English Dub Season Review: Ghost In The Shell SAC_2045 Season One

 

Overview (Spoilers Below):

Sustainable war the name of the game in the year 2045. With the one percenters profiting off the manufacture and sale of weapons while the poor keep getting killed down below, something is bound to break.

Togusa, a private cop/detective/muscle man for hire gets involved in a potential conspiracy that he has to band together with old friends to investigate. There’s a strange virus going around that’s dubbed the post-human virus. It turns your average cyber human into a virtually indestructible killing machine… but who is really behind it and why?

Our Take:

Ghost In The Shell SAC_2045 is the newest iteration in the popular Ghost In The Shell franchise. This new series is set in the year 2045, when a terrible economic collapse causes society to descend into deep depths of violence and calamity. It’s definitely a unique POV to set a show in, and being new to the franchise, I found it both cool and confusing. For the most part, SAC_2045 is an action series without getting too deep into the big issues it brings up. That makes it a little easier for newbies like me to get into it, but it was still a big leap to take in what with all the talk of cyberhumans, virtual souls, etc. As the show progresses and the two main factions are thrown together, it gets a bit more introspective, but it never gives a solid conclusion. (Probably because there are more seasons planned.)

For a show that throws so much firepower at viewers, it’s a shame that SAC_2045 looks so bland. 3D CGI can be done well, but this isn’t a good example of it succeeding. The visuals look rough and unfinished in a way that consistently reminded me of a story reel format, where the steps of an episode are planned out and staged before the finishing touches are applied to the animation. I guess another good comparison is that it looks like a video game from a couple years ago – not good.

The English dub was a bit late due to COVID-19 concerns, and while I’m always glad for a dub option to let more people access the show who otherwise wouldn’t (or couldn’t), this dub is not one of the highlights. It’s fine, and will let you experience the show in a way that lets you pay more attention to the (meh) visuals, but there aren’t any standout performances. What’s more is that there’s some weird little inconsistencies between the dub and the original that really don’t need to be there since a ton of the dialogue takes place virtually without having to match mouth movements. I can understand when dialogue is changed to sound more natural, but this didn’t seem to be for that reason. It was things like changing up Standard’s nickname banter in the premiere.

In the end, SAC_2045 is a show that I don’t think you should watch unless you really enjoyed the previous Stand Alone Complex era or the franchise as a whole. This season of SAC_2045 ends on a major cliffhanger, so there’s a possibility the show will expand in the next season and improve on its high points. As it stands now, however, the show poses some interesting questions at times, and presents a unique futuristic setting with cool characters and action, but overall it just never adds up to something that’s worth investing time in unless you have a good reason.

Caleb

graphic designer, writer, and animation addict. when i'm not writing words about my favorite shows, you can usually find me skulking about on Twitter. if you want, leave a comment or send me a tweet; i'd love to chat!

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