smoother, after Kusanagi starts to get more information on the case, the pacing starts to pick up,
the main story starts to unravel, and we even get to see a bit more action.
however thought all of this Kusanagi, as a character starts to feel more and more foreign to what we've come to see in Stand alone complex,
more out of place behavior and dialog. but her side of the story starts to get more interesting at least.
Aside from that, we get to see some action with Togusa and Batou, there interpretations are pretty much spot on! and their interactions feel a lot more real, and it's a huge contrast to how Kusanagi is written.
The story shifts mostly to section 9 for about the last 1/3, and the entire climax to the book is trope filled, and almost entirely predictable, not from a GITS stand point, as it's not an ending style that's done often there, but it will be something you've seen a ton of times before.
And it's written it possibly the most lazy way I've ever seen!
The build up is great! showing how everything we've learned fits together. but then it just kinda sits there, like the author painted them self into a corner. I don't want to say anything else about the ending, as even a brief description would spoil it,
but I can only describe that, and the wrap up as lazy.
Overall this is NOT a terrible book, I would not even really call it bad,
Just ONLY for Hardcore GITS fans.
The second plot-line make it worth the read in my opinion, as it's the most cyberpunk part of the book, and one of the few interesting parts.
and i mean IT'S REALLY GOOD! but unless you're really REALLY into GITS, sitting though the tedious beginning start of the investigation would be pretty painful.
and even as a pretty hardcore fan, I can still only give it a max of 3/5.
The problem is that without this set-up, they would have been easy pickings for the Major, and thus the ending as written isn't valid. Perhaps he should have taken the path that they were secreted aboard, but it is stated that they smuggled them on. Since one of the reasons I like GiTS is that it tries to create realistic science fiction, not science fantasy, it's like walking with a large stone in your shoe; quite a distraction that is easily remedied.
In the not-too-distant future of 2032, the frontier dividing humans and machines has been crossed. Crimes comitted by flesh-and-metal cyborgs are investigated by Section 9, an elite counter-terrorist squad run by Chief Aramaki and his cyborg assistant, Major Motoko Kusanagi. Section 9 has faced countless adversaries in the real world and in cyberspace, but none like 'The Awakened.' It is believed that this lethal group of terrorists can take over the minds and bodies of almost anyone. Used as tools to commit crimes against the state, the victims are unaware of who or what is controlling them. When Major Kusanagi captures one of the victims, she hacks into his cyberbrain to learn the ringleader's identity-what she discovers leads her on a journey deep into the heart of cyberspace, a journey that shakes her to the core.
In terms of the quality of writing it is satisfactory. This is coming from someone who likes things written more poetically, and also this is about my 2nd or 3rd action-based book. Too me, it was too much "this happened, then this happened, then this happened" and not enough reflection for me (except in some parts).
I do recommend this book to someone who is a fan of GiTS, but if you have not seen the whole series, are not that into the GiTS universe, or cyberpunk I cannot recommend this book to you. If you ARE a fan of at least cyberpunk there are a lot of gadgets for you to read about and that is a saving grace :)